• Hotel Baker to Commemorate 90th Anniversary with a Derby Themed Gala

     
    POSTED June 12, 2018
     

A Derby themed gala to commemorate Hotel Baker’s 90th anniversary was held on June 2, 2018. The invitation-only event was both a celebration an important milestone as well a tribute to the original owner Colonel Edward Baker, who opened the downtown St. Charles hotel on June 2, 1928. 

Joe and Rowena Salas, the current owners of Hotel Baker, have chosen the Derby theme as a tribute to Colonel Baker, who had a passion for horses, especially his beloved horse Greyhound. Event dress was cocktail attire, but guests were also encouraged to wear hats or fascinators to immerse themselves in the theme. 

Guests were treated to music by The Champagne Kings, the Tom Linsk Band and pianist Johnny Burnett, along with Derby-inspired food created by Executive Chef Kieth Willis. 

In partnership with the St. Charles History Museum, a mini pop-up exhibit paying tribute to the hotel’s history, Colonel Baker, and to his beloved Greyhound was also featured. Items included some of Colonel Baker’s personal belongings, as well as other items that have historical significance for the Baker family and the hotel. 

Salas said of the past fifteen years, “It has really been a wonderful journey for our family. Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined how it has changed our lives. We love the hotel. A lot of love and passion go into keeping the hotel and Colonel Baker’s vision alive. It’s been our pride and joy to keep it alive.” 

Four Corners hospitality and TAO Group debuted the fifth iteration of the TAO nightlife concept in Chicago this month. Located in an 1892 building that was originally home to the Chicago Historical Society in River North, the two-level restaurant and nightclub dubbed TAO Chicago occupies 34,000 square feet of space and can accommodate groups of up to 1,800 guests.

 

Visitor spending in Rockford and Winnebago County reached an all-time high of $383.7 million in 2017, an increase of 8.3 percent over 2016. The increase in visitor spending put an additional 196 people to work in new tourism industry jobs, with spending now supporting 3,084 jobs countywide (an increase of 6.9 percent) and $93.8 million in payroll (up 9.6 percent).

 

Energy. Most meeting planners would agree that’s a key ingredient to any successful conference, and the 2018 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition—held at McCormick Place Aug. 18-21—was full of it. From an electric-powered city diorama and a digital caricature artist to a nitro-frozen margarita machine and a St. Louis’ Gateway Arch replica, the exhibit floor was like Disneyland for planners, packed with entertainment, refreshments and Instagram moments, along with networking opportunities aplenty.