by Chris Duthie | January 01, 2016
Why here?
Wisconsin is famous for beer, football, cranberries and cheese, but its four-season enticements also include more than 1,300 sparkling event spaces. Milwaukee (pictured) offers a fun waterfront, plus new and freshly renovated hotels in a reinvented, reinvigorated downtown.

 The 244-room Blue Harbor Resort Spa & Conference Center in Sheboygan has debuted a $1.5 million renovation and expansion of its Reflections Spa. The property has 16,800 square feet of meeting space.

 The 250-suite Osthoff Resort now sports 38,000 square feet of newly renovated and expanded function space, including a new 10,000-square-foot ballroom that can host banquets for up to 800 people.

The 355-room Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, with 62,000 square feet of event space, has a new Adventure Center for hiking, mountain biking, slacklining, volleyball and disc golf.

In the heart of Milwaukee's downtown, with eye-catching public art throughout, the two-mile-long RiverWalk winds along the Milwaukee River with access to some of the city's better restaurants, brewpubs, shops and nightlife.
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Local Update
 Wisconsin is getting its first Kimpton Hotel. The 158-room, nine-story property has broken ground in Milwaukee's historic Third Ward district. Amenities include a restaurant, a fitness center, complimentary bike rentals, a rooftop bar and lounge, and 7,000 square feet of function space. Completion is scheduled for 2016.

 Slated for a spring 2016 opening is the new SpringHill Suites Milwaukee Downtown. Across from the Wisconsin Center within the 97-year-old and fully renovated Commerce Building, the 150-room property is linked to the city's skywalk system and is two blocks from the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

 Construction on the $128.1 million Milwaukee Streetcar is set to begin this spring, with full operation expected in 2018. The first phase, extending for 2.5 miles, will connect some of the city's most popular neighborhoods and attractions, and will run directly past the Wisconsin Center.

 Social ride-share services Uber and Lyft both operate in Milwaukee. Planners and attendees alike can enjoy their first Uber ride free -- up to $20 -- by using the code VISITMKE.

 Beer made Milwaukee famous, but fine cuisine is making its mark in the city as well. Three metro restaurants made the prestigious 2015 James Beard Award semifinals, including Ardent, Sanford and Braise.

Meeting Hotels: Wisconsin's capital offers more than 16,000 guest rooms. Properties include the 729-room Hilton Milwaukee City Center, 481-room Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, 381-room Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, 307-room Pfister Hotel, 243-room Doubletree by Hilton Milwaukee Downtown, 221-room InterContinental Milwaukee, 205-room Milwaukee Marriott Downtown, 169-room Courtyard by Marriott Milwaukee Downtown, 159-room Park East Hotel Downtown Lakeshore and 138-room Hampton Inn & Suites Milwaukee Downtown.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit