What Chicago Hotels Will Be Offering
When Loews Hotels & Resorts CEO Paul Whetsell joined the firm two years ago, he identified gateway markets where the brand needed to be, Chicago included, he told us at NYU's annual hospitality investment conference. Now that the firm's $250M, portfolio-wide repositioning initiative is completed, it can shift focus to development and acquisitions. Take the 400-key Loews Chicago Hotel (a 52-story tower including 390 luxury apartments, being developed by DRW Trading Group), well on its way for a February opening. (Bring a jacket, or four, to the ribbon-cutting.) Paul just welcomed a new family member: Golden Retriever puppy, Henry. “In our house, Henry is No. 1 and Paul is No. 2,” he jokes.
Hospitality Ventures Management Group has formed a unique alliance with Serendipity Labs, CEO Robert Cole and SVP of acquisitions Mary Beth Cutshall told us at the NYC conference. Together, they'll open and operate commercial and hotel-based shared workspaces in hub cities, beginning in downtown Chicago this fall. While coworking is known as an office-based industry, Robert says it's also perfect for hotels looking to get a revenue boost from underutilized lobby, meeting, and biz center spaces. (It's a no-set formula that uses as little as 3,000 SF.) Even with all this work, Robert has not missed a Jets game in 30 years and Mary Beth is training for the 50-mile Pelotonia bike ride with Rockbridge in Ohio to raise money to fight cancer.