Owned and operated by the Forest County Potawatomi, the new Potawatomi Hotel is part of the largest entertainment destination in the Midwest.
The Potawatomi Hotel and Casino tower dominates the skyline looking south from downtown Milwaukee. As part of the Forest County Potawatomi tribe’s expansion to its gaming operations, the $150 million hotel opened for business in 2014. We looked forward to our stay as part of a recent visit to Milwaukee, and we were not disappointed.
The hotel is an impressive addition to a thriving gaming business first begun by the Forest County Potawatomi as a bingo hall in 1991. Three subsequent expansions (including the latest one which built the hotel) spurred land refurbishment in its Menomonee Valley location.
The Potawatomi have lived in proximity with Ottawa and Ojibwe people here since the 16th century. This tribal triumvirate formed what as known as the “Council of the Three Fires.” A portion of the Potawatomi tribe remained in defiance of 19th-century relocation efforts by the U.S. government, and formally organized as the Forest County Nation in 1937. Revenues from the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino invest in the health and welfare its 1400 members and the Forest County environment. It is the largest employer in Forest County.
With signature children’s charity programs that have contributed more than $16 million over the years, the tribe emphasizes social responsibility. Other core values are responsible gaming, ensuring a diverse workforce and sharing the Potawatomi cultural heritage.
Our Experience: Our 10th floor Casino King room at the Potawatomi Hotel was contemporary and sophisticated, with a nod to the tribal symbology of “Keeper of the Sacred Fire” in its décor. A subtle flame-stitch tonal wall covering, and natural elements of wood, faux bois tile and granite gave personality.
There was plenty of room to spread out with a seating area and oversized desk space. Plenty of outlets and USB ports allowed for charging of all our devices and gave us flexibility to work comfortably.
Favorite Details: Our room’s coffee-making station with refrigerator was large enough to be a handy drop zone on our way in from a full day. Sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to get more than one cup each in hotels; we presume this is because they would rather encourage a visit to an onsite restaurant. No such problems at the Potawatomi Hotel. Since we’re early risers, we were delighted with the opportunity to enjoy several cups during a couple of hours of early worktime in the room before enjoying breakfast at the hotel’s Fire Pit Restaurant.
Our king sized Beautyrest bed delivered a luxurious night’s rest with multiple pillows and sleek linens.
The compartmentalized ensuite bathroom was brightly lit with a spacious vanity area and magnifying mirror. We appreciated the high-quality fixtures and the fragrant toiletries provided.
Staff members were clearly happy in their work. From the security guard who busted a series of complicated dance moves at the head of an escalator, to the smiling housekeeper, each person we interacted with was pleasant and welcoming.
Hotel Particulars: The Potawatomi Hotel and Casino, 1721 West Canal Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233. Tel. 1.800.PAYSBIG. The hotel is located less than a mile down Canal Street from the Harley-Davidson Museum.
Pricing: Casino rooms come in either King or 2 Queen configurations, and begin at $299/night. Casino Grand and Jacuzzi Corner Suites are available, as is their Presidential Suite. The entire hotel is non-smoking.
Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. We might have given the Potawatomi a perfect rating, but an issue with the valet parking prevents us from doing so. One of the valets must have been distracted and left his shift with our rental car key in his pocket. Management quickly resolved the problem by locating him and returning the key within about 25 minutes. We were pretty nervous during that time, but understand how it may have been an honest mistake. We were compensated with $50 in gaming money for our inconvenience, which of course I immediately lost in the slot machines. 🙂
Disclosure: Our two nights’ stay was compliments of the Potawatomi Hotel as part of our multiple day trip with Visit Milwaukee.