Le Meridien Chicago Tells Guests Don’t Look Out The Window – Or Else

It’s said that that Chicago got started when a bunch of New Yorkers said “I’m really enjoying the crime and poverty, but it isn’t cold enough” and moved West,

Le Meridien Essex Chicago warned guests not to stand in the windows of their room or open the windows, because they’d be treated as an active shooter by Chicago Police. During Lollapalooze this weekend guests might get taken out for gazing out at all the beauty Chicago has to offer.

The hotel advertises its views (“Take in views of Chicago, Illinois, from your hotel room’s sleek floor-to-ceiling windows”) but also tells guests they’d best not use them.

A decade after the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War and the defeat of the Tamil Tigers, there were still stickers on the windows of the Colombo Hilton warning against standing too close. You risked being identified as a shooter and taken down, at least you did during the height of conflict. You see, standing in a hotel window makes you either a potential terrorist or the average Chicagoan.

(HT: @crucker and the photo was originally posted here)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Tell me the pigs are lazy and incompetent without telling me the pigs are lazy and incompetent.

  2. Yeah…Republicans are making this crime stuff up. Mayor Beetlejuice needs to put her big dick to use.

  3. Can a private company make it a condition of contract (of doing business) that the consumer cannot possess a firearm on its premises? Of course. Can a private company make it a condition of contract that the consumer shall wear a mask on its premises? Of course.

    To enter Disneyland, one must pass through a metal detector and have one’s personal belongings searched. To enter any hotel night club in Las Vegas, the same. To board a cruise ship, the same. It’s the world we live in.

    Speaking of active shooters, while the US Supreme Court has ruled the the Second Amendment is an individual right, can anyone explain why Stephen Paddock (the 2017 Las Vegas shooter) did not qualify for that individual right? So, aside from the hotel having the ability to prohibit him from bringing his guns onto the property, gun control laws within the parameters of the Second Amendment would have denied him the ability to own and/or possess guns. The question has been posed — answers should be based on the law and not hyperbole.

    Before anyone paints me as a liberal Democrat, I have said before that I am far from it. And, I’ve argued this exact point of law (on the pro-gun side) before a three-judge panel.

    (Gary, you’re welcome.)

  4. Gary, this article is ridiculous.
    As a Chicagoan, I regularly hear that a large concern of people going to Lollapalooza is how they are sitting ducks for a mass shooting. We know very well from the tragic Las Vegas Mandalay Bay shooting how dangerous it can be to have tall buildings next to large festivals. In contrast to say Coachella (middle of nowhere), Lollapalooza (middle of downtown Chicago) is an extremely high risk. There is no implication that someone is going to be shot for looking out the window, just that standing in the window frame for an extended period of time is going to cause suspicion and could trigger concerns. The police should be praised for their close surveillance of the hotels and buildings that pose a threat, not compared to foreign armed conflicts. If you were going to write an article about this, it should have been about how sad it is that mass shootings have made such restrictions necessary.

  5. This is a direct consequence of the mass shooting in Las Vegas (as are “welfare checks” when you stay in Vegas and leave your do-not-distrurb sign on the door) and the fact that the shooter in that incident had, only two months before, booked hotel rooms overlooking Lollapalooza. Far less ‘sensational’ (especially about ‘Chicago crime!’) when put in that context.

  6. Yes, everything is Chicagoans’ (coded language for people of color) and Democrats’ faults because they have such clear and strong control over the (non-existent) gun laws of Indiana only a few miles away. But the same people who complain and criticize also don’t want to invest a penny in communities that have gun violence issues, nor holistically change loophole-filled and inconsistent laws allowing them to continue to be used as right-wing ‘talking’ (screaming, per Fox News) points.

    The Chicago + Democratic mayor + gun controls in the city (and not the surrounding areas) = Democratic failure ‘argument’ shows an extreme and worrisome (although wholly unsurprising) lack of critical, comprehensive thinking (whether that is by choice or ability).

  7. I’m sure all the criminals buy their guns legally in Indiana. That’s funny. Indiana has gun laws so law abiding citizens can buy guns, not criminals.

  8. T L — communities don’t have a problem. Bangers do. Is it racist to point out the bangers are black and brown? No, just a fact. Sorry that doesn’t work for your wokey sense of the world.

    As for Indiana laws? The Constitution of the United States says you can GFY.

  9. @Reno Joe Steakhouses, do you mean the ones charging $100 for a $10 piece of meat? No, thanks I have two steers slaughtered every fall, my deep freezer is full.. I wont even start on the cud being served at Alinea.

  10. 60 million visitors come to Chicago every non-pandemic year and have a great time. Chicago is regularly at or near the top of places people want to visit. People that live here love it, people that left here miss it. Chicago is a diverse, vibrant city that draws people from all over the world just as it has for the last 200 years.

