Hotel Metro to be converted to Marriott Autograph hotel

Downtown hotel has faced more competition in recent years

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 10:57 am

Hotel Metro in downtown Milwaukee will be converted to Wisconsin’s first Marriott Autograph hotel, according to a construction bid issued for the project.

Hotel Metro, the art deco six-story 63-room hotel at 411 E. Mason St. was one of Milwaukee’s first boutique hotels. In recent years, it has faced increased pressure as the number of hotels in the downtown Milwaukee area continues to grow.

Those hotels include a 150-room, six-story Hyatt Place hotel under construction at The Brewery complex, a 94-room Homewood Suites, which will open this month at 500 N. Water St. and Ascendant Holdings plans to convert the Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center building into a 215-room hotel.

Developers plan to convert part of the Milwaukee Athletic Club into a 100-room flagged hotel and developer Mark Irgens is considering a hotel for the current BMO Harris building at 770 N. Water St. once the new BMO office tower is completed.

Having a flag that carries the Marriott name will allow Hotel Metro to be part of Marriott’s reservation system and marketing materials. It will also mean when the downtown Marriott is full, guests will be directed to the Marriott Autograph. But the flag will come at a price, said Greg Hanis, hotel industry analyst and president of New Berlin-based Hospitality Marketers International Inc.

“It is a really expensive move,” Hanis said. “Marriott does not come cheap. Not only is the conversion going to be expensive, but the ongoing operation of the hotel is going to be expensive. Marriott has some very strict standards you have to comply with.”

The construction bid was published in the Daily Reporter. Bids are due to Ogden Construction Group by Dec. 1 for the conversion. Hotel Metro is owned by an affiliate of Milwaukee-based Ogden & Company Inc.

Representatives from Ogden could not immediately be reached by phone or email for comment.

Marriott Autograph is the boutique brand of Marriott. Hotels range in size and can be individualized, Hanis said.

Hanis said the hotel will likely be named the Hotel Metro and Autograph Collection by Marriott.

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