'They chose the right city': Restaurant, hotel professionals excited for Milwaukee to host RNC
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- It's no secret those working in the restaurant and hotel industries have had a tough couple of years caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain issues and staffing shortages. The announcement of the Republican National Convention being hosted in Milwaukee in 2024 could be considered a breath of fresh air.
"We couldn't be more excited," exclaimed Brandon Drusch, general manager of Saint Kate - The Arts Hotel. "This is a big opportunity for us and Milwaukee to really rewrite the story. For us, this is a big deal."
The city, and the businesses within, missed out on the millions of dollars the Democratic National Convention was expected to generate in 2020 after the convention was made mostly virtual during the heart of the pandemic. Now, the RNC is providing a second chance for the community to showcase all it has to offer.
"It's a rebuilding, and we're ready," Drusch said. "We do this every day, and for us to have the opportunity to put that on an international level, this is what we're excited about."
Paul Bartolotta is the co-founder and chef at The Bartolotta Restaurants. He also serves as an active board member for Visit Milwaukee, the MMAC and the Wisconsin Restaurant Association. He was in Chicago for the announcement.
"They made the right choice. They chose the right city," Bartolotta said, talking to CBS 58 over the phone. "We have an incredible city. We have so much to showcase. Milwaukee is capable and has already hosted a lot of great things over the years and this is just showing that next level that we can do."
Bartolotta also pointed out the economic impact the convention will have not only for the city, but the hardworking employees that keep the businesses running.
"We have a lot of fabulous, hardworking people who are going to benefit," Bartolotta said. "Servers, bartenders in our industry that are going to get tips, hotels are going to have higher occupancy. We're going to have an opportunity to drive not only revenue, but improve the quality of life as investing in the future of our city."
The RNC is expected to take place in July or August 2024.