Marcus Hotels Press > Press Coverage

12.12.17

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Greendale High School home to Wisconsin Restaurant Association Mentors of the Year

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently featured Brian Frakes, Executive Chef of The Pfister Hotel, on his role as a mentor in the ProStart culinary competition at Greendale High School in Greendale, Wis. The ProStart® program, administered by National Restaurant Association Solutions, LLC and state restaurant associations, is a college-prep, two-year curriculum designed to teach high school students the skills needed for careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry.

Read the full story at http://www.jsonline.com/story/communities/southwest/news/greendale/2017/11/08/greendale-high-school-home-wisconsin-restaurant-association-mentors-year/825060001/.

11.29.17

THE AAA FOUR-DIAMOND PFISTER® HOTEL IN SEARCH OF ITS NEXT ARTIST IN RESIDENCE

Hotel Celebrates 10th Artist in 2018

Milwaukee, Wis., November 29, 2017 – The AAA Four-Diamond Pfister Hotel, owned and managed by Marcus Hotels & Resorts, is in search of its next Artist in Residence. Entering its 10th year, The Pfister Hotel’s internationally recognized Artist-in-Residence program is an opportunity for an artist to be at the forefront of Milwaukee’s art scene, showcasing his or her work in a studio gallery on the first floor of Milwaukee’s most prestigious hotel.

The Pfister’s Artist-in-Residence program allows local artists to share their work and interact with guests one-on-one in the studio gallery or at art receptions, gallery nights, classes and events hosted by the resident artist. The next artist, succeeding tintype photographer Margaret Muza, will move into the studio space April 1, 2018, and will continue working at the hotel for a one-year period.

Each year, a committee of influential art enthusiasts from throughout the Milwaukee community selects The Pfister’s resident artist from a pool of highly qualified candidates. The committee takes into account the artist’s vision for the gallery space, his or her body of work, artistic process, personality and a public vote. The selected artist works in The Pfister Hotel’s art studio and gallery that is open to hotel guests and the public. The program encourages visitors to interact with the artist, while watching the evolution of each piece of work firsthand.

“This coming year marks a special milestone as we welcome our 10th resident artist,” said Tim Smith, general manager of The Pfister Hotel. “The Pfister’s Artist-in-Residence program has touched hundreds of guests and residents over the years as we provide a one-of-a-kind, engaging experience that allows visitors to learn about new art forms and interact with our artist in a creative studio environment. Since our first artist was selected in 2009, our program has become nationally and internationally recognized, earning recognition from The New York Times, Globe and Mail and other top-tier publications. We are proud to have hosted a diverse group of talented artists including painters, fiber artists and photographers, and remember them by their legacy pieces that adorn the Pfister hallways. Each artist has had a role in our success and we are excited to welcome the next Artist in Residence who will make this year even more special.”

Margaret Muza, current resident artist, said the Artist-in-Residence program has given her a deeper perspective about herself as an artist and her photography. “Working in the historic Pfister Hotel has provided me with a great atmosphere to use my unique artform. From the gorgeous architecture of this timeless Milwaukee treasure to the hotel guests and staff I interact with, I’ve learned so much. This opportunity has allowed me to grow as an artist as I share the process of tintype photography with others.”

The deadline to apply for the program is December 14, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. CT. Interested artists can download the application online at http://www.thepfisterhotel.com/artist-in-residence.

In the years since its inception in 2009, The Pfister’s Artist-in-Residence program has been critically lauded as not only a pioneering Wisconsin Artist-in-Residence program, but as an example of a hotel taking its dedication to the local community above and beyond traditional expectations. With a deep appreciation and connection to the arts, launching an Artist-in-Residence program was a natural step for The Pfister Hotel, and in the years since, each artist that has held the residency has helped to grow and evolve the program to its current incarnation today. Marcus Hotels & Resorts has introduced similar Artist-in-Residence programs at additional owned proprieties including The Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City, Okla. and The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln, Neb.

For more information on the latest news and updates from Marcus Hotels & Resorts, please visit: http://Media.MarcusHotels.com.

About The Pfister’s Artist-in-Residence Program

Entering its 10th 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 firsthand.

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, http://www.artistcommunities.org, an international association of artists’ communities and residencies featuring a diverse field of more than 1,000 programs worldwide.

The program’s current artist is Margaret Muza (2017-2018), www.margaretmuza.com. Past artists include Pamela Anderson (2016-2017), www.pamelaandersonstudio.com; Todd Mrozinski (2015-2016), www.toddmrozinski.com, Niki Johnson (2014-2015), www.nikijohnson.com; Stephanie Barenz (2013-2014), stephaniebarenz.com; Timothy Westbrook (2012-2013), https://unicorns.carbonmade.com; Shelby Keefe (2011-2012), http://www.studioshelby.com; Katie Musolff (2010-2011), http://www.katiemusolff.com; and Reginald Baylor (2009-2010), http://www.reginaldbaylor.com.

