JW Marriott Chicago Launches Multi-Million-Dollar Guestroom Renovation Led by General Manager Hassan El Neklawy

USA, Chicago, Illinois. September 30, 2019

JW Marriott Chicago (151 W. Adams St.), located in the heart of Chicago's financial district, proudly announces a redesign of all 610 guest rooms including 29 suites, hotel corridors, and the executive lounge. The hotel, which blends modern elegance into the Daniel H. Burnham Continental & Commercial National Bank Building, opened in November 2010 and will undergo a multi-million-dollar guestroom renovation to be completed a decade after its inception.

"Harkening back to the building's 1914 origin, which was constructed during an iconic period in design, we want to honor the influence early Pullman rail cars had on travel accommodations in Chicago and beyond," shared Hassan El Neklawy, General Manager of JW Marriott Chicago. "As we approach our 10-year anniversary in 2020, we thought it essential to reimagine our guests' accommodations by embracing comfort with elegant décor to continue welcoming the modern traveler."

The transformation, under the design of Looney & Associates, is a nod to a storied past. Exemplifying a luxury rail car motif, Looney & Associates' design utilizes rectilinear lines and soft curves reminiscent of travel paths both past and present. Layered metal finishes, plush wovens, and dark wood tones signal the richness of the Pullman era while soothing neutrals are accented with saturated pops of color to convey comfort and authenticity. With a new sparkle from modern lighting, reminiscent of a conductor's lantern, guests will be transported to another time.

"Working with such an iconic hotel, we wanted to redesign the guestrooms to tell the story of the building's timeless sophistication," says Gina Tomczak, Associate Managing Director in Chicago for Looney & Associates. "It's only fitting that a Chicago hotel and especially JW Marriott Chicago assume these design inspirations, as George Pullman was once synonymous with luxury travel at the turn of the century."

Perched within the hotel's 12th floor, the executive lounge will also experience a refresh inspired by the liveliness and intrigue of a train's club car. New floors and flexible furnishings transition effortlessly from morning coffee to evening spirits enticing guests to socialize and unwind.

JW Marriott Chicago will remain open for the duration of the renovation program, which is anticipated to be complete by Spring 2020.

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Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.