Throughout Wisconsin, millions of dollars of investments are being put into new hotels, renovations, expansions and upgrades.
New hotels now provide more flexibility on room choice, price point and even Las Vegas- influenced architecture and lakeside views. Expanded and updated meeting space can accommodate a variety of functions and events, giving meeting planners an array of options to choose from.
Opening in fall 2014, the new $150 million, 381-room Potawatomi Hotel & Casino will offer floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Milwaukee and Lake Michigan and a lavish presidential suite with 3,000 square feet of opulence. Now one of the largest hotels in the Milwaukee area, the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino provides more than 60,000-square-feet of meetings space including an Expo Center and ballroom space. The legendary Pfister Hotel recently completed extensive renovations to its 176 tower rooms. Planners can find more options at unique downtown properties like the Brewhouse Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn and Milwaukee Marriot Downtown.
The Osthoff Resort, a AAA, Four-Diamond property on the shores of Elkhart Lake in eastern Wisconsin, is planning a significant expansion of its conference facilities. The addition to the north wing of the resort will add 10,000-square-feet of meeting and event space, plus an additional 10,000-square-feet of pre-function and back-of-house prep space. The resort will be able to accommodate over 800 for dinner and 1,400 in theater-style seating, with flexibility to divide the space into two or three smaller configurations.
Many renovations and expansions are taking place in Wisconsin’s capital city. The Edgewater Hotel located on Lake Mendota is set to open in August 2014 after completing a $100 million renovation. Among the updates are 202 luxurious rooms, a ballroom overlooking the lake, 8,000-square-feet of meeting space, a new spa and two new restaurants. One of the restaurants will have water access for boaters who want to stop by for a drink or fish fry.
The Monona Terrace Convention Center renovation includes a new interactive Frank Lloyd Wright museum. The Best Western Inntowner and Highland Club is undergoing a $7 million renovation to guest rooms and public spaces, the New Holland Pavilions is expanding 290,000- square-feet and the new Wisconsin Brewing Company opened this year. Additionally, renovations are occurring at Madison Concourse Hotel, Hampton Inn East, Radisson Hotel and Suites and the Sheraton Madison guest room renovation is scheduled to begin October 2014.
Hotel Marshfield recently completed a $10 million renovation and now offers 6,000-square-feet of flexible meeting space and a unique courtyard. The event area also features a gas fire pit and water fountains over the pool, similar to the Bellagio fountain show in Las Vegas. The hotel is also Travel Green Wisconsin certified and pet friendly.
Experience Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel’s 2014 multi-million dollar renovation where the goal is to provide guests with a comfortable, productive and enjoyable stay. The new desk tables and chairs, carpeting, window treatments, sofas and fresh earth tone colors will enhance your stay at the Sheraton.
Holiday Inn Manitowoc recently completed a multi-million dollar property-wide renovation of all public areas, guest rooms and meeting facilities. With 204 guest rooms and 20,000 square feet of function space, the Holiday Inn is expected to be in the forefront of convention properties from all around the state. As the area’s only local full-service property, it provides not only meeting and banquet facilities, but also a restaurant, lounge and overnight accommodations. As part of the renovations, meeting and banquet rooms were redesigned to allow more flexible use of group facilities.
Growth in La Crosse is right around the corner with two projects in the pipeline. Construction has started on the 71-room Charmant Hotel. This property will be developed in downtown La Crosse, next to Riverside Park. This luxury boutique hotel is expected to open in the second quarter of 2015.
In July 2014, construction started on a 126-room Hampton Inn & Suites. This property will be conveniently located at the north entrance to downtown and will be the second Hampton property in the market.
Two hotels are undergoing renovations and are expected to open in early 2015. The Lismore, a spacious hotel in downtown Eau Claire, is being completely redesigned offering two ballrooms to accommodate up to 350 people with state-of-the-art audio visual soundproof air walls. The renovation of 107 sleeping rooms will be available for suite or long term stay and are accompanied by a coffee shop restaurant focused on locally sourced products.
Another Eau Claire property, which was previously The Green Tree located in the downtown area, will feature 32 newly remodeled and designed rooms. After completion, the design will focus on Eau Claire’s vibrant music and arts scenes. From the paint on the walls, to the chairs in the lobby, this newly renovated property will reflect the region’s natural beauty. The location of these venues in downtown Eau Claire allows them to uniquely complement each other; the smaller of the two can provide convenient overflow accommodations for large groups or even separate distinct parties during conventions.
Ho-Chunk Nation Gaming Nekoosa already offers gaming, but plans for a multi-million dollar expansion are in the works. A 74-room hotel, sports bar, and 9,000 square foot banquet center will be available to accommodate entertainment, banquets, trade shows and more.
Meeting planners should visit www.meetinwisconsin.com to search for award-winning hotels, meeting facilities, submit a request for proposal or to obtain more information about Wisconsin destinations. Travelers looking for year-round Wisconsin getaway ideas, travel planning, events and free guides can discover their own fun at TravelWisconsin.com on their desktop, tablet or mobile device.