Milwaukee-based The Marcus Corp. recently completed renovations to the ballrooms at The Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee. The Grand Ballroom, the Imperial Ballroom, the Mirror Room and other areas of the seventh floor received new carpeting, wall coverings, chandeliers, window treatments and furniture.
Just about the only things that were not replaced were the historic artwork and doors of the seventh floor, said Joe Kurth, general manager for the hotel.
"This hotel is a beautiful lady, and we gave her a new dress," he said.
The project was completed ahead of schedule so the ballrooms will be available for holiday functions, Kurth said. Some dates around the holidays are still available, he said.
The Marcus Corp. spent "millions" to upgrade the ballrooms and make other recent improvements to the hotel, including the new Mason Street Grill restaurant and the Well Spa. The company is also renovating the parking garage, building a new fitness center and in November will start work to improve the guestrooms in the original part of the hotel, which opened in 1893.
The improvements to the hotel are necessary to make sure that, despite its age, the Pfister still offers modern amenities, Kurth said.
"There’s a difference between being historic and being old," he said. "Historic is accepted by the public. Old is not."
In addition, the upgrades to the hotel are necessary to keep it competitive in downtown Milwaukee, where several other hotels have done upgrades recently and several new hotels are planned, Kurth said.