Loews, House of Blues create multiple-use facility

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CHICAGO -- Marina City, a landmark real estate development in the 1960s that was to be a model for new urban development, is embarking on a rebirth as a prime meetings venue, according to House of Blues Hospitality and Loews Hotels, which are behind the revitalization project.

The property was in bankruptcy until the House of Blues bought it in 1996 and in October opened the 367-room House of Blues Hotel, which is managed by Loews Hotels. "We've been able to reinvent it as a one-stop travel-entertainment-business destination," said Jeff Lapin, president, House of Blues Hospitality Inc., the developer of the hotel.

The hotel serves as "the second anchor" for the 15-story complex, along with the House of Blues Restaurant and Music Venue, Loews Hotels said.

The hotel has two VIP meeting rooms that accommodate approximately 50 people. Other hotel amenities include 24-hour room service; same-day valet and laundry; in-room fax, a CD player, a VCR, voice mail, a two-line phone and direct Internet access. It has 22 suites, including 12 junior, three grand and seven VIP suites. The hotel combines Gothic, Moroccan, East Indian and New Orleans styles.

Architectural artifacts, including ancient blue glass panels from an East Indian temple, decorate the public areas, according to Loews. There is a 36-lane AMF bowling center that has meeting space and can host corporate bowling events within the Marina City complex.

The complex is suited for large and small meetings because of the surrounding entertainment options, according to Loews officials. The complex will also have:

  • A 25,000-square-foot Crunch Fitness Club, slated to open in June.
  • Buddy Guy's Legends, a blues club opening this month.
  • Two restaurants slated to open in June.
  • The complex has the largest Smith & Wollensky Steak and Chop House outside New York and a marina that rents boats, a spokeswoman said.

    House of Blues Hospitality Inc. was created to develop urban hotels in conjunction with House of Blues live music-restaurant venues worldwide.

    Another House of Blues is slated to open at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on March 2.

    Other House of Blues venues are targeted for West Hollywood, Calif.; New Orleans; New York; Tokyo; Sydney, Australia; London, and San Francisco. Loews Hotels currently owns and/or operates 15 hotels and resorts in the U.S. and Canada. As part of the largest expansion in the chain's history last year, the company also opened the 800-room Loews Miami Beach Hotel in December.

    Other developments under way include the conversion of the landmark PSFS building in Philadelphia into the 585-room Loews Philadelphia Hotel, to be completed in April 2000, and the first three on-site hotels at Universal Studios Escape in Orlando, Fla.

    These include the 750-room Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Studios Escape, to be completed in summer 1999; the 650-room Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Studios Escape, to be completed in the fall of 2000, and the 1,000-room Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Studios Escape, which is slated to open in 2001. Loews Hotels. (800) 23-LOEWS. Web: www.loewshotels.com

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