Visitors to Loyola will no longer have to travel far from the university to find a place to stay. One year after construction began, Rogers Park’s six-story Hampton Inn opened its doors on Oct. 17.
When Hampton Inn released plans in 2015 to build a hotel in Rogers Park, there was controversy surrounding the impact the hotel would have on the community. The Phoenix previously reported students’ and residents’ concerns about hotel workers being unionized and possible inconveniences posed by the building’s construction.
Loyola owns the land where the hotel is situated, but the university does not manage or operate the hotel. The location of the hotel is convenient for Loyola guests who would previously stay in Evanston, Skokie or downtown, according to Wayne Magdziarz, senior vice president for Loyola’s Capital Planning and Campus Management.
Hampton Inn Chicago North-Loyola Station, located at 1209 W. Albion Ave., has 145 standard rooms and five suites. During the fall, rates for standard rooms, which include either two queen-size beds or one king-size bed, start at about $119 per night. Suites, which include a king-size bed, sleeper sofa and bar sink, start around $200 per night, according to the hotel’s general manager Richard Sasso.
The hotel also has a fitness center, which is open to guests daily from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. On the sixth floor, there is a meeting and event space available for reservations.
In the one month the hotel has been open, there have been thousands of visitors, and different groups are already booking meeting spaces, according to Sasso.
Visitors to Loyola are not the only ones staying at the new Hampton Inn. The hotel has been convenient for many different types of travelers, according to Sasso.
“This past week, we’ve had sports teams stay with us,” said Sasso. “On the weekends, it’s couples and families. During the week, it’s more business-oriented.”
The hotel also has a rooftop terrace that is expected to be converted into a bar. The lobby has a lounge area and bar that will be open to the public and is expected to serve Chicago-based Revolution Brewing beverages. The Hampton Inn cannot serve alcohol yet, but Sasso said the hotel has submitted paperwork for a liquor license and should have the city’s approval by the end of this month.
The hotel sits on Loyola’s land, and so the Hampton works closely with the university as much as possible, such as providing 10 percent discounts for Loyola students, friends, family, faculty and staff, according to Sasso.
“We want to work hand-in-hand with Loyola as much as we can. It’s part of our name, so I think it would benefit … the both of us,” said Sasso. “We want visiting sport teams here, [and] parents of students during visitation week, move-in and move-out time.”
Senior Alli Carruthers, who is from Rye, New York, said she believes that the hotel could have benefited her and her parents during move-in and move-out times. Her parents drive from New York each year for these occasions and usually stay with family friends in Wilmette.
“Being right across the street definitely would have helped a little bit and been easier than being half an hour up north,” said the communication studies major.
The hotel is also an option for family and friends of students during graduation. Carruthers said she thinks the hotel will be convenient for her parents when she graduates.
“[Graduation] will be more days they’ll have to stay here than just moving me out … so they might not want to burden our friends with four or five days, so the hotel might be easier for that,” said the 21-year-old.
The first floor of the building also has room for two or three new businesses. Loyola is currently negotiating with restaurants and retailers about plans to open their businesses in the empty spaces, according to Magdziarz.
The Hampton Inn does not have any ties to the potential restaurants and retailers, Sasso said, but he said he looks forward to having other businesses in the building.
“We [will] get their brochures when restaurants come in and refer our guests to enjoy a meal at one of those places, whoever decides to come in.”