I'm glad I went downtown today instead of last Tuesday, during a period of deep cold, or the Tuesday before last, when the Blizzard of '11 was preparing to slap metro Chicago around. It wasn't exactly warm today, but not so cold that I couldn't walk without much discomfort from Union Station to the Trump International Hotel & Tower to attend an event there. I hadn't been inside the property since it was so new that the hotel was getting ready for its soft opening and the top of the tower wasn't yet completed -- about three years ago.
Trump Chicago still looks like this from the street. I considered taking some pictures inside, but I didn't really have time for it. Besides, the meeting space and corridors I saw, while poshly elegant in precisely the way you'd expect -- except maybe the deco touches in the lamps -- didn't offer up the kinds of things I like to take pictures of. Such as anything under the category of Odd Hotels at Hotel Chatter.
I will say this about the place: Every hotel employee I encountered, maybe a half dozen or so, was extremely solicitous, even if it was just in the tone of voice as they greeted me. That can't be an accident. It has to be Trump Organization training, which must put an emphasis on paying attention to anyone and everyone who comes through the door. You can't tell just by dress any more who has the big bucks, and of course Trump wants its guests to part with some of those bucks in return for the experience of the property.
I noticed for the first time a large steel plaque on N. Wabash Ave., fixed like a sign in the sidewalk near the entrance of the hotel. It said: "Trump International Hotel & Tower • Recognized by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat as the • TALLEST BUILDING IN THE WORLD WITH AN ALL-CONCRETE STRUCTURE • Second Tallest Building in North America • Sixth Tallest Building in the World... 21 October 2009."
There's the Trump braggadocio the world knows and doesn't love. I was glad to see it.