About The Pfister Hotel

The Pfister Hotel has been the premier hotel in downtown Milwaukee for over 120 years. Originally built 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 family renovated and restored the hotel to its original glory, adding convention facilities, a parking garage and 23-story guest tower. The Pfister Hotel remains home to the largest collection of Victorian art of any hotel in the world, and offers an interactive augmented reality tour of pieces in this impressive collection.

Today the Pfister Hotel continues its tradition of gracious service and impeccable style, and has been recognized for 41 consecutive years by AAA as a Four-Diamond property. In 2017, The Pfister Hotel was ranked the No. 1 Best Milwaukee Hotel by U.S. News & World Report and was recognized as a Top Hotel in the Midwest in Condé Nast Traveler’s 30th annual Reader’s Choice Awards. 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 www.thepfisterhotel.com and follow the hotel on Facebook and Twitter (@PfisterHotel).

About Marcus Hotels & Resorts

Marcus Hotels & Resorts owns and/or manages 18 hotels, resorts and other properties in the U.S. The company’s distinctive portfolio includes city-center meeting hotels, upscale resorts, historic properties, and premium branded and independent first-class hotels. Marcus Hotels & Resorts is an approved operator for all major lodging brands. A leader in the hospitality industry since 1962, Marcus Hotels & Resorts creates asset value for hotel owners through its expertise in management, development and product repositioning, including hotel food and beverage

concepts developed by its Marcus Restaurant Group, featuring premier brands such as Mason Street Grill, ChopHouse and Miller Time Pub & Grill. The company is also growing its experiential restaurant concept, The SafeHouse, with a second location that opened in early 2017 in Chicago, Ill. For more information, please visit: http://media.marcushotels.com and follow the company on Facebook and Twitter (@MarcusHotels).

11.27.17

Architectural Digest

11 Outdoor Ice Rinks at Luxury Hotels

With views of the Pacific Ocean or the Dolomite Mountains, these are not your typical skating rinks

By Stephanie Strasnick

Equal parts warm holiday nostalgia and invigorating winter fun, it’s no surprise that outdoor ice-skating is a seasonal pastime that’s endured for generations. To the delight of many skaters, high-end hotels around the world are making it easier than ever for snow bunnies to partake in this winter tradition by building their own on-property rinks for guests to enjoy. These hotel rinks aren’t your average no-frills, frozen pond either. Hotels are thinking outside the rink to create twinkle light–filled Kinkadian winter escapes that are brimming with holiday cheer. And for those not confident on skates, a number of rinks offer on-site instruction and rinkside seating and refreshments.

From an enchanting Italian terrace with panoramic Dolomite views to a rooftop rink on the Las Vegas Strip that screens classic holiday movies, here are our picks for the world’s most festive and whimsical hotel skating venues.

Cristallo, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy

When winter rolls around at this posh Italian hideaway, an eco-friendly ice rink is installed on the hotel’s large panoramic terrace, offering skaters sweeping views of the nearby Dolomites.

Beau-Rivage Palace, a Leading Hotel of the World, Lausanne, Switzerland

The terrace at this historic property is famous for its awe-inspiring views of Lake Geneva and the Alps. In the winter, guests are invited to skate on the terrace’s seasonal rink, and dine on fondue and local meats and cheeses.

Hotel del Coronado, San Diego

Hotel del Coronado’s seasonal outdoor rink—the city’s only seaside skating venue—delivers prime views of the Pacific Ocean and Coronado Beach. Its ambience is enhanced by the sight of the hotel itself, which is decked out in twinkle lights and holiday decor.

The Dolder Grand, Zurich

At 6,000 square meters, the open-air ice rink at the luxe Dolder Grand is the largest in Europe. Guests can use the rink for ice-skating, or try their hand at curling or Chneble (the Swiss term for ice hockey).

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Las Vegas

This winter, the Cosmopolitan is transforming its rooftop pool into a spirited winter dreamland. In addition to traditional skating, the rink will host holiday movie nights (featuring such film as Frozen and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) and will offer a curated seasonal cocktail menu.

The Chedi Andermatt, a Leading Hotel of the World, Andermatt, Switzerland

In the winter months, the Courtyard at the picture-perfect Chedi Andermatt features a sleek skating rink with sweeping views of the snow-covered Swiss Alps. The hotel serves après-skate refreshments that include mulled wine and roasted chestnuts.

Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, New York

For generations, Mohonk Mountain House has been a beloved weekend retreat for New Yorkers. Year-round, vacationers flock to this Victorian castle—which sits on 40,000 acres of protected land—for such seasonal activities as golf, swimming, and horseback riding in the summer, and ice-skating in the winter.

Delta Bessborough, Saskatoon, Canada

Earlier this season, the small Canadian city of Saskatoon garnered international attention with the opening of the expansive contemporary art museum Remai Modern. Travelers who are coming for the art should stay for the skating. Behind the historic and palatial Delta Bessborough hotel, a former railway hotel, is a charming outdoor ice rink with river views.

Dorchester Collection Hotel Plaza Athénée, Paris

The outdoor ice rink at this iconic Parisian hotel is brimming with holiday enchantment. Located in the property’s La Cour Jardin, the rink is staffed with skating instructors and is open to guests throughout the winter season.

Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Come winter, the family-friendly Grand Geneva Resort transforms into a snow-covered winter wonderland. In addition to sledding and skiing, guests can partake in outdoor skating on the property’s hilltop rink.

The Standard, High Line, New York

Given the city’s space constraints, it’s no surprise that outdoor rinks in Manhattan are few and far between. The Standard has brought open-air skating to the Meatpacking District with a small, but festive, seasonal rink that’s replete with hot chocolate and tasty wintertime treats.

11.27.17

Make It Better

6 Ski Resorts 3 Hours or Less From Chicago

By Wendy Altschuler

A ski slope in your own backyard? Total pipe dream. A mountain within driving distance? Start packing up the car — each of these five wintry wonderlands is within three short hours of Chicago.

Wilmot Mountain

Wilmot, Wisconsin (Drive time from Chicago: 90 minutes)  

Wilmot has been a destination for family skiing, snowboarding, and tubing since 1938 — and a recent purchase by Vail Resorts has seen a whopping $13 million in improvements, ensuring that its future is bright. New perks include three four-person chairlifts, a high-speed rope tow in the terrain park, two new lifts in the beginner’s area, an upgraded Base Lodge, and a new kids’ ski and snowboard school.

The Mountain Top at Grand Geneva Resort &Spa

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin (Drive time: 90 minutes)

There’s something for skiers of all ages and abilities at this 30-acre family-friendly ski destination at Lake Geneva’s iconic Grand Geneva Resort. Featuring three chairlifts and two carpet lifts, easy equipment rental, lessons for beginners, and night skiing, the Mountain Top is a one-stop shop for a whirlwind weekend on the slopes. For even more winter fun, try some sledding and ice skating, and be sure to warm up with a hot meal or drink by the fire at Leinenkugel’s Mountain Top Lodge.

Alpine Valley Resort

Elkhorn, Wisconsin (Drive time: 2 hours)  

Park your poles here to enjoy over 90 skiable acres with 20 runs — including Big Thunder, a steep run with a vertical 388-foot drop and Alpine, the resort’s longest run at 3,000 feet. Ski school for adults and kids is available for beginners of all ages, while experts can check out the flat bar, donkey rail, and corrugated tube at the terrain park. If that’s not enough to entice you, guests at Alpine Valley Resort can enjoy on-site ski-in and ski-out rooms (120 are available, including family suites), complete with bistro dining, free weekend movie nights, and an indoor pool and hot tub. No snow? No worries — Alpine Valley will make some.

Cascade Mountain

Portage, Wisconsin (Drive time: 3 hours)  

Calling all thrill-seekers! This hot spot near Wisconsin Dells boasts four terrain parks with several obstacles, a super pipe and halfpipe, and 10 black-diamond runs with steep descents and mogul fields. But you don’t have to be hardcore to appreciate the place, as the mountain is also home to plenty of beginner slopes (kids under 12 ski free!), a tubing park, and shorter runs.

Devil’s Head Resort

Merrimac, Wisconsin (Drive time: 3 hours)  

Fun fact: This full-service resort — home to one of the state’s highest mountains — is located in Baraboo Bluffs, which was formed by glaciers over a billion years ago. Amenities include a large ski pro-shop, twice-daily groomed trails, long and wide runs,500-foot vertical rise, accredited ski instructors, a terrain park with tubes and jumps, and available cross-country skiing.

Chestnut Mountain Resort

Galena, Illinois (Drive time: 3 hours)

Nestled right next to historic Galena and overlooking the Mississippi River, you’ll find 19 ski trails and a seven-acre terrain park with 25 rails and structures. Everything you need is right on site: rooms; an indoor pool, sauna and hot tub; three restaurants with contemporary cuisine and craft beer; children’s programs; and ski runs for all levels.

