The 200-seat executive forum was one of the projects recently completed during the first phase of The Westin O’Hare’s renovation.
ROSEMONT -- The Westin O’Hare announced Thursday that it’s kicking off the second phase of a $22 million renovation project.
The thrust of this phase is transforming the lobby and lounge into a Starbucks cafe. “It’s a full service Starbucks. It’s like you’re walking into the Starbucks store,” said Alan Fabris, area director of sales and marketing for Westin O’Hare.
The transformation of the lobby just started with construction of the coffee shop that will include indoor and outdoor seating. Next, a complete redesign of the front desk and lobby areas and construction of a 3,800-square-foot ballroom will take place. The entire project will be complete by mid-March, 2014.
The makeover of 50,000 square feet of meeting and ballroom space includes new carpeting, wall vinyl, lighting fixtures, artwork, audio/video services and both wired and wireless Internet connectivity.
In addition, The Westin O’Hare’s Benchmark restaurant will undergo re-branding with plans that call for a gastro pub-type concept with a large lineup of beers on tap, Fabris added.
“Westin and Starbucks both share a commitment to providing the highest quality product in the world and we are so excited to be able to have a full service cafe, complete with outdoor seating, in our hotel by early 2014,” General Manager Pete Demay said.
In a nod to the environment, The Westin O’Hare renovation will incorporate earth-friendly features, including brighter, energy-efficient ceiling lighting to reduce energy needs and new wool carpeting on the floors which promises to last longer.
The current phase of the project comes on the heels of a multimillion dollar renovation completed this past March which included a complete renovation of all 525 guest rooms and meeting space. Improvements included new furniture and fully refreshed bathrooms. A 200-seat executive forum was also part of this project along with a renovation of the grand ballroom.
The current owners, Clearview Hotel Capital, took over The Westin O’Hare two years ago and saw the need to update as the hospitality industry has slowly been picking up after the recession, Fabris said.
He added that the California hotel investment group as well as industry experts are seeing an increase in business and leisure travel.
“The owners recognized the recent uptick in the industry and they wanted to be ahead (of the competition) with the renovation,” Fabris said.