TownNews.com Content Exchange

The outdoor plaza overlooking Lake Mendota at The Edgewater hotel would have been a sea of cardinal and white this Friday.

A few blocks away, at the Concourse Hotel, each of its 373 rooms would be booked. Restaurants and retailers on nearby State Street would be jammed and there would be anticipation by hotel guests of a Saturday morning counterclockwise stroll around Capitol Square at the Dane County Farmers Market.

Madison area hotel industry struggles amid COVID-19

Amy Wasney, a front-desk agent at the Concourse Hotel, has had little business since March. Bookings at the hotel are down over 70% and the staff has been reduced from 260 to about 40 people.

Madison area hotel industry struggles amid COVID-19

The plaza at The Edgewater, shown here in 2016, is a popular gathering space before Wisconsin Badgers football games, but will be largely empty on Friday when the Badgers open their season against Illinois.

Madison area hotel industry struggles amid COVID-19

Adam Gautreaux, general manager of the Sheraton Hotel along John Nolen Drive, shows off some of its new meeting space following a $15 million, two-year renovation. Hotels that rely on business travel, conventions, conferences and weddings have been hit hard by the pandemic.

Madison area hotel industry struggles amid COVID-19

The new outdoor space at the Sheraton Hotel on John Nolen Drive.

Madison area hotel industry struggles amid COVID-19

The hotels in the Madison area thrive on conferences, conventions, special events and Badgers football, but COVID-19 has killed most events. The Sheraton Hotel recently completed a $15 million renovation, has hosted only one wedding since March and has seen bookings plunge.

Madison area hotel industry struggles amid COVID-19

Every inch of the former Crowne Plaza is getting a remake as the property along East Washington Avenue is converted to a DoubleTree by Hilton. The hotel was purchased out of foreclosure in March by Middleton-based North Central Group.

Madison area hotel industry struggled amid COVID-19

Friends and family members of Michelle Wolf, of Epworth, Iowa, use a tarp to keep Wolf's Ayrshire Spring yearling dry and show-ready for the 2019 World Dairy Expo. This year's event, which was supposed to draw 50,000 people to Madison, was canceled.

Madison area hotel industry struggles amid COVID-19

North Central Group, a Middleton hotel company, has been renovating the former Crowne Plaza on East Washington Avenue into a DoubleTree by Hilton. The hotel is scheduled to open next month and is getting a complete makeover.

Madison area hotel industry struggles amid COVID-19

Adam Gautreaux shows off the Roth Room on the seventh floor of the Sheraton Hotel in Madison. The room is named after former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth. The band trashed rooms in the hotel during a 1978 tour stop in Madison.

Madison area hotel industry struggles amid COVID-19

Construction of the 199-room Drury Plaza Hotel on the former Madison Area Technical College campus in Madison's downtown has been paused. It's unclear when construction will resume.

Madison area hotel industry struggles amid COVID-19

The former Crowne Plaza has been undergoing a massive transformation into a DoubleTree by Hilton and is scheduled to open next month. Area hotels are struggling during COVID-19.

This article originally ran on madison.com.

Locations

TownNews.com Content Exchange