by Michael C. Lowe | January 01, 2015
Why here?
Several Wisconsin destinations have news that will be of interest to meeting planners, including the opening of the $150 million Potawatami Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee and a $100 million revitalization of the 202-room Edgewater Hotel (above) in Madison.

Lake Geneva
The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa has finished a renovation of its 240 West restaurant. Reclaimed wood beams, a stone fireplace and panoramic views of Lake Geneva set the scene for seasonal American fare.

Originally opened in 1856, the Maxwell Mansion is fresh from a recent renovation. The historic venue, which features an 1880s apothecary bar and a basement speakeasy, is available for events of up to 150 guests.

Good Taste
Ristorante Brissago at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa serves Italian fare made from fresh ingredients flown in from Italy weekly. The space has views of the Wisconsin countryside; private dining areas are available.

Here's the Beef
The Milwaukee Chophouse at the busy Hilton Milwaukee City Center is a traditional steak house, specializing in fine cuts of meat and fresh seafood, along with with an extensive wine list. A private dining space hosts parties of up to 30 people. (414) 298-3147
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Local Update
The Pfister Hotel recently completed guest-room renovations and added two new club floors where guests receive a personalized welcome note, milk and cookies, slippers and more. Club guests also have access to the new 23rd-floor club lounge. The 307-room property has more than 25,000 square feet of meeting space for groups, a spa and several dining options.

This past fall, the Potawatami Hotel & Casino opened with 381 guest rooms and added more than 13,000 square feet of function space to the casino's existing 48,000-square-foot Event Center, which now can accommodate up to 2,750 people for a reception. The property includes a new restaurant, Locavore, which uses local, organic ingredients and serves handcrafted cocktails and small-batch craft beers. The casino features some 3,000 slot machines, 100 table games and more.

Meeting Hotels: Properties include the 729-room Hilton Milwaukee City Center,  481-room Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, 307-room The Pfister Hotel, 243-room DoubleTree  by Hilton Hotel Milwaukee Downtown and 221-room Intercontinental Milwaukee.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, go to

Convention Center: Wisconsin Center; exhibit space, approximately 188,695 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 28; (414) 908-6072

Airport Transit: General Mitchell International Airport, about eight miles from downtown Milwaukee. Transfer cost to the city center by taxi, about $28

Taxes: Room tax, 9.5%; sales tax, 5%; total tax on hotel rooms, 14.5%

Group Venue: Set on the scenic shores of Lake Michigan, Discovery World is a 120,000-square-foot science center and aquarium that can accommodate groups of up to 2,000 people (not to mention myriad denizens of the deep). The Pilot House, which can host 500 for cocktails, offers dramatic 360-degree views of the shoreline through floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor wraparound terrace. (414) 765-9966

Contact: Visit Milwaukee, (414) 273-3950 or (800) 554-1448