Chicago Welcomes Playful New Event Space, Other Midwest Openings and Renovations

September 24, 2021

Stay up to date on the latest venue openings and property renovations, including these found in the Midwest.


Cambria Hotels made its official debut in the Detroit metropolitan area with the opening of Cambria Hotel Shelby Township-Detroit. The four-story, 98-room property is the brand’s second to open in Michigan, joining Cambria Hotel Traverse City. 

The new Shelby Township hotel features multipurpose indoor and outdoor spaces for productive work or relaxation, including an indoor heated pool. Guests can also enjoy onsite dining at Verona, an Italian-inspired restaurant offering freshly made food, local craft beer, wine, specialty cocktails and to-go options. Other amenities include spa-style bathrooms with Bluetooth mirrors, a fitness center and 1,500 square feet of meeting and event space. 

The property is ideally situated for business and leisure travelers, with the nearby Cherry Creek Corporate Park and event venue Packard Proving Grounds Historic Site. 


Choctaw Casino & Resort
Choctaw Casino & Resort

In Durant, Oklahoma (about an hour north of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex), the recently expanded Choctaw Casino & Resort, a AAA Four Diamond resort, debuted a 21-story luxury Sky Hotel Tower. The new-build features 1,000 rooms, an expansive resort pool and increased gaming and entertainment options, amenities, restaurants and a curated collection of Choctaw art. 

JCJ Architecture helmed the design and worked closely with members of the Choctaw Nation to understand the tribe’s mission and contribute to the community’s economic resilience beyond the casino campus.  

Increased gaming capacity includes 3,300 new slot machines, 40 new table games and a poker room with 30 additional tables. New family-friendly offerings include a bowling alley, arcade and two movie theaters. The new tower also features new restaurants, 11 new bars and lounges and a new retail space.  

Choctaw Casino & Resort offers more than 100,000 square feet of meeting and convention space with seating for more than 3,000. 


Grand Geneva
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa

During COVID-19 closures and restrictions, Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, spent time planning and executing renovations and redesigns to enhance its guest experience. The design project was led by New York City-based architecture and design firm Rotett Studio. 

It recently completed renovations that include a transformation of its indoor lobby space and new outdoor dining. The latter is a new 60-seat outdoor dining facility, The Landing, that features a covered pergola, adjustable-height glass railings, overhead fans and heating, allowing guests to enjoy the space from early spring through late fall. 

[Related: Arts and Culture Venues for Offsite Events in Eastern and Central Wisconsin]

The resort’s Grand Café has also been reconfigured to include a large central banquette in the dining room, and a separate buffet area is inspired by a large open kitchen. The area includes a large stone island that can be used to serve food at breakfast, set for dinner or rented out for private events. 

The lobby was redesigned to resemble a modern lodge, with loft-like spaces and large windows to let in plenty of natural light and landscape views. 

Chicago’s Welcomes a Playful New Event Space 

Tree House
Tree House

Chicago has a new—and playful—event and meeting destination. The Windy City’s River North neighborhood recently welcomed Tree House, a two-story restaurant, bar and nightclub that features nature-inspired art installations, indoor swings and a refreshing departure from the typical event venue. 

Its first-floor dining room and two bars provide a lively spot to gather around the table, while a dancefloor beckons groups to get up and groove. The restaurant can accommodate up to 390 guests. On the second floor, Tree House opens up into an event space perfect for large gatherings. An atrium looms above the main room, which can seamlessly transition from day to night and features neon light installations. The upstairs spaces hold up to 300 people, with an additional 50 in the mezzanine in the back room. 

Tree House can concoct curated cocktails for events, while its restaurant, led by “homegrown” Chicago chef Marco Colin, uses high-quality ingredients to serve up modern Italian-American fare that includes two distinct styles of pizza: crispy Detroit and wood-fired Neapolitan. 

Read Next: Reimagined Resorts In Arizona and Hawai'i, New Hotel Open On Olympic Peninsula

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Sarah Kloepple | Content Developer, Destinations and Features

Sarah Kloepple joined Stamats as a staff writer in August 2018. Previously, she's written and edited for numerous publications in St. Louis.