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Milwaukee Magazine: This MKE Hotel Has Earned a Four Diamond Designation Every Year for 45 Years

You already know the Pfister is one of the nicest hotels in Wisconsin. But did you also know that it’s now one of only 11 properties in North America that’s earned a AAA Four Diamond Designation for its 45th consecutive year? The hotel has managed to receive that distinction every year since the inception of the program in 1976.

The Milwaukee Magazine shared how staff members and well wishers gathered in one of the hotel’s galleries to celebrate the landmark occasion. Read more about the celebration here.


WDJT-TV: Spies get their hangout back on June 9 as Milwaukee’s ‘SafeHouse’ reopens


After over a year closed due to the pandemic, a new mission will begin for SafeHouse on June 9 as it officially reopens to spies everywhere. Watch as WDJT-TV (CBS 58) reporter Michael Schlesinger previews the reopening and the SafeHouse’s many tricks and secrets.


HOTELS: Next-gen leader wields ’emotional technology’ in marketing

As vice president of marketing for Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Marcus Hotels & Resorts, Erin Levzow leads all marketing and public relations efforts for the company’s portfolio of 21 properties and more than 50 restaurants.

With a degree in acting and a sharp mind for digital marketing, the 35-year-old is making waves in her company and beyond. Her enthusiasm for storytelling and willingness to try new things have helped her bring exciting concepts to life, including the new Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel in Milwaukee, the first-of-its-kind hotel with a focus on performing arts and theater. “I got into marketing by accident, but I fell in love with hospitality,” said Levzow, who is combining analytics and emotion to bring a fresh creative perspective to hospitality.

HOTELS interviewed this next-gen leader to get her take on disruption, changing career priorities and where she looks for inspiration to think differently.

HOTELS: How are you disrupting your field?

Erin Levzow: I know that I am young to hold my position and I come from a digital background, both of which make me abnormal [in this field]. Most chief marketing officers come out of a traditional background. I bring a different viewpoint. I call it emotional technology: the ability to analyze, but still take customer needs and wants into consideration when you’re making decisions. Often in marketing, you get someone who is either very analytical or who only wants to focus on the customer’s needs and wants. So how do you combine both of those? Well, that’s what we train digital marketers to do. What we really do is storytelling through performance marketing.

H: How does the industry respond to this?

EL: It creates a little upheaval. People are not always used to having marketing analytics clearly show whether something did or didn’t work. Some people are used to being able to go back to marketing to say, “I didn’t see this, so I don’t think it worked.” But we don’t have to think about it anymore! We have analytics to tell us if it worked. It takes a little bit of getting used to.

“I hate when people say, ‘This is my 9-to-5 job.’ It’s not your 9-to-5 job because we’re always connected — we think about [our work] all day long. If it’s not fun, ambitious and exciting, you’re in the wrong place.” – Erin Levzow

H: How prevalent do you believe glass ceilings and the old boys’ network are in the hospitality industry? How are younger professionals creating their own networks?

EL: The old boys’ network still exists. It would be silly to say, “oh, yeah, all this stuff happened in the last few years and it’s gone.” I think all it did was hide it a little more. People may say, “oh, we have one woman on our team so we’re good now, right?” But it’s not as simple as that. That goes for all types of equality and diversity and inclusion — gender bias, racial bias and more. The important thing is to become aware of unconscious bias, to recognize it when it happens, and then be able to talk about it.

Glass ceilings still exist, too. There have been very few interviews I’ve had where someone hasn’t asked me how many kids I have or what my husband does. At what point does a man go into an interview and hear, “hey, what does your wife do?” No! They don’t care. They assume you can do to the job. My answer is always, “I appreciate your question, but I can tell you that there is nothing in my personal life that is going to get in the way of me giving 150%.” Because that’s a need-to-know basis. They wouldn’t ask a man that. That’s why I say it truly is an unconscious bias.

H: What are some of the changing needs of next-gen leaders? Do they have different priorities than the old guard?

EL: Having fun at work is important. Work should be fun and exciting and fulfilling. I hate when people say, “This is my 9-to-5 job.” It’s not your 9-to-5 job because we’re always connected — we think about [our work] all day long. If it’s not fun, ambitious and exciting, you’re in the wrong place.

H: What trends are you observing and where do you see them going?

EL: The biggest trend we’ve seen over the past couple years is boutique and experience hotels. They’re popping up all over the place. Even the big corporations like Hilton and Marriott rolled out soft brands as fast as they could to keep up with the boutique idea. We just opened up Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel in Milwaukee and there’s no brand attached to it. We are hopeful that it’s such a strong trend that people will want to come here whether or not they’re receiving [loyalty points from a major brand]. People want unique experiences, not just a bed in a room. They want to feel fulfilled, whether they’re traveling for leisure or business.

