Marcus Hotels & Resorts announced Tuesday that it will reinvent the 221-room InterContinental Milwaukee hotel, in the Milwaukee Center at 139 E. Kilbourn Ave., as a "creatively bold independent arts hotel."
The new hotel concept – which arrives with a name change – will, according to the statement, evoke "the passion, power and purpose of Milwaukee’s flourishing arts scene. Daring to blend impeccable hospitality with curated exhibits, contemporary installations and engrossing live performances."
The hotel's new name has not yet been determined, according to a spokesperson for Marcus Hotels.
As the InterContinental, the hotel has also eagerly embraced art.
The redesigned hotel is expected to be unveiled by the middle of next year. It will host performing arts "experiences," as well as display works and collections by artists both local and international.
Taking a cue from sister hotel The Pfister’s artist-in-residence program, the new hotel will have a working art studio where guests can watch and interact with an at-work artist on-site.
"The arts spark conversation and debate. The arts inspire and heal. They are part of our daily life, while also serving as an escape. And the arts bring people together, despite differing tastes, backgrounds and experiences," said Greg Marcus, president and chief executive officer of The Marcus Corporation, in the statement.
"For generations, Milwaukee’s arts scene has been central to the city’s health, vibrancy and reputation as a culturally relevant home and destination. By reimagining this hotel’s place in our community, we aspire to serve as a welcoming, freeing space for those who wish to experience Milwaukee through an entirely different lens."
The new hotel will feature new restaurant venues, as well as "locally-procured" products in in its guest rooms.
"We have long held a deep-seated passion for how the arts enhance the vibrancy and interconnectedness of our communities," said Marcus.
"With this project, we saw a very special opportunity to push the envelope and create an entirely new concept that pays homage to the arts. Ultimately, our hope is that a visit or a stay at this hotel will inspire our guests to explore more of what’s possible and experience our community in a way that is more personal. So much so that when they leave, they are already planning their return to see what’s next."
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
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.