I was uncertain whether to start a new thread or not for my update. Thanks AaronJB for mentioning that rates fluctuated during the dates I originally wanted to book for Chicago. After a whole lot of bidding and rejections on PRICELINE, our bid of $96 for a 4 1/2 star was accepted at the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower (6/30-7/2). I'm pleased with the result. For the other nights, we decided not to use an opaque site since there was a specific hotel we wanted to try. We linked through this portal to make the PRICELINE reservation. Thanks for the help.