MADISON, Wis. -- After getting sacked by the economy in 2008, a hotel project in downtown Madison hopes to score success by catering to Camp Randall clientele and beyond.
While its name may be Hotel Red, this new business hopes to be running in the black soon.
After being in the works for three years, the hotel opened to the public on Tuesday.
The Wisconsin Badgers will be a huge boost. Mike Erikson, the owner of Hotel Red, said home football weekends are just about booked solid already.
But management maintains that true staying power will count on tapping into year-round guests and firmly becoming an active player in the Madison economy.
"I think all reservations that people have will be gone once we open," said Erikson.
Along Madison's Monroe Street, where Badger football meets boutique business, the Hotel Red is on the verge of opening its rose-colored doors with what Erikson said is a fresh perspective on what the city can offer its guests.
"We think Madison needed this." said General Manager Jason Ilstrup. "There are stylish travelers coming from all over the United States and the world that are looking to stay at a stylish hotel, and I think that's what we want to provide for them."
The new hotel, which has 48 rooms complete with high-end amenities, has been years in the making. Erikson acknowledges those years included opposition from neighbors, but he believes the quality of the hotel will speak for itself.
"You always face opposition when you present change to people," said Erikson. "And the best thing we can do is continue to look forward and show them that what we have here is something that I think is going to fit real well into Madison."
"It's very glassy and sort of modern-looking," said Madison resident Rachel Neymark. "And in a place where there's lots of old brick buildings."
While the look and feel may not mesh yet with the traditions of Camp Randall Stadium, Madison residents said they're glad to see a finished product.
"You don't want an unfinished building on a really busy street," said Neymark. "This is where a lot of people are coming to the football games. This is the first thing they see, this area. You don't want them to see a half-finished building. So I'm glad it's finished."
In addition to the surge of Badger football fans this fall, Erikson said tapping into Madison's corporate community will be a key part of the hotel's success.
Rooms will start at $150 a night, upward to $500 for two-bedroom suites.
This article originated from WISC-TV. http://www.channel3000.com/news/28878889/detail.html