H: What keeps you up at night?

EL: Making sure I’m making the right moves. I always tell the younger generation that I got where I am at a young age by saying yes. When people asked me if I could take something on, my answer was “yes.” I was willing to do what it took. I had a go-getter, “yes, and…” attitude.

Now, when you’re older and a little more seasoned, you can’t say yes to everything. I want to make sure I say yes to the right things and know when it’s appropriate to say “no.” As a people pleaser, that is hard for me to do.

H: What would you tell those entering the industry now?

EL: People are watching no matter where you are, so be your authentic self.

H What are some things that you try to do every day?

EL: I try to tell people how grateful I am that they’re here and remind them of something they’ve done really well. I think that especially in marketing, we have this tendency to say, “you need to do this, we need to take on this.” People forget to celebrate all the great wins.

There’s still something beautiful about receiving a handwritten card, so I keep notecards next to my desk and I jot down when someone does something that impresses me, and I drop the note in the mail. Sometimes we don’t know what people are going through outside of work, so being able to let them know that they serve a purpose is really important. I don’t think people get that enough.

H: Where do you find inspiration outside of your industry?

EL: I look at other industries to see what they’re doing. For example, I went to the CoverGirl store in Times Square [New York City] to try their augmented reality experience where you can virtually try on makeup. I looked at it and thought, “I wonder what we could do with this?” How do we take this experience into a hotel? The ideas start to build. I think sometimes we look too much to our sister companies to see what they’re doing instead of looking outside the industry.

H: What’s a prediction you’re willing to make?

EL: We’re going to continue to see teams comprised of many different types of people, including those from outside the industry who can come in and become game changers. We’ve seen a lot of companies try and grow their own internal agency — some have done really well, some haven’t. For that to work, you have to build a very diverse and dynamic team. That doesn’t mean everyone is always going to get along, but there’s going to be a mutual respect when you’re all working toward the same goal.

Read the full article online here.


To Market, To Market: Exploring & expanding into new areas with Hotel Business

As Marcus Hotels & Resorts continues to provide superior experiences for its guests across the country, Andrea Foster, senior vice president of development, provided insights on a management company’s strategy for growing its business by exploring and expanding into new areas.

Read the full article online here:


U.S. News & World Report: 16 Incredible Midwest Vacations

Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel was included in an article highlighting type Midwest vacations. Read the full story here.

U.S. News and World Report mentions Saint Kate The Arts Hotel


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: For a unique high tea experience, pull up a chair in this Wisconsin ‘ghost town’

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel featured The Pfister Hotel’s Afternoon Tea program in an article about where to experience high-tea around Wisconsin. Click here to read the full story.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel features Afternoon Tea at the The Pfister Hotel


Afternoon Tea at The Pfister Featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Afternoon tea has been a longstanding tradition at The Pfister Hotel. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel featured afternoon tea and shared the recipe for the hotel’s beloved lemon curd tart in an article in spring 2019.

Read the full article on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.


The Pfister® Hotel Names Rosy Petri As Next Artist In Residence

MILWAUKEE, February 25, 2019 – The historic AAA Four-Diamond Pfister® Hotel, owned and managed by Marcus® Hotels & Resorts, today announced Rosy Petri as the hotel’s 11th Artist in Residence. Petri, a Milwaukee-based multidisciplinary artist, will work in the hotel’s lobby-level Artist’s Studio for one year beginning April 1, 2019. She is succeeding current Pfister Artist in Residence and fashion designer, Stephanie Schultz, who will culminate her residency with a couture fashion show on March 15 at The Pfister Hotel.

“I am honored to be chosen as The Pfister’s next Artist in Residence. As a woman of color, I find creating art is one of the few areas in life where I can freely name, embrace, and honor my own identity. During this residency, I will work to celebrate diverse backgrounds and examine the complex nature of human life and relationships,” said Petri. “I will be transforming my studio into a collaborative and interactive experience and inviting other creators to work with me to explore the ‘myths of creation’ surrounding art and artists. As the 11th Artist in Residence, following in the footsteps of a decade’s worth of incredible artists, I cannot wait to share my unique perspective and, hopefully, help demystify the process of creating art and culture with the hotel’s many guests and visitors.”

