CHICAGO (WBBM) – Chicago’s largest luxury hotel and its first in the Loop opened Thursday in an historic building. The new JW Marriott opens after a tough time for the hotel industry.

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The new JW Marriott, a more than 600-room hotel occupies the first 12 floors of the former Continental Bank financial district building at LaSalle and Adams Streets, designed by Daniel Burnham.

Steve Conklin, the hotel’s director of marketing, says it’s opening at a time when hotel bookings and rates are finally starting to pick up after the toughest period for the industry in 50 years.

He says bookings initially were slow as prospective clients waited to see whether it would actually be built.

A guage of the job market: the hotel got more than 10,000 for 400 job openings at the new JW Marriott at 151 West Adams Street.

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