The Ambassador Hotel, which kicks off its 95th anniversary this year, has announced that it has become a Trademark Collection by Wyndham-affiliated property.
The hotel has already been added to the collection's website.
The hotel, which hosted its official grand opening on May 11, 1929, will keep its name and rooftop neon sign, but it is renovating guest rooms, with upgrades to flooring, drapery, furniture, mattresses and TVs.
The hotel also underwent a long, $14 million restoration after it was purchased in 1995 by Rick Wiegand.
The building was designed by Milwaukee architect Bruce Uthus (who was then in partnership with Nicolas Backes), and is an Art Deco gem that also has an Egyptian Revival motif that was popular in the 1920s after the 1922 discovery of King Tutenkamen's tomb.
Liberace is believed to have been a regular performer in the hotel lounge in the 1930s.
“This is a perfect flag for our property," said General Manager Jon Jossart. "The Trademark Collection by Wyndham features unique, independent properties, all beautiful in their own way, for travelers who are looking to get away from the predictable hotel experience, yet benefit from Wyndham’s great loyalty program.
"It will help us increase our visibility, while maintaining our independent iconic property.”
The ownership of the hotel will not change, it will simply add the brand affiliation.
“Our guests regularly tell us our hotel’s art deco flare leaves such a lasting impression, transporting them back to another era," adds Jossert.
"That’s not something we want to change, but rather highlight to more guests with the backing of the world’s largest hotel company. It’s a very exciting development. We are thrilled to be joining the Wyndham family.”
The 132-room hotel also has 3,000 square feet of event space and, as well as a restaurant and lounge.
The Wyndam Trademark Collection was launched in 2017 and has 187 hotels around the world.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.