    It’s unfortunate that some people fall for the Trumpy talk that TFG started at the beginning of his term by slamming Chicago as a way to create division in this country. That was him being his usual racist self. Don’t buy into it.

    The 10 most unsafe cities in the U.S. according to Forbes?

    1. St. Louis, Missouri
    2. Jackson, Mississippi
    3. Detroit, Michigan
    4. New Orleans, Louisiana
    5. Baltimore, Maryland
    6. Memphis, Tennessee
    7. Cleveland, Ohio
    8. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    9. Kansas City, Missouri
    10. Shreveport, Louisiana

  11. @Flying.While.High.Again,

    Please, PLEASE!, keep away from Chicago. Don’t need you here; don’t want you here. Stay in the backwoods, where you and your fam think you know more than the millions of folks who visit Chicago and appreciate its architecture, restaurants, and museums. Keep listening to Hannity and stay scared and stay away. Thanks for your cooperation!

  12. I lived for decades in Chicago, loved it, I was in the Wrigleyville area on the North Side. Since Lori Lightfoot’s election as mayor, and especially since the pandemic, the place has become a roach motel. For personal safety reasons, I moved north to Evanston. Heartbreaking to see, but I’ve got my lovely memories of the “Before Times” in Chicago. Seeing the decline of Chicago turned me from a left/liberal into a hardcore conservative…

    An article, with some excerpts:


    Skip the glitz: economic development for Chicago starts with core academic skills, intact families and parenting

    By: Matt Rosenberg

    Chicago needs to get back to basics on economic development, not half-baked glitzy development proposals from Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

    True economic development starts with safe streets, better education, and economic opportunities that result organically from putting human capital development first. Think math, reading, writing and following the law, for starters. You can’t even begin to lift all boats without them.

    Yet under Mayor Lightfoot, circus attractions have come first.

    She recently announced there will be a NASCAR race here in 2023 but failed to consult aldermen, in a city bedeviled by out-of-control late-night drag racing and stunt driving.

    The mayor and Governor J.B. Pritzker are also pitching the Democratic National Committee to hold its 2024 party convention here. If so, we can only hope no delegates fall prey to armed robbers on the streets or on public transit.

    Another marquee project Lightfoot has pushed through is a casino on the near North Side, although it could easily become a magnet for the predators who now rule Chicago’s streets.

    Along similar lines, Lightfoot also wants to spend up to $2.2 billion for a Soldier Field improvement plan to keep Chicago’s pro football franchise from straying to Arlington Heights. Admittedly, no mayor could acquiesce to a franchise leaving town. But it’s another prestige play, not the foundational stuff the city really needs.

    All of this sheen, this noise, is a simulation of progress, of forward movement. It’s a hologram of an economic development strategy.

    The tone deafness of is stunning. Lightfoot even said of the convention bid, “We’re ready for our close-up.” Of what, Ms. Mayor? Two different CTA riders having to stab attackers in self-defense, one fatally, within less than a week?

    Read the comments on the blithe mayoral Facebook posts about NASCAR, Soldier Field, and the casino. People are angry about their city’s decay and official inaction. The recurring themes commenters raise are crime; and Lightfoot’s cluelessness, misguided priorities, and incompetence.

    Real mayoral leadership on economic development would mean always, always championing the importance of two-parent homes, parenting, and values underlying adult success in law-abiding society. In this city where young gangbangers in social media videos boast of who they’ll kill next, it would mean always talking about kids and families making the right moves from the get-go. And consistently highlighting how crucial are fathers and fatherhood, and their responsibility to their children.

    People see what’s going on in the city. Former Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson in a recent Sun-Times interview, said, “In every generation, one or two cities, because of broader circumstances, tips over to the wrong side, and goes into a period of decline. Chicago is at risk of that unless it attends to its chronic ills immediately.” Of the city’s political leadership, he said, “…competency to me is a big issue.”

    Ferguson also mentioned the city’s “chronic ills.” And clarified the city’s top three issues are “crime, crime, and crime.” Point taken. There is fear on the streets. There are miniscule arrest rates, escalating carjackings and rising car thefts. Add in violent misdeeds on public transit, unhinged attacks on police, trouble responding to high-priority 911 service calls and fast declining police manpower. They know nobody’s got their back. The city’s dashboard on sworn officers shows their number dropped from 13,353 in January of 2019 to 11,628 by July 1 of this year.

    Lastly, and it bears repeating, he stressed the glaring need for greater competence in Chicago’s governance.

