If you're going to be in the hotel business (or any business, for that matter), you'll always face the same dilemma: "What can we do to bring in more people?"
Some hotels create conference space while others create alluring restaurants that attract locals and provide a new revenue stream, but ACME Hotel Company in Chicago's River North neighborhood had a different idea: Take the basement hot tub and turn it into the city's latest exclusive bar.
Bunny Slope, as it's called, is a fun take on the ski lodge setting — without the hassle of actually skiing.
As you can see from the "before" image, much of the transformation from hotel spa to hot tub bar was superficial. Paneling on the walls was replaced with wider wood panels to recreate a log cabin feel. The floor was retiled with a snowflake motif, and the light fixtures replaced with "snowball" lighting. A stone fireplace was added to make the space feel cozy. Finally, skis hang on the walls to really set the mood.
The small changes, however, have a big impact on the bottom line. Bunny Slope can be rented in two-hour blocks for $150, making it a great venue for bachelor/bachelorette/birthday parties. The rental fee includes towels, robes, cleanup and other amenities. The themed cocktails, of course, are extra.
Judging by the reservation calendar, there's no shortage of people interested in a hot soak apres-ski in downtown Chicago.