Wauwatosa hotel struggles during COVID

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a major toll on the hotel business; some not surviving due to the loss of guests but summer could be the answer for one inn in Wauwatosa.

About a year ago, business at Forty Winks Inn was down nearly 70% -- something that's never happened before, but with summer events and sports returning, the owner says things are finally starting to look up.

"Every week, we just held on and here we are today," said the owner, Bud Metzger.

Last summer, the Wauwatosa hotel was barely holding on, experiencing a devastating blow in business due to COVID-19.  

"We really had more people canceling reservations than we did making reservations," said Metzger.

Finally, things are turning around for the hotel with events like the Wisconsin State Fair and the Milwaukee Brewers returning to the field.

Forty Winks Inn

"They’re right down the road from us, both of them, and if we can keep those places going, that’s going to help us tremendously," said Metzger.

The owner said the business relies on guests coming into town for those types of events, and with no events last summer, occupancy was only at about 10%.  

The VA kept the inn afloat during the winter.

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"They're waiting for their apartments, so we're kind of a staging area between them getting approved for an apartment and them getting an apartment," said Metzger.

Metzger hopes to be back to 70% by the fall, but looking back, he said he feels grateful to be where he is today.  

Forty Winks Inn

"I feel very proud that we made it," said Metzger.

Metzger said for those worried about COVID-19, the hotel abides by all the CDC rules and regulations and is a safe place to stay.