The Village of Schaumburg added another feather in its cap last fall when it was featured on the short list of 10 metropolitan sites included in a bid to woo Amazon to build its second North American headquarters in the Chicagoland area. With 238 cities up for contention, just making the fi nal cut was cause for celebration.
But even before Schaumburg appeared on Jeff Bezos’ radar, this suburban destination—located 15 miles from O’Hare and 30 miles from downtown Chicago—has been on planners’ radars as a booming economic center with myriad choices for meetings and events.
Woodfield Mall is one focal point. Regarded as the nation’s largest indoor shopping center when it opened in 1971, it remains an incredibly popular destination for visitors, with nearly 300 retail shopping and dining options. This summer, Woodfield Mall will open a new 820-seat modern dining pavilion with large windows and 12 additional fastcasual dining options to complement the 30 existing full- and quick-service restaurants.
“As one of the largest shopping destinations in the country, Woodfield Mall’s proximity to O’Hare International Airport makes it an easy stop for corporate visitors who are in the Chicagoland area,” says Heather Lloyd, director of marketing and business development for Woodfield Mall. Here are some other attractions that make Schaumburg an appealing destination.
The Chicago Marriott Schaumburg offers more than 25,000 square feet of flexible meeting space for up to 1,000 guests as well as amenities such as an indoor and outdoor pool. Planners can also use the pool deck for a reception or host an outdoor event in the hotel’s Garden Marquis Outdoor Pavilion, accented by windows and vaulted ceilings.
“Unique spaces are our specialty, with outside areas for lunches or breaks during a long day of meetings,” says Jill A. Hare, area director of sales and marketing for the hotel, which has 16 meeting and event rooms. “The Marriott Meeting Services app offers meeting planners a quick and seamless way to manage their meeting while on property,” she notes.
Also check out: DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago-Schaumburg, Hyatt Regency Schaumburg, Chicago
Steakhouses are a specialty in Chicago—and in the suburbs. Schaumburg features two key spots for a hearty meal. At Chicago Prime Italian, the menu focuses on classic Mediterranean fare (made with fresh, organic ingredients) and house-made pastas and sauces. The restaurant can host up to 75 guests for private dining or up to 50 in a semiprivate area. There’s also the locally owned Chicago Prime Steakhouse, which offers traditional steak, veal, chops and seafood. The venue has a seasonal outdoor patio and fireside seating for post-dinner cocktails. Here, up to 130 guests can be accommodated for private dining in two stately rooms.
“Chicago Prime Italian and Chicago Prime Steakhouse are family-owned restaurants in a sea of corporate chains,” says Andy-John G. Kalkounos, co-owner and managing partner. “We specialize in the highest quality food, exceptional personalized service and treating every guest who walks through our doors like family.”
Also check out: Weber Grill, Moretti’s
The Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel completed a full renovation of all 500 guest rooms in the first quarter of 2017, including a $7 million refurbishment of furniture and décor. Coupled with the new ballroom carpeting, “the hotel looks brand new,” says Dan Egan, director of sales and marketing for the property.
The Renaissance has 50,000 square feet of meeting space and 100,000 square feet of convention space, but it’s not your average suburban hotel. “We are seen as ‘business unusual’ in the eyes of the planner,” says Egan. “The hotel has an urban feel, but not urban prices, and it wouldn’t be unusual to have live music in the morning as you walk to your meeting.”
Also check out: DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago-Schaumburg, Hyatt House Chicago/Schaumburg
Level 257, inspired by the retro Pac-Man video game (Level 256 is the game-ending ‘kill screen,’ and Level 257 is what comes next), celebrates its three-year anniversary this spring. With 42,000 square feet of entertainment and dining space, its creative, lively atmosphere and location within Woodfield Mall make it a unique gathering place for corporate groups.
“Level 257 is the go-to spot for corporate outings because you can meet, eat and play under one roof,” says Michelle Fratto, meeting planner and events sales manager for the venue.
“Groups love bringing out a side of people they don’t see in the office, where personalities are at their peak,” Fratto notes. “Everyone is bound to enjoy themselves in this modernyet-nostalgic venue that tempts even the most selective foodies.”
Also check out: Punch Bowl Social Schaumburg, The Prairie Center for the Arts
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