Aloft hotel will open Dec. 17

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The new, 160-room Aloft hotel in downtown Milwaukee, developed by Milwaukee River Hotel LLC, will open on Dec. 17, general manager Lisa Aldrich said.

Aloft is a select service hotel brand of White Plains, N.Y.-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. The downtown Milwaukee hotel is the first Aloft location in southeastern Wisconsin.

Several people have already made reservations at the hotel.

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“I get about 10 to 15 calls a day from people who want to know when we are opening,” Aldrich said. “They are excited.”

The hotel is located at 1230 N. Old World Third St., along the Milwaukee River in the Park East corridor. The hotel is only one block northeast of the Bradley Center and one block south of the Manpower Inc. corporate headquarters.

Bars, restaurants and shops along Old World Third Street will be appealing to hotel guests, Aldrich said. In addition, the hotel’s location along McKinley Avenue makes it easy for visitors to find off the freeway, she said.

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“I think we are in a great location,” Aldrich said.

The five-story hotel will have 5,000 square feet of meeting space, a fitness center, an indoor pool on the first floor overlooking a new riverwalk segment and the Wxyz Bar in the lobby/lounge area. Previous plans for retail space in the building were eliminated, replacing it with the meeting space, Aldrich said.

About 35 to 40 employees will work at the hotel once it is fully staffed next year, Aldrich said.

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The Aloft hotel will be the first new hotel to open in downtown Milwaukee in several years. The Iron Horse Hotel opened last year and a Days Inn Hotel of the Arts opened earlier this year. Both of those hotels are located near the downtown area, but are not located within the downtown.

Aldrich was the general manager for the Staybridge Suites hotel that was under construction at North Water Street and Juneau Avenue. The project has been stalled by financial problems and it is now in receivership. When that happened, Aldrich shifted to the Aloft project.

“I count my blessings every day,” she said.

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