Guests at the University Plaza Hotel are often thrilled to find out they can check out a goldfish to keep them company in their rooms. But staffers like Amanda Bauman said they get attached to the fish, too.
"I like Chip the best because he's from Chicago," Bauman said.
Each fish the hotel checks out comes with a back story and biography written on the back of their fishbowl. According to Chip's bio, he's a White Sox Fan.
"We like to joke around that they do have different personalities," Bauman explained.
Chip's colleagues are Blondie and Flounder, two orange goldfish with their own stories.
"We like to joke that they're dating," Bauman said.
Bauman described the guests' reactions to the fish in the lobby.
"They think it's hilarious," she said. "When they find out that they can actually take a fish up to their room they jump on it."
The hotel staff looks after the goldfish and even carts them to the room for you and feeds them at night. That way they can reduce casualties. And so far, no fish have died.
"Sometimes the waters a little cloudier than when we sent them," Bauman admitted, "but the fish are fine."
Robert Henley, the general manager of the hotel, said the fish make staying in a hotel more fun-for kids or the occasional loner guest.
"It brings back fun. When you think of going back to when you were a kid, hotels were fun. When I got started in the business, hotels were fun. We just want to make sure at University Plaza we continue making it fun."
But the staff is certainly attached to Chip and the gang, too.
"We definitely have fun with the fish back here," Bauman said.