Through her various mediums, including fabric portraiture, quilt-making, photography and mixed media, Petri showcases her passion for social justice, art and storytelling. She is most well-known for her series of quilt portraits of famous American musicians that pay homage to the country’s diverse history of music. Petri currently exhibits her work at the David Barnett Gallery and 5 Points Art Gallery and Studios in Milwaukee. She is also the owner of Milwaukee-based Paradise Home Goods, where she sells heirloom quilts, handsewn accessories, dresses and skirts, as well as candles and body butters. Petri has been recognized locally for her work, including being named a Milwaukee Artist Resource Network (MARN) mentee in 2018 and recognized with an artist award at the 2018 Bronzeville Cultural and Arts Festival.

During her residency, Petri plans to create a salon and studio space that will highlight guests and other creators through portraiture and podcasts. Using her diverse talents, she will develop a collection of photograph and fabric portraits, as well as audio interviews to share individuals’ perspectives on the theme of “myths of creation.” More information about Petri’s work can be found at

“For more than a decade, The Pfister Hotel’s Artist-in-Residence program has helped transform guests and visitors’ experiences at the hotel, as well as supported Milwaukee’s vibrant arts community. We are proud to continue showcasing our city’s talented painters, photographers, designers and others who are among the best in the region,” said Tim Smith, general manager of The Pfister Hotel. “Rosy’s focus on the creative process and her diverse talent across numerous disciplines will create a new voice for the program, and we are all excited to see her in action.”

Stephanie Schultz Finale Fashion Show, March 15
To celebrate the conclusion of her year-long residency as the 10th Artist-in-Residence at The Pfister Hotel, local fashion designer, Stephanie Schultz will host a finale fashion show on March 15, 2019 in the hotel’s Imperial Ballroom. Schultz spent the last year working on a collection of high-fashion and couture wear inspired by the hotel’s Victorian Art collection. This collection will be featured during the evening’s show, which starts promptly at 7:30 p.m. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m. Guests can also participate in a “Best Dressed” contest and enjoy a post-show reception. General admission tickets are free (VIP front row seats are already sold out). For more information about the show, please visit the Facebook event.

For more information on the latest news and updates from Marcus Hotels & Resorts, please visit:

About The Pfister’s Artist-in-Residence Program
Entering its 11th year, The Pfister’s Artist-in-Residence program features a working art studio and gallery that is open to hotel guests and visitors. The program encourages the public to interact with the artist and witness the evolution of each piece first-hand.

Over the years, The Pfister has received national attention for its Artist-in-Residence program. Since 2009, the hotel has been a member of the Alliance of Artist Communities,, an international association of artists’ communities and residencies featuring a diverse field of more than 1,000 programs worldwide. Additionally, The Pfister’s program has inspired similar residencies at two other Marcus Hotels & Resorts properties: The Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City and the Lincoln Marriot Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln, Neb.

The program’s most recent artist is Stephanie Schultz (2018-2019), Past artists include Margaret Muza (2017-2018),; Pamela Anderson (2016-2017),; Todd Mrozinski (2015-2016),; Niki Johnson (2014-2015),; Stephanie Barenz (2013-2014),; Timothy Westbrook (2012-2013),; Shelby Keefe (2011-2012),; Katie Musolff (2010-2011),; and Reginald Baylor (2009-2010),
About The Pfister Hotel
At more than 125 years old, The Pfister Hotel is one of the oldest and most prestigious hotels in the Midwest and downtown Milwaukee. Originally opened in 1893 by businessman Guido Pfister, it was the most lavish hotel of its time. The hotel’s storied elegance had faded following World War II, until 1962, when Ben Marcus, founder of The Marcus Corporation, purchased this grand hotel out of bankruptcy. The Marcus Corporation renovated and restored the hotel to its original glory, adding convention facilities, a parking garage and 23-story guest tower. The Pfister Hotel is home to the largest collection of Victorian art of any hotel in the world as well as an award-winning Artist-in-Residence program.
Today, The Pfister Hotel continues its tradition of gracious service and impeccable style and has been recognized by AAA as a Four-Diamond property for 42 consecutive years. In 2018, The Pfister was recognized as a Top Hotel in the Midwest in Condé Nast Traveler’s prestigious annual Reader’s Choice Awards for the second consecutive year and was ranked the No. 1 Best Milwaukee Hotel by U.S. News & World Report in 2019. This exceptional property is a member of two prestigious hotel organizations, Historic Hotels of America and Preferred Hotels & Resorts. The Pfister Hotel is located at 424 E. Wisconsin Ave. in downtown Milwaukee. For more information, please visit and follow the hotel on Facebook and Twitter (@PfisterHotel).


