The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

How to Confuse Tourists

By Rachelle Bowden in News on Feb 15, 2005 5:43PM

When Aunt Josephine and Uncle Arthur come to town and want to see all the sites in one week you recommend CityPass to them right? It's simple. You buy a ticket for $49, it's good for 9 days, and it gets you into the Hancock, the Art Institute, the Field Museum, the Shedd, the Planetarium, and the Museum of Science and Industry. And tickets can be purchased at any of those locations. Great. Everything they want to see. Done.

But now two companies are proposing two different types of passes to compete with CityPass. Talk about confusing. Here's a comparison of the existing pass and the 2 new ones-

CityPassChicago CityPass (existing)

  • Includes tickets to the city's 5 major museums and the Hancock observatory

  • Format: Ticket book

  • Goal: To get everyone to use every ticket

  • Cost: $49 for adults, $39 for kids. Tickets are good for 9 days.

  • Starting on April 1 Boston CityPass will be good for a full year, and this might be extended to other cities

  • Sold by: CityPass Inc. of Victor, Idaho

Go ChicagoGo Chicago Card (new)

  • Offers a fixed rate pass to more than 20 attractions

  • Format: Smart Card

  • Goal: To provide more than 6 choices

  • Timing: Debuts in May

  • Cost: $39/day for adults, $19/day for kids, but the per-day cost goes down for longer passes, the longest being a 7-day pass for $129 for adults and $79 for kids

  • Sold by: Smart Destinations Inc., a Boston-based company

Power PassPower Pass Chicago (new)

  • Flat-fee pass to about 40 entertainment and cultural venues

  • Format: Smart Card

  • Goal: To offer a range of attractions from the planetarium to the MCA, to architectural tours and lake cruises

  • Timing: Will debut in a few weeks

  • Cost: Prices aren't set yet, but in Vegas they sell a one-day adult Power Pass for $50. Like the Go Chicago Card, the per-day rate will go down for longer passes.

  • Sold by: Power Pass, a unit of Travel Fun Card Inc. in Armonk, N.Y.

So, now it's not so easy. Now you've got to find out exactly what Aunt Josephine and Uncle Arthur want to do, which would be the most cost-efficient for them, and how long they've got to do it. Recommendation: don't get the City Pass if it goes to a year or you might find yourself hosting the Aunt J & Unc A again sooner than you'd like!