11.09.17

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Greendale High School home to Wisconsin Restaurant Association Mentors of the Year

By Tiffany Stoiber | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Brian Frakes watches as one of Greendale High School’s ProStart team members plates a dish.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently featured Brian Frakes, Executive Chef of The Pfister Hotel, on his role as a mentor in the ProStart culinary competition at Greendale High School in Greendale, Wis. The ProStart® program, administered by National Restaurant Association Solutions, LLC and state restaurant associations, is a college-prep, two-year curriculum designed to teach high school students the skills needed for careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry. Read the full story online here.

10.31.17

Modern Luxury CS – November 2017

A Grand Time

By Sarah Ryan

New luxury villas at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa provide a crazy oasis that is perfect for a fall long-weekend escape from city life.

When fall sets in, long-weekend jaunts outside the city to experience the colors of the season are a must, and the charming Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, Wis. – situated merely 110 minutes from the city – offers more than its share of festive activities as the weather cools (everything from horseback riding to scenic hiking to that last round of golf before temperatures dip). While the historic property has long been a mainstay for fans of the region, a multi-million-dollar renovation, providing 29 lavishly appointed villas, has added to the resort’s appeal.

The new villas – which range from suite-like studios to expansive three-bedroom properties – have a luxurious home-away-from-home setup and cozy ambiance. Private outdoor patios, gas fireplaces, large kitchens with stone countertops and full-size stainless steel appliances (the resort’s grocery delivery service will certainly come in handy), and outdoor strange for clubs and skis make the spacious accommodations as practical as they are luxurious.

Separate from the main resort, the villas offer welcome privacy, through resort restaurants and the Geneva Club (an exclusive amenities lounge) are a short drive away. Revel in the seclusion and opt to indulge in services from the resort’s celebrated WELL Spa + Salon in your villa. Exclusive to villa clients, the North Shore package ($260) is a 75-minute service including dry brush exfoliation and a massage or facial, and the Day on the Lake package ($210) includes a blowout and makeup application, perfect for if you feel like venturing out. But with these villas, you are likely to sign up for a relaxing nights in. Studio villas form $339, one bedroom-villas from $429, two-bedroom villas from $509, three-bedroom villas from $639, 7036 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva, Wis., grandgeneva.com


 

10.24.17

Brian Frakes Honored with Salute to Excellence Award

Brian Frakes Signature HeadshotBrian Frakes, Executive Chef at the Pfister Hotel/Marcus Hotels and Resorts in Milwaukee, will receive the Wisconsin Restaurant Association Education Foundation’s (WRA EF) Salute to Excellence Mentor Award at the industry’s Celebration of Excellence dinner taking place on October 22nd at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake. He is honored for his dedication to excellence in foodservice and his passion for educating and training the future leaders of the industry.

“Brian Frakes spends countless hours sharing his expertise to help students learn and grow their culinary skills and hospitality knowledge,” said Connie Fedor, Executive Director of the WRA EF. “His involvement as a ProStart® mentor at Greendale High School has made a positive and meaningful impact on students.”

Frakes is currently a member of the WRA EF board of directors and was honored with the WRA EF Salute to Excellence Chef award in 2014.

He has earned many other awards including Fort Lauderdale/Sun Sentinel’s Top 10 Best New Chef in 2000, a Milwaukee Business Journal Forty Under 40 in 2007 and the American Liver Foundation Silver Cleaver in 2015.

Frakes also volunteers for several charitable causes including the American Liver Foundation – Great Lakes Division, Wisconsin March of Dimes, the American Cancer Society, Ronald McDonald House, Hope House, Hunger Task Force, the Catholic Archdiocese and others.

He is a volunteer advisor for Milwaukee Area Technical College, Culinary Institute of America, Le Cordon Bleu, Johnson and Wales University and Kendall College.

Passionate about sustainability and the use of local Wisconsin products, he is a recognized public spokesperson on these topics. 

The WRA EF recognizes six individuals and one company for dedication and commitment to education in the restaurant industry as Salute to Excellence honorees. Other 2017 Salute to Excellence honorees include: RC Schroeder, Jr. (Fox Valley Technical College), Glee Brechler (James Madison Memorial High School), Trey Hester (Rocky Rococo Restaurants), Chris Roderique (Piggy’s Restaurant), Tom Surwillo (Milwaukee Area Technical College) and Gordon Food Service.

Each honoree creates opportunities for people interested in foodservice industry careers. While they have worked in a variety of roles and in different parts of the state, they all share enthusiasm and optimism for the future of the restaurant industry.