    There’s another city I’m familiar with, Seattle – that has also been wracked with ugly violent crime, rampant public disorder including attacks on police, political speech codes, and an incompetent governing class. And there I noticed the yard sign of one local candidate in 2021. It said simply, “Had Enough?” She won.

    I see a similar catch-phrase, maybe, for candidates who can drive Chicago out of the ditch it’s in.

    Something like this: “Competence. It’s now or never…”


  13. @T L
    It’s is the fault of democrats.
    Chicago is a failure of democrats. Indinana is safe. Their laws work.

    Just take a look at who commits the crime in Chicago.

  14. Gosh @GM it’s hard to believe you went from believing in a woman’s right to choose to forced birth when raped or about to die. I guess you don’t believe in post-natal care now either. And that you no longer believe health care is a human right. So you no longer support minority rights either? Stopped believing in equality for all? No longer on board with clean air and water? Believe in taxing the poor to enrich the wealthy? Ready to end immigration? Guns for everyone without license?

    That must gave one powerful political conversion you went through. Also, btw, Evanston is even more liberal than the City. But surely you knew that already that assuming you didn’t make all that up.

  15. Really that’s what you got from that? I wish far left extremist liberals who only care about themselves and their victimhood would grow some brain cells. Most people are in the middle and believe in the constitution since many like myself have worked directly with people from communist countires. You’re so brainwashed it’s like a cult, the MSN cult. You’d be shocked to know what you call republicans are honestly in the middle and don’t believe in this two party system paid for by corporations and indirectly from other countires. I’ve traveled ro almost every country for my job and you have absolutely no idea how good you have it here.

  16. @everyone the only way this is related to Chicago is that it’s the location of Lollapalooza. All the comments about Chicago political failures (real or perceived) are completely irrelevant. Mass shooting threats are a nationwide issue that is completely separate from a city’s levels of gang violence and robberies.

    Everyone perceives cities in different ways, and we all have different opinions about which we think are run well vs. poorly. Obviously I would hope that people enjoy visiting Chicago, but nobody is forcing you to come. However, any city that has tall buildings next to a large festival is going to implement very strict security protocols given past incidents.

    Compared to many parts of the world, any US city is perfectly safe to visit for tourists. We have far far less petty thefts, scammers, pickpockets, muggings, kidnappings, etc. Everyone knows where the gang violence in Chicago is, and only two tourist attractions are remotely close to them. Just be quiet and be positive for once people.

  17. @Been There

    Abortion has never been a right. The only right involved with this is the right to life. Killing a baby is not healthcare.

  18. @Jay
    Let it out my brotha, don’t keep it bottled up!
    I have zero need to visit Chicago, I love the “sticks” and the pay is so rewarding !!

  19. It’s funny how the racists and idiots come out to show us who they truly are when there’s an article about Chicago on the Internet…folks, Chicago is safer per capita than Anchorage, Springfield (MO), St. Louis, Little Rock, and other Trump loving state cities. If extreme redlining of the past (and discrimination in hiring, educational access, and housing today) didn’t lead to extreme poverty and desperation, imagine what America would be like. But that, of course, would require some of you to actually admit that systemic racism is actually real and that you really just don’t like Black and Brown people; that’s likely what also keeps you from admitting that most mass shooters in America actually support – you guessed it! – the disgusting ideologies Republicans are lapping up at CPAC today. Half of this country’s inability to think critically about its problems is why we are going down the crapper together, but keep banning books!

  20. @Ralph4878 – One half of Americans are below average. And “average” it pretty damn low. Thanks for proving it.

    You’re guilty of lying by statistics. The statistics you quote are true, but misleading. One cannot be everywhere in Chicago at once, but that’s what an average does. Instead, one is in a particular location in Chicago at any given time. It makes a difference which one. There’s a HUGE difference between Oriole Park and a neighborhood in Southside. They’re both “Chicago”, but they might as well as be on opposite sides of the moon. And Chicago is in Illinois, yet Chicago is vastly different from Hallidayboro, in southern Illinois. Does the Illinois crime rate tell you anything about either of those places? Not really.

    Now trend lines are a different story, because they compare apples to apples. What is the homicide rate in Chicago in 1990, 2013, and now? And what is the murder clearance rate in each of those years. Yeah, that tells you something has gone wrong in Chicago, but perhaps only if Chicago is statistically different from the rest of the country. Otherwise, it might just be part of a larger trend.

    As for trying to tie mass shooters to any given ideology, doesn’t really work. Mental illness, which most mass shooters are, is an equal opportunity employer. And as for “extreme poverty and desperation”, explain why the murder rate was way lower before the 1960s, when things were really bad, than they were after? Did getting rid of Jim Crow cause a rise in the crime rate? That’s a pretty horrible theory. Correlation is not causation.

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