The Pfister Named a Top Destination for 2019 by TripSavvy

In 2019, TripSavvy named Milwaukee the best destination for romance. Of all the hotels in the city, The Pfister Hotel was called out as the most romantic place to stay in the city.

Read the full list of top 2019 destinations on TripSavvy.


Make it a holiday to remember at the Pfister Hotel, Hilton Milwaukee and Intercontinental Milwaukee

Plus, the three “must do” events at Marcus Hotels & Resorts this holiday season

MILWAUKEE, October 23, 2018… Christmas trees, twinkling lights and festive feasts will soon arrive at the AAA Four-Diamond Pfister Hotel, AAA Four-Diamond Hilton Milwaukee City Center and InterContinental Milwaukee, bringing treasured holiday traditions back to town. Locals and visitors alike can look for a mix of classic holiday celebrations, as well as new, fun and energizing occasions to toast to the holiday season!

Top Three “Must Do” Holiday Events to Make 2018 a Holiday to Remember:

  • The Pfister Hotel’s Annual Tree Lighting Event – Friday, November 23, 2018 from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. (official lighting at 5:30 p.m.)
    • The Pfister Hotel is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2018, and its annual tree lighting ceremony is one of Milwaukee’s most celebrated and anticipated traditions. Featuring an 18-foot, LED-lighted holiday tree, the festive event includes complimentary holiday treats, music, hot cocoa and more. Parents are invited to bring their cameras, as Santa and Mrs. Claus will be arriving at 5:20 p.m. on a Milwaukee Fire Department fire truck to greet guests and pose for photos. Guests are encouraged to write letters to Santa and drop them in Santa’s special mailbox, which he will take back with him to the North Pole. While the actual tree lighting ceremony takes place at 5:30 p.m., the other activities extend to 6:30 p.m. To support those in need during the holiday season, The Pfister Hotel will collect food for Hunger Task Force and encourages guests to bring non-perishable food items. This event is free and open to the public. Enjoy complimentary parking with any purchase.
  • Pfister Holiday Marketplace – Saturday and Sunday, December 8 and 9, 2018 | 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
    • Discover and connect with local artists and experience holiday fun and art in many forms. Hosted by talented artist Renee Bebeau, guests will enjoy festive music and fine art while shopping for the perfect gift for family and friends. Located on The Pfister Mezzanine, entry into the marketplace is free.
  • Holiday Trivia at Monarch Lounge – December 5 and December 19, 2018 | Trivia begins at 6:30 p.m.
    • Put your holiday pop culture and history knowledge to the test during holiday trivia nights at Monarch Lounge in the Hilton Milwaukee City Center. Competitors will enjoy specialty holiday cocktails, as well as friendly competition for fun prizes and gift cards. If teams wear holiday-themed attire, they receive five bonus points!

In addition to these can’t-miss events, enjoy a wide variety of holiday dinners and brunches at all three Milwaukee Marcus Hotels & Resorts properties:

125 Years of Holiday Spirit at The Pfister

Milwaukee’s treasured 125-year-old hotel is pleased to present a number of memorable experiences and events to celebrate the spirit of the season. For more information on The Pfister’s holiday festivities, visit:

Thanksgiving Bountiful Brunch at The Pfister

Thursday, November 22 | 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The breathtaking atmosphere of The Pfister Hotel’s ballroom provides the perfect destination for a cherished Thanksgiving.  In a comfortable yet elegant setting, The Pfister Hotel’s beloved brunch provides ample holiday cheer. There is much to be thankful for, from appetizers and entrées, to side dishes and desserts – plus all the traditional trimmings.  Extend the holiday experience and stay the night Wednesday, November 21 or Thursday, November 22. Rates start at $109 per night, plus tax with the purchase of brunch.  For reservations, call 877.704.5340 or 414.935.5950.  Pricing: $68 Adults, $27 Children 3-10 years-old, 2 and under free (tax and gratuity are not included).  Credit card guarantee required. 48-hour cancellation notice required or full amount is charged.

 Breakfast with Santa

Saturdays and Sundays, December 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23, 2018 | Two seatings will be available each date – 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Breakfast with Santa is a Pfister tradition that creates lifelong memories. Guests have the opportunity to share a jolly, plated breakfast with Santa and his elves in The Pfister’s festive ballroom. Smaller seatings for each date will ensure that everyone has an exceptional experience. In addition to photos with Santa, which are highly encouraged, every child will receive a special gift and will be able to write letters to Santa, while enjoying making other special holiday crafts. For reservations, call 877.704.5340 or 414.935.5950. Pricing: $48 Adults, $30 Children 3-10 years old, 2 and under free. Credit card guarantee required. 48-hour cancellation notice required or full amount is charged.

