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GRI To Manage House of Blues Hotel In Chicago

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Gemstone Resorts International, LLC, a leading resort and hotel management company, today announced that it has signed a contract to manage the 367-room House of Blues hotel in downtown Chicago, Ill. The property recently was acquired by LaSalle Hotel Properties (NYSE: LHO – News).

"Gemstone specializes in the management of unique, urban hotels and resorts, and the House of Blues certainly fits within that model," said Thomas Prins, Gemstone principal. "We will focus on creating a one-of-a-kind environment for our guests."

The hotel will undergo a multi-million dollar renovation, which will include upgrades to guest rooms, meeting space, Kazbar Lounge, public areas, the arrival experience and a new spa.

"With the creative use of design, combined with Gemstone's unique approach to guest experience and a closer working relationship with the restaurant and entertainment venues throughout Marina City, we believe the House of Blues will quickly become a leader in the luxury hotel segment," said Mark van Hartesvelt. "This hotel appeals to the upscale business traveler and meeting planner with its state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge, friendly service. Leisure travelers also gravitate to the hotel because of its reputation for offering a unique, one-of-a-kind experience. The property's central location, just off the Miracle Mile on the Chicago River, provides great access to world-class shopping and the heart of the city's business district."

As part of the Marina city mixed-use development, hotel guests are steps away from a number of hugely popular entertainment venues including the House of Blues Club and Foundation Room, Smith and Wollensky's, Bin 36, 10-Pin Bowling, Crunch Fitness Center and Harry Carry's Restaurant.

"We are implementing a plan to create a more upscale and unique experience that integrates the destination's food and beverage and entertainment functions," van Hartesvelt added. "Our guests will enjoy a cutting edge, luxury stay at the House of Blues that will be dramatically different from any other hotel in Chicago."

Located at 329 N. Dearborn along the Chicago River, the AAA Four Diamond, full-service hotel includes 34 suites and 333 guestrooms. The hotel's architecture and interior design is a mix of Gothic, Moroccan and East Indian influences which makes use of rich, vibrant colors, patterns and finishes. Hotel guests enjoy VIP access to the adjacent House of Blues music hall and restaurant. Guest rooms feature two telephone lines, high speed Internet access, dedicated work space, and an ergonomic desk chair, set off by panoramic views of Chicago.

Headquartered in Park City, Utah, Gemstone is a full-service management and asset management company that specializes in luxury and upscale urban hotels and complex resorts that include a variety of components, such as hotels, restaurants and retail and resort amenities. The company is engaged in resort and unique hotel marketing and management and asset management for a variety of well-regarded hotel real estate investors and owners. Gemstone currently manages or asset manages 21 projects, including The House of Blues Hotel, Chicago, Ill.; The Hotel ZaZa, Dallas, Tex.,; The Hotel ZaZa Houston, Tex.; Pala Mesa Resort, Fallbrook, Calif.; Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley; The Mosaic Hotel Beverly Hills, Calif.; The Westward Look Resort, Tucson, Ariz.; The Sedona Rouge Hotel and Spa in Sedona, Ariz.; and The Equinox Resort, Manchester Village, Vt. Additional information about the company may be found at