Chicago-area hotel that hosted wedding with 150 guests could face fines, officials say


A hotel in the Chicago area has been issued two notices for hosting a large indoor event earlier this week that violated Illinois coronavirus restrictions. 

On Wednesday, the Hilton Chicago/Northbrook Hotel hosted a wedding with about 150 guests. According to the Chicago Tribune, the event was “mostly maskless.”

By Friday, the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) had issued two formal notices to the hotel, as well as the onsite restaurant, Allguaer’s on the Riverfront, the department said in an announcement.

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“The hotel, restaurant, bride, groom, caterer and guests were all reckless and irresponsible,” Dr. Rachel Rubin, the CCDPH senior health medical officer and co-lead said in a statement. “This event was in violation of the current COVID-19 Mitigation order and should not have taken place.”

“I sincerely hope no one becomes sick or dies as a result of this event,” Rubin added. “All who were in attendance should quarantine for a minimum of 10 days and get tested to keep from spreading COVID to the greater community.” 

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The hotel and restaurant were both issued a facility order to disperse for non-compliance with the CCDPH coronavirus mitigation order. They were also issued a facility notice of non-compliance for defying the Illinois Department of Public Health coronavirus regulations.

According to the announcement, CCDPH’s attorneys are reviewing the evidence against the hotel and restaurant and could decide to cite the establishments, which means they will have to appear in court. 

If they are found guilty, they could face “arrest, a fine of $1,000 per offense and further actions,” the announcement said.

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In a statement, Hilton Chicago/Northbrook’s General Manager Holly Allgauer-Cir said the event had been booked before Illinois issued its most recent coronavirus mitigation measures.

A hotel in the Chicago area could be cited for hosting a wedding on Wednesday night with about 150 guests, which violates Illinois coronavirus restrictions. (iStock)

A hotel in the Chicago area could be cited for hosting a wedding on Wednesday night with about 150 guests, which violates Illinois coronavirus restrictions. (iStock)

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“We sincerely regret allowing this gathering to proceed and our family apologizes to our guests, employees, and the Chicagoland community,” Allgauer-Cir said. “The coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for the hospitality industry and our family-owned business. However, our hope to keep the hotel afloat and employees working should not outweigh health and safety.”

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Allgauer-Cir added that the hotel will work with health officials and to make sure it follows proper guidelines and safety measures.

“We immediately reviewed our bookings to ensure any business that is inconsistent with the state’s guidelines are not held at this property, and we are committed to following contact tracing and testing protocols recommended by health officials,” she said. “It will take time, but we hope to rebuild the trust of our guests, staff and community have placed in us for so many years.”

In the Friday announcement, the CCDPH said it would continue to monitor the Hilton Chicago/Northbrook and Allgauer’s on the Riverfront.

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