The 138-room Hampton Inn and Suites hotel in downtown Milwaukee, located at 176 W. Wisconsin Ave., recently completed a renovation of its lobby.
The project cost about $300,000 and is part of a brand-wide lobby upgrade plan by Hilton Hotels for its Hampton Inn hotel brand, said Eric Bates, General Manager at Hampton Inn and Suites Milwaukee Downtown. The downtown Milwaukee hotel was one of the first Hampton Inns to get the lobby upgrade. The project reflects the trend of hotel guests spending more time hanging out in hotel lobbies and less time in their rooms, he said.
“It opened the space up and makes it more user-friendly throughout all periods of the day,” Bates said. “(The lobby) used to be more focused on breakfast and looked like a dining room all day. Now it’s much more chic and is great for business and socializing.”
The renovations to the Hampton Inn’s lobby have been completed just as the downtown Milwaukee hotel market is becoming more competitive. Three new hotels are under construction downtown: a 205-room Marriott hotel southwest of Wisconsin Avenue and Milwaukee Street; a 128-room Hilton Garden Inn hotel in the historic Loyalty Building at 611 Broadway; and the 90-room Brewhouse Inn at the former Pabst brewery complex. In addition, the Forest County Potawatomi tribe plans to build a 382-room hotel next to Potawatomi Bingo Casino.
Also, last year, Marcus Hotels & Resorts completed a $11.5 million multi-phase renovation of the 730-room Hilton Milwaukee City Center hotel at 509 W. Wisconsin Ave. in downtown Milwaukee.
“The hotel industry continues to get more competitive,” Bates said. “Everyone is bringing out the latest and greatest things. (The lobby renovation) helps us remain competitive by allowing us to give our guests what they want.”