Suburban hotel cited for hosting 150-person wedding reception

Suburban hotel cited for hosting 150-person wedding reception
Photo credit Bogdan Kurylo/ Getty Images

NORTHBROOK, Ill. (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A north suburban hotel has been cited for hosting a large wedding reception Wednesday night with about 150 guests.

The Cook County Department of Public Health announced the citations Friday, a day after health officials announced they’d be investigating the Hilton Chicago/Northbrook, which issued a public apology for hosting the reception. The citations include an order to disperse for non-compliance with the county mitigation order and a notice of non-compliance with state COVID-19 regulations.

“The hotel, restaurant, bride, groom, caterer and guests were all reckless and irresponsible. This event was in violation of the current COVID-19 Mitigation order and should not have taken place,” said Rachel Rubin, a senior medical officer at the Cook County Department of Public Health. “I sincerely hope no one becomes sick or dies as a result of this event. All who were in attendance should quarantine for a minimum of 10 days and get tested to keep from spreading COVID to the greater community.”

Health officials said the notices serve as a warning while their attorneys review evidence and determine next steps. If the hotel and on-site restaurant, Allgauer’s on the Riverfront, are found guilty in court, they could face arrest or a fine of $1,000 per offense, health officials said.

“While the event was booked prior to the implementation of the state’s latest mitigation measures, we sincerely regret allowing this gathering to proceed and our family apologizes to our guests, employees, and the Chicagoland community,” general manager Holly Allgauer-Cir said in a statement issued Thursday afternoon. “The coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for the hospitality industry and our family-owned business. However, our hope to keep the hotel afloat and employees working should not outweigh health and safety.”

The wedding reception drew the ire of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who called it “very irresponsible.” The Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association said the event was “unacceptable and does not reflect the careful efforts the hotel industry as a whole has taken since the onset of the pandemic to protect guests, employees and our communities.”

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire & Chicago Sun-Times 2020. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)