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Sam Zell to Buy Elysian Hotel

By Chuck Sudo in News on Nov 14, 2011 7:48PM


Sam Zell made much of his fortune in real estate, but he's never dipped a toe into the lucrative luxury hotel market until today. Crain's Chicago Business reports Zell is buying the Elysian Hotel for $98 million. At 188 rooms, that breaks down to $502,000 per room.

The purchase is the highest amount ever paid for a hotel in Chicago. The Elysian has been losing in its two year existence but was recently named the top-ranked hotel in America by Conde Nast Traveler. Reports have Zell turning the Elysian into a Waldorf Astoria, which would bring the Elysian under the Hilton corporate umbrella.

The purchase is out of character for Zell, but maybe he isn't letting that other big purchase he made a few years back stop him from taking a chance here. Elysian owner David Pisor had hoped to find a buyer and turn the Elysian into a brand.