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Heroes and Mavericks

(June 2017) posted on Fri Jun 16, 2017

Boutique Design’s 2017 Up-and-Coming Hoteliers are making their marks with niche hotel concepts that sell to Main Street and Wall Street.


By Mary Scoviak and Oriana Lerner

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The start-up: “We don’t see ourselves as disruptors. We’re not effecting change for the sake of doing so. We’re more entrepreneurs, catalysts,” says Tricoci. Named for his famous father, Chicago’s hair salon and spa magnate Mario Tricoci, this former college soccer star (his prowess earned him a scholarship to Notre Dame University) turned attorney at two of Chicago’s most prestigious firms (first, at Altheimer & Gray and later at Greenberg Taurig LLP) turned hotelier understands exactly what it means to launch and nurture a business.

Mario M. Tricoci | Aparium Hotel Group
Mario M. Tricoci. Photo: Courtesy of Aparium Hotel Group



In fact, he tried the family business for a year. He lived at home, put a suit on every morning, made sure he was the first one in the office every day and the last one to leave. He also had the lowest salary of any corporate manager. “I left because I wasn’t sure I could bring something extraordinary to the company. I didn’t want anyone to think I expected to be handed anything simply because I was Mario Tricoci’s son,” he says. That’s what prompted the decision to go to law school and develop a skill set that he could see benefitting his father’s enterprise.

Along the way, he focused on the real estate deal that would be developed into the Elysian Hotel (now Waldorf Astoria Chicago), which won numerous accolades including two Michelin stars for its restaurant. He closed the door to his law office and hung out a new shingle as the president and managing partner of the Elysian Hotel Group. The young entrepreneur built on that success in 2012 when, along with Kevin Robinson (profiled on page 30), he launched the Aparium Hotel Group.


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