Boyd Gaming property sets new benchmark for Chicago area

Boyd Gaming in late January opened its $130 million expansion project at Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa - creating an unrivaled regional entertainment destination in Northwest Indiana.

The centerpiece of the project is the Spa Blu Tower, a 22-story, 302-room upscale hotel tower designed by Chicago architect Lucien Lagrange. Other new amenities include spa blu, the first spa and salon to open at a gaming resort in the Chicago area; the Stardust Event Center, a 20,000-square-foot entertainment, meetings and special events space; and two Las Vegas-inspired restaurants and nightlife venues - It's Vegas, Baby! and The Game.

“With this expansion, Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa becomes the premier entertainment destination in the region,” said Keith Smith, president and chief executive officer of Boyd Gaming. "Visitors to Las Vegas and Atlantic City have long enjoyed resorts with a host of amenities under one roof. For the first time, we're bringing that model to the greater Chicago area, and we think it will be attractive to customers throughout the region."

The new tower is one of Northwest Indiana's tallest structures, encased in blue and green glass that evokes nearby Lake Michigan. The 272 rooms and 30 suites offer guests an upscale hotel experience, with floor-to-ceiling windows, luxurious bathrooms and showers, pillowtop mattresses, signature bedding, flat-screen TVs and high-speed Internet access. The expansion gives Blue Chip a total of 486 hotel rooms.

Blue Chip's entertainment options have also expanded with the opening of the Stardust Event Center, which includes a 15,000-square-foot ballroom capable of seating up to 1,200 people for live performances. For maximum flexibility, the center can be split into up to 10 breakout meeting rooms, ranging from 850 to 2,750 square feet.