Diamond Jim 2004/Wilson Hand Kidde
  • Chicago Cultural Center
  • Diamond Jim, by Wilson Hand Kidde, from the Richard Harris collection

Last week, the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture formally announced its own demise and the sacking of its 88 employees (effective June 30) with a celebratory press release.

After noting that its dual functions will each be going their own way—tourism to the private-sector nonprofit Choose Chicago (aka the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau), and culture to the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events—the COTC lauded itself for “20 years of service marked by unprecedented cultural advancement and economic achievement for the City of Chicago.”

“COTC leaves the city with a thriving $11.1 billion tourism industry that attracts more than 42 million visitors annually,” the release said.

That’s still four million fewer visitors than there were in 2007, before the economy tanked, but never mind.