Huntley's new Hampton Inn, first hotel in town, licensed to sell alcohol

  • A rendering of the new Hampton Inn in Huntley. The village board last week approved a new license for the business, allowing it to sell alcohol to its guests.

    A rendering of the new Hampton Inn in Huntley. The village board last week approved a new license for the business, allowing it to sell alcohol to its guests. Provided image

By James T. Norman
Shaw Local News Network
Updated 10/17/2022 12:49 PM

A couple of months after opening, the first hotel in Huntley will be able to sell alcohol to its guests.

The village board made a change to its liquor ordinance last week that will allow hotels in town to sell alcohol, and it approved a new license for the new Hampton Inn, despite some concerns over the amount of alcohol it could sell.


The Hampton Inn is the lone hotel operating in Huntley, and the change will only allow for just one license of this kind within the village.

The hotel does not have a bar, but guests will be able to purchase alcohol for their rooms, such as cans of beer or bottles of wine, general manager George Cochran said at a village board meeting Thursday.

"The alcohol will be placed in our ... gift shop," Cochran said. "Small bottles of wine, some beers and mixed spirits."

Cochran said the hotel would serve alcohol on a portable station for special events, but added these occasions would be "pretty rare." The new license allows for them to pour at such events, and it is limited to certain areas of the hotel.

Trustee Mary Holzkopf said she is concerned about the amount of alcohol the hotel could sell to its guests and wanted to place limits on sales.

"I just feel like if someone's going to buy a full-sized bottle of spirit, nothing great is going to happen in a hotel," Holzkopf said.

City Manager David Johnson said that would be hard to enforce.

Cochran said what they would sell is similar to airplane-sized bottles and not full-sized bottles of rum or vodka, adding "we're not a liquor store."

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Both the change to the liquor ordinance and the license for Hampton Inn were approved unanimously without those restrictions.

Holzkopf also asked what hours alcohol would be sold. Cochran said they would abide by the liquor hours of the village, which bans alcohol sales between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. Monday through Friday, 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. on Saturday, and from 2 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Sunday.

There is also a maximum of what each guest can have, which is typically a two- or three-limit per guest. To that end, staff will be trained and certified for selling alcohol, Cochran said.

"We're fully aware of not (letting) guests purchase liquor if they're fully intoxicated, or showing signs of it," he said. "It's the judgment of myself and my staff."

Trustee JR Westberg said he thought allowing the hotel to sell alcohol was a good idea.

"You come driving in from (hundreds of) miles away and maybe they don't know where the nearest store is, so you're just adding some convenience to it," he said. "I don't think it's going to get out of hand."


The Hampton Inn opened earlier this year after a couple of delays. Originally approved in 2020, the hotel was slated to open in 2021.

The hotel received two extensions on its timeline to open, mainly because of supply chain issues tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last extension in June gave the hotel until October to open. The agreement maintained the hotel's ability to receive nearly $3 million in rebates.

Cochran said at the meeting the hotel is averaging 70% occupancy, calling the demand "insane."

The town's only other business with rooms to let overnight is the Harmony Inn, which lists itself on its website as a bed and breakfast.

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