Success Story: Major Brand Repositioning

InterContinental Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wis.

The InterContinental Milwaukee repositioning illustrates Marcus Hotels & Resorts expertise in selecting the right brand for the right market to provide the greatest return on investment.

Located in the heart of Milwaukee's theater and entertainment district, the 221 room InterContinental Milwaukee was formerly a Wyndham branded hotel until Marcus Hotels & Resorts purchased the property in 2006. At that time, the hotel was a low RevPAR performer in its market. Marcus Hotels & Resorts led the property through an extensive reimaging and rebranding to reopen as the InterContinental Milwaukee in 2007. The reflagged property is the city's second luxury hotel (the first is Marcus Hotel's Pfister Hotel) and the first internationally branded luxury property in the city.

Role of Marcus Hotels

Repositioning the hotel significantly improved performance. We:
  • Positioned the property for the young professional demographic which was previously lacking in the Milwaukee market.

  • Created a unique personality that differentiates the hotel from all others in the city.

  • Completely renovated the entire property with a vibrant, contemporary look and feel to meet the high standards of InterContinental Hotels & Resorts.

  • One of only two outside management firms operating InterContinental properties.

  • In August 2010, three InterContinental Milwaukee associates and general manager launched The Pink Room Project to support the fight against breast cancer. Two special pink rooms were created at the hotel, complete with pink accents, themed artwork, special amenities and pink laptops for each guest to share their personal stories on "the pink room blog." A portion of the room fee is donated to a local breast cancer organization. The concept was so successful that InterContinental Hotels & Resorts took the program international in 2010.

  • Introduced Hotel Artist in Residence program to the property.


  • 38% increase in RevPAR in first year after completion

  • EBITDA up 211% in first year

  • RevPAR leader in its competitive set

  • Builds revenues through successful partnership with the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts across the street on a variety of hotel/event packages

  • Ranked in top 10% by Trip Advisor for all Milwaukee Hotels in 2009

  • 255 jobs created


  • Second highest Overall Satisfaction Score from InterContinental Hotels in North America in 2009

  • Best of the Best Front Office Manager of the Year – All North America Properties

  • Received IHG Renovation of the Year award in 2007

  • Recognized by Green Travel Wisconsin

  • Best of Weddings 2012 by “The”

  • Launched “Pink Rooms ” in 2010 donating $10,000 of room revenue per year to Breast Cancer Charities. InterContinental Hotels Group implemented Milwaukee’s Pink Room concept into all InterContinental hotel brands.

  • Ranked in top 10% by Trip Advisor for all Milwaukee Hotels in 2009

  • May 2009 – second highest OSAT in North America

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