by Michael C. Lowe | May 01, 2013
Local Update
Last November, the 128-room Hilton Garden Inn opened in the heart of downtown in the historic Loyalty Building, which dates back to the 1880s and features a soaring atrium. The hotel offers a restaurant/bar and a fitness center, along with 4,500 square feet of meeting space. For larger events, the Grain Exchange Room in the 137-year-old Mackie Building across the street provides 10,000 square feet of space.

In April, the 90-room Brewhouse Inn & Suites opened in what used to be two Pabst Brewery buildings downtown. The newly converted buildings incorporate many original elements of the brewery, including a large stained-glass window depicting legendary local beer icon King Gambrinus, original copper brewing kettles, winding staircases and a large skylight in the mezzanine area. The property has two small conference rooms that can hold up to eight attendees each.

This summer will mark the grand opening of the 205-room Milwaukee Marriott Downtown on Wisconsin Avenue. The $54 million property, a mix of repurposed 19th-century buildings and new construction, will include the Milwaukee Cafe & Bar, a Starbucks, a store from longtime local jeweler Schwanke-Kasten and an as-yet-unspecified amount of meeting and banquet space.

The $150 million, 382-room Potawatomi Bingo Casino Hotel is set to open by early 2014, adjacent to the casino in Milwaukee's Menomonee Valley. The 20-story property will have a full-service spa, a health club and a casual dining restaurant; details about possible meeting space are still to come.

In 2015, Kimpton Hotels plans to open a 158-room boutique property in the city's historic Third Ward. The hotel will feature a restaurant on the ground floor, plus a rooftop bar, a fitness center and meeting space.

Meeting Hotels
Properties include the 729-room Hilton Milwaukee City Center, 481-room Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, 243-room DoubleTree by Hilton, 205-room Milwaukee Marriott Downtown, 194-room Crowne Plaza Hotel Mil­waukee and 180-room Clarion Hotel Airport.

To find and compare area properties and send RFPs, go to

Convention Center
Delta Center; exhibit space, 189,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 28; (414) 908-6072;

Airport Transit
General Mitchell Inter­national Airport, eight miles from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, $28-$30. The city also is easily accessible by Amtrak, Greyhound and the Lake Express Ferry (from Michigan).

Room tax, 9.5 percent; sales tax, 5 percent; special taxes, 0.6 percent. Total tax on hotel rooms, 15.1 percent

Group Venues
Attendees will get a thrill with the roar of motorcycles at the Harley-Davidson Museum, where indoor and outdoor spaces accommodate groups of up to 15,000. (877) 436-8738;

The lakefront Milwaukee Art Museum, with its iconic architectural "wings," features a spectacular atrium and nearly 25,000 works of art. The facility offers seven different meeting spaces, including the Lubar Auditorium, which seats 265. (414) 224-3200;

The Discovery World Museum, with exhibits on the Greak Lakes, modern technology and more, features the ele­gant 9,000-square-foot Woodland Dreams ballroom for groups. (414) 765-9966;

Visit Milwaukee, (414) 273-3950;