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CHICAGO MEETINGS NEWS: JUNE 2016

Navy Pier hotel project, Vista Tower hotel breaks ground — Get the latest meeting & event planning industry news.

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    NAVY PIER TO GET 200-ROOM, $90 MILLION HOTEL PROJECT

    First Hospitality Group is moving forward with a plan to build a 200-room hotel near Navy Pier’s east end. The pier's first-ever hotel will include five floors built next to Festival Hall with rooms above the hall's south-facing terraces and will cost an estimated $90 million. Work is set to begin in 2017 with a projected opening during the second half of 2018.

    Learn more about the new hotel project.


    CHOICE HOTELS WILL OPEN TWO CAMBRIA-BRANDED PROPERTIES IN CHICAGO

    Choice Hotels is bringing two new projects to Chicago: With expected completion in mid-2017, Choice Hotels will convert the existing 215-room MileNorth Hotel at 166 E. Superior St. into the Cambria Magnificent Mile. Choice will also build out the office space above the Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre at 24 W. Randolph St. to create the Cambria City City, with an expected finish date of September 2017.

    Learn more about the Cambria properties.


    MAYOR EMANUEL AND CHOOSE CHICAGO ANNOUNCE RECORD TOURISM IN 2015

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Choose Chicago Board Chair Desiree Rogers announced that in 2015 domestic visitors to Chicago passed 50 million for the first time. Total visitors to Chicago in 2016 are expected to exceed 52 million, surpassing last year’s record performance and moving Chicago even closer to reaching Mayor Emanuel’s goal of 55 million visitors annually by 2020. Chicago is one of only three U.S. cities to welcome more than 50 million visitors annually with direct spending by visitors reaching an estimated $14.9 billion in 2015, a 34 percent increase since 2010.

    Learn more about the record tourism numbers.


    FRONTIER AIRLINES LAUNCHES NONSTOP SERVICE TO SEVEN NEW DESTINATIONS FROM CHICAGO

    Frontier Airlines recently announced the addition of new low fare nonstop service from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Charlotte, N.C. (CLT); Kansas City, MO (MCI); Nashville, Tenn. (BNA); Portland, Ore. (PDX); St. Augustine, Fla. (UST); Seattle (SEA); and Minneapolis (MSP).

    Learn more about the new flights.


    ALOFT CHICAGO CITY CENTER TESTS ROBOT BUTLER

    Aloft has developed a line of robotic hotel butlers and recently sent one of its Relay units, named Botlr, to the Aloft Chicago City Center on Clark Street in River North. The concept is still in the works, but the idea is the robotic bellhop will be programmed to bring guests anything they need from the front desk, as long as the item is no larger than a towel.

    Learn more about  the robot butler.


    SUMMER HOUSE AND GREEN MARKET DEBUT AT O'HARE

    The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) welcomed two new food concessions - Summer House Santa Monica and Green Market - to O'Hare International Airport this spring. Summer House Santa Monica is located in Terminal 2, past security, across from the Coach and MAC stores, and offers California-influenced American cuisine. Green Market is a new grab-and-go concession located in Terminal 3, past security, near Gate L3, offering locally sourced vegetables and Chicago goodies from Berghoff Brewery, Goose Island Beer Co., Red Hen Bread, Molino Baking Co., Chicago Classic Confections, Vosges Chocolates and Breadcrumb.

    Learn more about the new food concessions.


    WALDORF ASTORIA CHICAGO INTRODUCES POP-UP DINING CONCEPT

    The Kitchen at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago is an elevated pop-up dining concept serving three meals a day, offered through 2016. Located on the third floor of the hotel, the restaurant will feature a menu curated by Chef Nicholas Marino that complements the flavors and notes found in champagne.

    Learn more about the dining concept.