HOTELS: The Biggest

HOTELS The Biggest

A lank, hard-bargaining hotelman named Conrad Nicholson Hilton, 59, longed to own something really big. Inevitably, his gaze fell upon the world's biggest hotel: Chicago's 2,700-room Stevens. Last week, for $7,500,000, Innkeeper Hilton proudly added the Chicago colossus to his string of 13 hotels (including Manhattan's Plaza and Roosevelt, and Los Angeles' swank Town House).

Many another hotelman grinned when he remembered the Stevens' reputation as one of the world's outstanding peacetime white elephants (chief disadvantage: the Stevens is not convenient to the heart of Chicago's Loop). But they had...

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