Ricketts Family - About your new Hotel Zachary across from Wrigley Field ...we need to talk

Just read that the name of the hotel being constructed smack dab across from Wrigley Field will be called Hotel Zachary AND apparently WON’T have a “sports theme” of any kind!?!

WRIGLEY HOTEL TO DOWNPLAY BASEBALL...No stuffed chairs in the lobby meant to look like baseballs or historic photos of Wrigley Field lining the walls…”

Just a Four Star hotel with fine dining choices. Seriously?

A Completed Wrigley Plaza

A Completed Wrigley Plaza

Now, in the past I have offered my advice and recommendations to the Cubs franchise on various subjects.

(For example see: "Enhancing the Wrigley Field Experience Beyond the Seventh Inning Stretch: My Free Advice to the Cubs")

However, my suggestions have gone unheeded. : still no wine vendors in the Wrigley Field stands.

Nevertheless, I will continue to give my unsolicited advice, hoping that it does not fall on deaf ears.

I'm going to elaborate, but to begin with I will summarize their ideas for the new "void of Cubs" hotel in three words:

BORING BORING BORING (just my humble opinion)

Dearest Ricketts, you DO know that you have a cash cow NICHE here…WRIGLEYVILLE = CUBS = BASEBALL.

So let’s think this through. Certainly the Boring Hotel Zachary will be sold out during baseball season. The Cubs are hot, hot, hot and 2016 could be THE YEAR. Please God.

Nevertheless, win or lose – they draw a huge crowd and visiting Cubs fans would definitely book a room just to have a no-hassle two minute walk across the street to see the game.
But what about the off-season?

The article implied that this hotel would appeal to the non-Cubs fans from out of town that were looking for an upscale hotel experience in Wrigleyville.

HUH? Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to stay in one of the many, many, many 4 Star hotels in the heart of the city – with fine dining everywhere.

Michigan Avenue, the Gold Coast, The Loop, etc. all much CLOSER to all of the amazing attractions that this city has to offer and that they are presumably coming here to see?

Millenium Park, Navy Pier, the museums, the zoo, the Art Institute, the RiverWalk, the Hancock, Sears Tower and more.

And, what’s going on in Wrigleyville in the off (baseball) season? Nothing.

Why stay twenty minutes or more away when you can be in the midst of all the action?

So thinking, thinking – what would make your new hotel a premier destination year round beyond a doubt?


Make it a CUBS HOTEL and attract Cubs/Baseball fans worldwide – tourists, suburbanites, conventioneers and the like. And the locals/neighbors will proudly show it off to their friends. Trust me.

Total sports theme – yes, Cubs/Baseball everything. Bingo.

Yes, I know - this is exactly what you have decided that you DON'T WANT TO DO.

But hear me out…

Would the gurus at Disney launch a cruise ship and NOT have Mickey and Minnie on board??? NOOOOOOOOOOO.

The CUBS are your MICKEY and MINNIE.

If they converted Graceland to a hotel, would they strip it of everything ELVIS? NOOOOOOOOOOO.

The Cubs are your ELVIS.

I rest my case.

Now, if and when you decide to scrap the Blah Hotel Zachary concept, I am sure that your highly paid marketers could emerge from their think tank with a zillion ideas, but I will take the opportunity to throw out a few:

1) I read that it took six months (jeeezzz) to decide on the name Hotel Zachary.

But with all due respect to the noteworthy architect of Wrigley Field, Zachary Taylor Davis, the name clearly does not work with my proposed new focus: (Wrigley/Cubs/Baseball)

Therefore, I am renaming it (drum roll please):


(FYI: decided that in five minutes).

This name denotes a quality, upscale hotel, but simply emphasizes the THEME which is (once again) WRIGLEY-CUBS-BASEBALL.

2) Upon entering the impressive Lobby, guests will be gazing at the towering brick wall covered with Wrigley Field ivy.

3) An onsite interactive Cubs Museum with a Time-Line... You’ve got a bleeping 100+ years of material (free admittance to all guests)

4) Stream video of Cubs highlights throughout the years on TVs in the Lobby and on every floor near the elevators
5) Have real players (past and present) drop in for scheduled "Meet and Greets" with VIP guests.

6) Total Cubs Sports Bar – and yes, have barstools that look like catcher’s mitts (it’s all about creating photo ops) with peanuts served

7) Mega Cubs stuff store with discount for guests

8) Cubs trivia nights with prizes

9) Package deals: book a room and get a free tour of Wrigley Field...get married on the pitcher's mound...endless possibilities

10) Have batting cages (love it)

11) Have a “Story Wall” where fans can write their stories and anecdotes about being a Cubs Fan for all to read

12) Restaurants: Have your high-end restaurants (I like it), just have them “Cub it up” a little. And then (are you listening to me) get the Billy Goat Tavern in there. The legend of The Billy Goat is a no-brainer.

13) Offer The Ron Santo Suite, The Ernie Banks Suite, The Harry Caray Suite, and more.

(Leave Bartman out of it, though – he has had enough.)

14) Clark the Cub at breakfast giving autographs

I’m telling you – BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME – the promotions are endless.

Now, I can’t guarantee it, but go with my plan and maybe, just maybe Jimmy Greenfield, the author of

“100 Things a Cubs Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die” will do a revised edition and add:


Your welcome, Ricketts family. And, no charge for my marketing genius, however Cubs season tickets and an invite to the new hotel’s Grand Opening would be lovely.

Cubs fans – what do you think? Scroll down to the Comments and let me know, or email me at peggysaturday@msn.com Thanks!

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