The Palmer House Hilton hotel has become the most prominent Chicago victim of the collapse of the lodging industry due to the pandemic. The Palmer House has been a tourist destination, especially during the Holiday season.
Palmer House, an affiliate of Thor Equities, was accused in a Cook County Circuit Court lawsuit of defaulting on a $333.2 million mortgage. Wells Fargo Bank, the trustee for the holders of securities that include the Palmer House loan, filed the suit Aug. 20 and asked the court to appoint a receiver for hotel operations.
The Palmer House has been closed since early in the pandemic and, according to a Hilton Hotels spokeswoman, has not set a reopening date. Hilton operates the Palmer House under a management contract.
The second-largest Chicago hotel, the Palmer House at 17 E. Monroe St. depends on conventions and business travel that have largely dried up during the struggle to contain COVID-19. While the ownership could change, the business itself and Hilton’s long-term connection to the hotel — it owned it for decades — are likely to continue.