September 2011

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live in a man's world Erikson, whose father-in-law started the project, joined the team last year after an ownership change and a construction hia- tus had many Madisonians wondering when the hotel would open its doors. After fi ve months of intense work—completed while expecting his second child (his wife was due the day BRAVA sat down with him)—the doors are open. Today, one thing is for sure: Erikson is ready to paint the town red. You market HotelRED as "World-class luxury. Wisconsin style." Can you defi ne your idea of "Wisconsin style"? We wanted to create a Madison feel, to bring in those things that are unique to [this town]. Th e other half of it is that we wanted to extend a cool, funky style to Madison, showing them that an independent-thinking college town deserves a hotel like this. Where did the name HotelRED come from? We came up with it after bouncing a lot of ideas back and forth. But it made sense for the location—across the street from Camp Ran- dall Stadium. Mike Erikson By Caroline Radaj Badger football isn't the only hot ticket around Camp Randall this season. While seats inside the stadium are selling out, just across the street, rooms at the brand new HotelRED are hot as well. Situated at the crossway of Monroe and Regent streets, the hotel is ushering in a new wave of luxury amenities, bringing a boutique hotel experience to a neighborhood that already expertly blends high-end retail with casual comforts. HotelRED's completion has been long awaited and much discussed within the community, and in the middle of it all is Mike Erikson. President of Red Hospitality, Erikson grew up a Mid- western boy in Hudson, Ohio, but it was a trip to San Francisco and a run-in with a woman from Madison (who would become his wife) that steered him to Wisconsin. A peek inside HotelRED… The design: The hotel's architecture is Euro-inspired, though all of the guest room furniture is manufac- tured, designed and ordered from local companies. 28 The food: "The Wise" restaurant menu will have local fare from various Wisconsin dairies and farms and will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The environment: HotelRED goes green! Over 75 percent of construction waste on the project was recycled, diverting over 46 tons of waste from landfi lls. The hotel has 48 extended-stay suites that promise "ultra-modern amenities" including high-defi nition televisions, kitchenettes and more. What is your favorite aspect of each room? Th e modern style. We're seeking customers who want an experi- ence when they come to Madison. Th ey want something different, something fun. It doesn't look like the same hotel you had in an- other city. And the extended-stay capabilities we're offering are for professionals that might be coming for a period of time. But the hotel isn't just for the people from out of town. We know we can't survive without local support so we want to create [an in-town get- away] … with a nice restaurant serving local fare. We will be soon announcing a new brand of restaurant that will have its own name and identity. Adding a little bit of luxury and a whole lotta style to Monroe Street What has been the best part about this process? Getting to create something. I've visited Madison a lot but getting to work with the people here, getting to know them [has been a great experience]. We had a shell of a building fi ve months ago and a lot of the things inside have basically been conceived or put togeth- er in that time period. It's been pretty crazy putting it all together. You have a new baby in the family! Congratulations. How have you balanced planning for both HotelRED and a new baby? It's been a challenge. We've been joking that we're giving birth to two children, one hotel and one child! My wife has been great about it; she knows there's an end in sight. It's been a lot of work the last fi ve months or so, but now I have two things to celebrate right at the same time. Once HotelRED gets settled, what do you see in the future? HotelBLUE? HotelGREEN? You can pick the town for where those belong. [But right now we're focused on] sending out a welcome to Madison. We hope we've created something funky and new that Madison will embrace and call its own. ••• Erikson and his wife welcomed a baby boy on Aug. 10! The reservations: Reservations can be made at (608) 819-8228 or Rates vary by date. BRAVA Magazine September 2011 Photo by Amber Arnold

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