The casino is still on a “riverboat”: It does not move and is connected to the rest of the property, but it is in fact on the water. But when you’re in the casino, you can’t really tell you’re on a boat. Everything else in the complex — hotel, restaurants, spa, parking — is attached to the casino but on dry land.
When you approach the revamped Blue Chip, you feel as if you’re arriving at a Las Vegas-style destination, not the old riverboat.
“Visitors to Las Vegas or Atlantic City have long enjoyed a host of amenities under one roof. For the first time, we’re bringing that successful model to this region, and we think it will be attractive to customers throughout the upper Midwest,” Boyd Gaming president and chief executive officer Keith Smith said in a prepared statement.
Here’s what you can expect to see at the Blue Chip Casino:
The premium rooms measure 415 square feet and include flat-screen TVs and high-speed Internet connections. The rooms and suites were designed by CLEO Design, of Las Vegas, and are warm, rich and upscale. One of the neat features is the “do not disturb” sign. Gone are the traditional plastic signs a guest hangs from the doorknob. Instead, a button at the bedside turns on a “do not disturb” light outside the door.
There are six types of accommodations in the new tower:
• “Vista” and “Solara” suites are 560 square feet and are very similar to the premium rooms except larger. The Vistas do not have a view of the lake, but the Solara suites have great views of Lake Michigan.
• The “Bella Vista” and “Lake View” suites are 880 square feet and have entryways and living/sitting areas with their own flat-screen TVs, as well as bedrooms also equipped with flat-screen TVs. The bathrooms are large and feature “soaking tubs” that really looks like deep hot tubs. They also have walk-through showers with multiple shower heads and jets. These suites include touches like robes and slippers, oversized towels, motorized drapes and digital door viewers that allow occupants to see on video screens who’s at the door. The difference between the Bella Vista and Lake View suites is the view.
• The “Sky View” suite is 1,170 square feet, has wraparound glass walls and an in-room bar and living area, as well as the bath featured in the Bella Vista and Lake View suites.
• “The Loft” is the hotel’s 1,575-square-foot signature suite. It offers wraparound glass walls and incredible views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding countryside, including, hotel officials say, the Chicago skyline on a clear day. It has the same bath as the other large suites, a bar, dining room and living area. All are nicely separated by glass partitions.
Other accommodations at the Blue Chip include an additional 172 guest rooms and 12 suites at the older Blue Chip tower. The facility now offers 486 rooms.
At the spa, customers can work out in the fitness center’s relaxing atmosphere, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass windows and mirrors.
Those who really want to relax and be pampered, uplifted or calmed down can have Spa Blu workers customize the experience.
Spa features include men’s and women’s steam rooms and whirlpools with water walls. The spa also offers salon services, including haircuts, manicures, pedicures and makeup, all using Spa Blu signature health and beauty products.
The spa provides nine rooms for facial treatments, single-person massage and two-person massage. A private makeover room can be used for wedding parties or other large groups.
STARDUST EVENT CENTER
The 20,000-square-foot Stardust Event Center is a multifunctional, adaptable facility. It is set up to accommodate a variety of uses, such as conventions, trade shows, exhibitions (boat or car shows), stage productions, concerts and weddings.
The 15,000-square-foot main ballroom will offer concerts. The venue can be separated into six breakout rooms ranging in size from 850 to 2,750 square feet.
The center can seat 1,300 in stadium-style seating and 900 in dining-room seating.
The Blue Chip property already had a steakhouse, a buffet, a coffee shop/deli and a bar just outside the casino entrance.
The expansion added two new restaurants — “It’s Vegas Baby!” offering American classic cuisine and specialty drinks, and “The Game,” a Vegas-style sports bar.
• It’s Vegas Baby! seats 152 people and converts from a restaurant to a nightclub at which entertainment runs from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Entrees start at $10. It has a nice-sized bar and dance floor, as well as a semiprivate room.
• The Game seats 116 people and is modeled after a Vegas sports book. One wall is full of TVs showing games as well as scores and schedules. Entrees here also start at $10. It’s open from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.