Indian Lakes Hotel to close, go up for sale after fatal shooting

  • The owners of the Indian Lakes Hotel have surrendered the business license needed to operate the former Bloomingdale golf resort.

    The owners of the Indian Lakes Hotel have surrendered the business license needed to operate the former Bloomingdale golf resort. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer, February 2020

  • Indian Lakes closed down a 27-hole golf course in 2016. Now the hotel owners have agreed to cease operations on the property.

    Indian Lakes closed down a 27-hole golf course in 2016. Now the hotel owners have agreed to cease operations on the property. Daily Herald file photo

  • Bloomingdale purchased the former Indian Lakes golf course last year to protect it from development.

    Bloomingdale purchased the former Indian Lakes golf course last year to protect it from development. Daily Herald file photo

 
 
Updated 3/15/2021 8:11 PM

Indian Lakes Hotel will close its doors more than a month after a fatal shooting hastened the demise of what was once one of the largest tourist magnets in DuPage County.

The owners have relinquished the business license they needed to operate the hotel, effectively shutting down the former golf resort, Bloomingdale officials said Monday. The announcement came the day before a village hearing to consider revoking the license.

 

The Indian Lakes ownership group also has put the 20-acre site containing the hotel and supporting structures up for sale with a listing price of $6.5 million, according to village officials.

Bloomingdale had started the process to force the hotel out of business in response to the fallout over the Feb. 6 shooting and growing complaints about police activity and maintenance.

"It is never the intent of the village to revoke a business license, but the concerns and lack of response by the owner which eventually led to the tragic February incident left the village with no alternative," Village President Franco Coladipietro said in a statement. "The village is eager to start a new chapter at Indian Lakes and re-imagine the property for a better future that will make the community proud."

Police have not announced any arrests in the Feb. 6 shooting of James McGill Jr., a 27-year-old from Chicago's Englewood neighborhood. A 22-year-old man also was critically injured. Four other people were wounded.

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Before the shooting broke out, more than 100 people were partying on the upper floors of the hotel when a dispute devolved into violence.

"We made the effort to try to point out issues that we saw that were developing at the property," Coladipietro said last month. "And this is something that wasn't lost on the residents, and with this incident that happened, I think this was the last straw."

The history of the resort goes back to the early 1970s when the department store chain Carson Pirie Scott purchased the 260-acre Indian Lakes Country Club and commissioned a student of Frank Lloyd Wright to design the hotel.

The result was a Wright-inspired getaway that grew into a golfing, fine dining and entertainment destination that hosted celebrity fundraisers headlined by the likes of Meryl Streep and The Go-Go's. A shuttered restaurant on the resort grounds served wines priced at up to $5,000 a bottle.

"It's in the same grouping as Pheasant Run was," Coladipietro said, referring to the St. Charles resort that closed last year.

The future of Indian Lakes is unclear, but the land is zoned for hotel use. Whoever buys the property could reopen it as a hotel or seek to rezone the land for another use.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Village Administrator Peter Scalera hopes that another hotel owner or group buys the property and revitalizes it.

"Nobody wants to see a business fail," Scalera said. "We wanted to see changes made to the hotel to make it an asset. Unfortunately, the village needed to take action. Hopefully, someone will come along to bring the property back to life."

Indian Lakes closed a 27-hole golf course in late 2016 and, not long after, lost its Hilton branding on the property. At the time, Indian Lakes representatives said the golf course was losing nearly $1 million a year.

The village last year purchased the former golf course to protect it from development.

In recent years, village officials have said the hotel attracts too much police attention and requested that the owner, Rosemont-based First Hospitality Group, provide additional security.

In 2018, the 310-room hotel agreed to have security there three days a week, including weekends. Bloomingdale Public Safety Director Frank Giammarese said the village reiterated the concerns last August.

"Unfortunately, the night of the shooting, it did not appear that there was any security on staff, and they did not have appropriate staffing for the amount of people within the hotel," Giammarese said in the wake of the shooting.

Coladipietro said Monday there will be maintenance personnel at the building and 24-hour security.

Schaumburg attorney Harold Francke represents Indian Lakes, according to village documents. Francke has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

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