Hotels making significant investments in Port

Harborview renovating all 93 rooms, Port Wisconsin getting a makeover as it becomes a Holiday Inn Express

ALL OF THE 93 rooms at the Harborview in downtown Port Washington are getting a facelift as part of the second phase of renovations at the hotel at the corner of Franklin Street and Grand Avenue. The hotel has been closed as the rooms are gutted and taken down to the studs. Crews used an extended lift to help move materials into the upper floors of the hotel. Photos by Bill Schanen IV

By KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM

Ozaukee Press staff

Port Washington’s hotels are making a big investment in the city’s tourism industry.

Both the Harborview in downtown and Port Wisconsin Inn and Suites — the former Country Inn and Suites on the city’s north side — are undergoing extensive renovations this winter.

The Harborview is renovating all of its 93 rooms, while both the public and private spaces at Port Wisconsin Inn and Suites are being refurbished.

“The entire hotel is being redone from top to bottom,” Sue Kinas, manager at Port Wisconsin, said. “It’ll be great.”

Harborview owner Eric Lund noted that the work there is the second phase of renovations — the first phase, done in 2019, included exterior renovations and updates to all the public spaces there.

All the rooms at the hotel are being renovated, he said, even as the Beacon restaurant remains open.

“It’s quite amazing and transformative,” Lund said. “All 93 rooms are going to be completely renovated down to the bare bones. It’s going to be amazing.”

The renovations will give the Harborview a needed facelift and help the hotel continue to be competitive in the market, he said, while enhancing the experience for visitors.

“There’s so much to do in Port Washington. It’s such a down-to-earth community. There are great independent restaurants and bars and shops, and it’s got some of the best salmon fishing in the country.”

The Harborview was built in 1972 with 57 rooms, with 36 suites added in 1994.

With this renovation, Lund said, “We’ll be a brand new hotel.”

The hotel closed those original rooms on Nov. 1 while the newer rooms closed on Jan. 1, in part because demolition in the older spaces is more extensive, Lund said.

That’s because the bathrooms in those original rooms are being enlarged by taking part of the closet space, and plumbing throughout the hotel is being replaced.

Everything in the rooms, from the beds and televisions to the window treatments, tile and fixtures, is being replaced, Lund said.

Even the hallway carpeting, which was installed during the 2019 renovation, is being ripped up and replaced with “something more special,” he said.

When completed, Lund said, the hotel will have an upscale, contemporary nautical look.

The Harborview, which was a Best Western when he purchased it in 1998, became a Holiday Inn in 2004 and went independent in 2019. Now, he said, it’s part of the Ascend Hotel Collection, which gives hotels the ability to remain independent while providing the support of a franchise.

Lund noted that the Harborview donated many of the furnishing and supplies, everything from coffee and coffeemakers to bedding to Family Promise, the Port Food Pantry and Faith Reformed Church in Cedar Grove.

“We’d rather find a use for things that are still in good shape but that need to be replaced and updated,” Lund said.

The original 57 rooms are expected to reopen for guests during the first week of March, he said, and the remainder in April.

“By May 1, we’ll be fully open,” Lund said.

At Port Wisconsin, the renovations are part of the transformation as the hotel goes from a Country Inn and Suites to a Holiday Inn Express and Suites under owners Lal, Mahesh and Josh Patel, who purchased the hotel last May.

The work is largely cosmetic, not structural, the men said at the time, noting it had been at least 15 years since any renovations were done.

“People want to see new. They want modern things, and that’s what we want to give them,” Mahesh Patel said.

Much of the exterior renovations have been done, although a few things remain to be completed, Kinas said.

But inside, the hotel and its 85 rooms will undergo a compete renovation, she said.

The work includes changes to the pool and pool deck, renovations to the exercise room and ballroom and changes to the breakfast area to meet the Holiday Inn standards.

The front desk will also be reconfigured and all the rooms and bathroom will be completely redone, Kinas said.

Supply chain issues have delayed much of the interior work, she said, noting owkr on the rooms won’t start until the furniture and supplies have arrived.

“It’s just taking a very long time,” she said.

Once the work is completed, the hotel name will change again, Kinas added, this time to Holiday Inn Express Port Washington.

 

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
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