While Schaumburg's Renaissance Hotel provided presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his campaign a place in the Northwest suburbs on primary night, the candidate gave the facility a place in the national spotlight.
Though the Renaissance is owned by the village of Schaumburg, village officials were not directly involved in the Romney visit, as is usually the case when such major events are held, Village Manager Ken Fritz said.
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However, Fritz said he can't deny that such high-profile visits have helped the Renaissance and village by highlighting their abilities to host a major guest.
"It's good for Schaumburg," he said. "It shows we can put on high-profile events."
Lisa Timbo, general manager of the Schaumburg Renaissance, agreed.
"The local, high-profile guests who were invited to this event gave our village, hotel and brand invaluable exposure to potential new business for the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel and hopefully the brand as well," she said. "Our team heard guests of this event say over and over how beautiful the hotel was and how impressed they were when they arrived."
So many prominent events and people have already been at the Renaissance that it's really just normal business for the staff there, Fritz said.
"These people are guests like everyone else," he said. "It's become a pretty normal process."
Hotel staffers said this was a typically well-coordinated event among Secret Service, local authorities and the Renaissance. Those invited to participate experienced smooth proceedings, while guests who were not part of the campaign saw no interruptions or setbacks to their service, staffers said.
Among the famous who have already been at the Renaissance are former presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton; former Vice President Al Gore; former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; Gen. Colin Powell; conservative commentator Glenn Beck; and current presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.
Romney stayed in one of the hotel's suites but didn't take advantage of recreational facilities like the swimming pool or exercise room. The hotel's executive chef provided a meat and cheese platter along with soft drinks and water for the overnight stay, Timbo said.
While it's unclear which meal was Romney's, his assistant ordered lunch to go Wednesday that included a beet salad, salmon BLT, turkey press and tuna salad sandwich, she said.
The hotel received notification of the stay a week in advance, which is typical for political events, Timbo said.
Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson said he didn't learn of Romney's stay until it was already in progress.
"I had no idea that Mitt Romney was going to be staying there, but when they said 'Schaumburg,' I knew right away," Larson said. "Let's face it, that's a world-class hotel."
Apart from the aesthetics of the Renaissance, what makes it attractive to event organizers is the size of the ballroom, its ability to transform itself depending on the event, and the training of its staff, Fritz said.
Larson said the Schaumburg facility is ranked first among Renaissance hotels for its return business and many exhibitors in the convention center have begun signing up for multiyear contracts.