The Salute to Excellence awards will be presented at the 2017 Celebration of Excellence on Sunday, October 22 at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake. More information on the event is available at www.wirestaurant.org.

 

The WRA Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has been in existence since 1987 and is one of the nation’s largest state restaurant association foundations. The Foundation’s vision is to advance professionalism through education, scholarships and community involvement to ensure the future success of the foodservice industry.

The ProStart® program, administered by National Restaurant Association Solutions, LLC and state restaurant associations, is a college-prep, two-year curriculum designed to teach high school students the skills needed for careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry.

10.23.17

Inc.com: Try Before You Buy – How Retailers Are Using Hotels For Marketing

The Pfister Hotel’s current Artist in Residence, Margaret Muza, was recently featured on Inc.com. Read the full story here.

10.11.17

FSR Magazine: Chefs are Turning Hotels into Dining Destinations

The new Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District was featured on the cover of FSR Magazine this October. Read the full story here.

FSR Magazine Cover on Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District

10.09.17

Hotels Magazine – October 2017

The New Revenue Managers

By Juliana Shallcross

Data analytics may be the new future, but specialized skills – and hefty investment – are required.

Today’s revenue managers have an astounding amount of information at their fingertips to help determine room pricing and to maximize revenue, but combing through all this data in an efficient manner can be a full-time job.

A single data source can have up to 30 attributes. Indeed, that seems to be the common gripe from revenue managers about data — the sheer amount of it is so time-consuming to review that it can ultimately backfire.

“You can spend thousand of hours analyzing the data, but then you pass the time to make the right decision,” says Erick Viera, revenue director of the Fairmont Mayakoba in Mexico. A typical day for Viera involves reviewing reports about pricing, forecasting and demand, then making decisions based on those reports, studying the results and finally, communicating those outcomes with his executive team.

More automation?

The need for data analysts is a looming concern for the hospitality industry, especially as pricing becomes increasingly set using analytical models. According to a survey of revenue managers by Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research, analytical models are expected to be the top-rated approach to determining pricing, followed by segment-based pricing and then CRM.

Additionally, the survey found that 37% of revenue managers believe that the field will become more automated with analytics. To that end, the report found that future revenue managers will need analytical skills more than they will a background in reservations or rooms.

In recent years, hotel giants such as AccorHotels and Marriott International have carved out specific positions for data scientists and analysts to evaluate all the information being collected from their hotels (and from their competitors), as well as to create and implement pricing models based on all that data. Last summer, Bethesda, Maryland-based Host Hotels & Resorts, which owns 96 properties with 54,000 rooms, created its own enterprise analytics division, of which revenue management is a part.

Yet smaller companies and independent hotels without such deep pockets often are stuck relying on software solutions to capture and analyze data, typically from their property management systems or their distribution channels. But even those may not do the job.

Tim Kayser, area director of revenue management at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Wisconsin, says his resort has too many different areas of revenue for one solution to manage.

“You need software, but it’s difficult to find one that does it all for you,” he says.

Finding value

Matt Busch, a partner at Revenue Analytics, which creates revenue management strategies for companies using cloud-based predictive models, says that only large franchisors with 50 properties or more, along with the big hotel chains, can really get the value of an in-house data analyst.

“At the hotel level, it’s really hard to justify that type of expense of a data scientist and to attract that talent,” says Busch, who previously worked as director of global pricing strategy for InterContinental Hotels Group.

As a result, Kayser works with different department heads at the resort to determine strategies for pricing and revenue. The property also is moving toward centralizing revenue management for the various departments, from food and beverage to spa and golf.

“It lets them take care of the customer and do the job they do best,” he says. “And it lets us, people who are more analytical, do the marketing, analysis and strategy.”

Centralizing revenue for the hotel is another shift that’s expected for the future of hospitality — which ultimately means more data for revenue managers to sift through.

What’s necessary?

Whether a hotel hires a data analyst to reel in the different nets of information or whether it keeps data gathering on the list of job responsibilities for a revenue manager, one way to ease the burden is to determine which data is absolutely necessary.

“One guest with one stay can leave over 100 different data points. It can become a sea of unmanageable data,” Busch says. “If you can’t manage it, you can’t model it perfectly.”

Still, the future of revenue management may not be completely run by algorithms or machines. Kayser says the data analyst, whether it is a human or a software, gives the information to develop a strategy, but the revenue manager is the one who actually executes it. Viera, of Fairmont Mayakoba, echoes that sentiment.

“I would like a system that gives me the optimal price based on internal and external data but with my daily interaction,” he says. “This is important. Because at the end of the day, it’s just a system.”

 



 
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