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Nearly 200 previously furloughed staff members returned to the Chicago Hilton and Towers on Thursday, June 10, 2021, to prepare for the state’s full reopening Friday. (WTTW News)

The city and state’s full reopening is a double-edged sword for many in the hospitality and entertainment industry. They wonder: the crowds may be coming back, but will the labor force return?

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The Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel (WTTW News)

The last 14 months have been incredibly difficult for Chicago’s usually booming hospitality industry. Though many hotels are still grappling with lower occupancy rates and many employees are still laid off, a recent uptick in travel means things are starting to look up.