Mason Street Grill Christmas Carol Experience

Saturday, December 8 and 15, 2018 | 5:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Reserve your spot for a wonderful winter’s evening, enjoying dinner at Mason Street Grill followed by A Christmas Carol presented by the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Complimentary parking in The Pfister structure and transportation to the show will be provided. A three-course prix-fixe menu will be available starting at 5:00 p.m. Guests can then take The Pfister’s shuttle to the Pabst Theater for the 7:30 p.m. showtime of A Christmas Carol. Last shuttle will leave at 7:00 p.m. For reservations, call 414.298.3131. Pricing: $125 per person; preferred orchestra seating for the show. (Tax and gratuity not included.)

Christmas Celebration Brunch

Tuesday, December 25, 2018 | 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Christmas brunch at The Pfister begins with a complimentary mimosa or Bloody Mary followed by a spectacular buffet featuring a delicious assortment of appetizers, salads, entrées and decadent desserts in the hotel’s elegant main ballroom. For reservations, call 877.704.5340 or 414.935.5950. Pricing: $68 Adults, $27 Children 3 – 10 years old, 2 and under free (tax and gratuity are not included). Credit card guarantee is required, and a 48-hour cancellation notice is required or full amount will be charged.

Special Holiday Room Promotions:

To truly enjoy a magical Pfister holiday experience, consider staying overnight and waking up on Christmas morning in luxury! On December 24 or 25, 2018, overnight rates start at $109 per night, plus tax, with the purchase of brunch. For reservations, call 877.704.5340 or 414.935.5950.


Holiday Traditions at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center

To learn more about the holiday events listed below, visit: 

Wine Wednesdays at Milwaukee ChopHouse

Every Wednesday in December | Normal operating hours

Enjoy 50 percent-off bottles under $100 and 25 percent-off bottles $100 and up every Wednesday in December. 

Miller Time Pub & Grill Sweater Drive

Friday, December 7 to Sunday, December 9, 2018 | Normal operating hours

Miller Time Pub & Grill patrons can donate a lightly used or brand-new sweater to those in need this holiday season. For every sweater donated, patrons will receive a free Miller beer on tap (up to five).

Nightmare Before Christmas Party at Miller Time Pub & Grill

Friday, December 14, 2018 | 6:00 p.m. to close

Miller Time Pub & Grill celebrates the spookier side of Christmas during a “Nightmare Before Christmas” party. Locals and visitors alike can enjoy the classic movie on TVs throughout the pub, while enjoying themed cocktails. Costumes are highly encouraged.

 Celebrating the Holidays in Style at the InterContinental Milwaukee

To learn more about the holiday events listed below, visit:

Thanksgiving Brunch and Dinner at Kil@Wat

Thursday, November 22 | Brunch from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. | Dinner from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Feast with family and friends at Kil@Wat’s incredible Thanksgiving brunch or four-course dinner. Bringing together traditional favorites and adventurous new creations, this will be a Thanksgiving to remember.  For reservations: Call 414.291.4793. Cost: $49 per person; $69 with wine pairings.

 Holiday Lights Kick-Off

Thursday, November 15 | 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

The holiday season starts with the annual downtown Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival. Following the tree lighting in Red Arrow Park, stop by and warm up with free hot cocoa and a selection of our house-made holiday cookies. Complimentary Hot Cocoa will be provided.

Glühwein & Sweets Special at CLEAR

Monday, December 24, 2018 | 4 p.m. – Close

Enjoy the hotel’s rustic recipe of Glühwein – a classic mulled beverage – and sample delectable desserts to satisfy your holiday sweet tooth.  Pricing: $7/glass for mulled wine and $10 for the dessert sampler.

 Christmas Eve Dinner at Kil@Wat

Monday, December 24, 2018 | 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Bring the family to Kil@Wat for a fantastic, five-course holiday feast on Christmas Eve. To add to the experience, the meal can be upgraded with a full wine pairing menu. For reservations, call 414.276.8686. Pricing: $69 per person or $94 with wine pairings.

Christmas Day Brunch at Kil@Wat

Tuesday, December 25, 2018 | 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Spend time with friends and family enjoying Kil@Wat’s spectacular Christmas brunch.

For reservations, call 414.276.8686. Pricing: Menu prices.

Marcus Hotels Holiday Gift Cards

Purchase $100 in Marcus gift cards and receive a $25 bonus gift card redeemable at any Marcus restaurant, spa hotel or theatre. Purchase today at: