Potawatomi to pitch 20-story hotel plans to city Monday

MILWAUKEE -- Potawatomi Bingo Casino will pitch its plans for an expansion to the city Monday. The casino wants to build a 20-story hotel, and a Potawatomi representative told FOX6 it's long overdue.

Ryan Amundson at Potawatomi says visitors have always wanted a place to stay at the casino. "The first thing people say when they come here is 'wow, you don't have a hotel?' Now, we hope to have one," Amundson said.

The Milwaukee City Plan Commission will take a look Monday at Potawatomi's proposed 20-story hotel. "This has been talked about by the tribe for many, many years. For the better part of a decade, they've been looking at adding a hotel," Amundson said.

There are already plans for a Marriott to open downtown, but spokesman Evan Zeppos says the Marriott wouldn't view Potawatomi's $150 million hotel as a threat. "I think overall, more competition is better. It keeps people on their toes, whether it's hotels, restaurants or sports. Competition is a good thing," Zeppos said.

Potawatomi estimates the hotel would create about 1,000 construction jobs and 230 permanent jobs. If approved, the casino hopes to start building the hotel in late spring. "It's basically the next step in the casino's evolution," Amundson said.

The casino maintains building a 20-story hotel would be good for Potawatomi, the neighborhood and the city. The Milwaukee City Plan Commission will take the first step toward deciding that on Monday.

The next step for the proposed hotel would be the Zoning Committee. Members would likely consider the plan in April, before deciding if it will go before the Common Council.