Chicago hotel moves from big brand to boutique

US: The former Comfort Inn and Suites on East Ohio Street in Chicago is now the ACME boutique hotel.

Neighborhood Development Corporation, the 130-room hotel’s owner and manager, has acquired the property 10 years ago and has spent $3 million renovating and converting it from a branded product to an individual boutique property.

Company principal Gene Kornota said: “We felt that we could create some value with an independent boutique. We could create a niche through our experience in that category. Based on where we are from a cost standpoint, we could create an accessible product for Gen X and Gen Y. And, they won’t have to pay the rates of other lifestyle brands. We felt we could create some value and add some value to the rates, saving on the franchise fees and redirecting them to other parts of marketing.”

Kornota added: “We started in boutique hotels in Chicago in the early 1990s. They’re really our passion. We now have the Dana Hotel and Spa in Chicago and the Madison Hotel in Memphis. We also have the Best Western Plus Hawthorne Terrace in Chicago. We know that Chicago has its share of boutique brands, so we do fight for shelf space. But, people seek hotels like ours. They go onto the internet and look for them. It’s really important that we get our fair share of space on the internet.”

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