Iron Horse Hotel

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Congratulations to the following WH&LA members on their recent awards & recognition:

2013 Best of Wisconsin Meetings awards, presented by Wisconsin Meetings magazine

Ho-Chunk Casino Hotel & Convention Center, Baraboo – named Best Wisconsin Casino with Meeting Space
Heidel House Resort & Spa, Green Lake – named Best Wisconsin Lakeshore Resort
The Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee – named Hotel with the Best Service
Kalahari Resort Convention Center & Waterpark, Wisconsin Dells – named Best Wisconsin Convention Center
The Iron Horse Hotel, Milwaukee – named Best Wisconsin Retreat
The Madison Concourse Hotel & Governor’s Club, Madison – named Best Wisconsin Conference Center
Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau – named Most Helpful CVB

Top 100 Spas of 2012, presented by Spas of America

The Osthoff Resort [Aspira Spa], Elkhart Lake – ranked #3
Heidel House Resort & Spa [Evensong Spa], Green Lake – ranked #45
Sundara Inn & Spa, Wisconsin Dells – ranked #58



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Congratulations to the following WH&LA members on recent awards & recognition:

Sundara Inn & Spa, Wisconsin Dells was voted Top 10 in two categories, “Best Boutique Hotel” and “Best for Environmental Practices.”

Aspira Spa at The Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake, was named to’s “Top 10 for Water Sports,” ranked 5th on Spas of America‘s list of “Top 100 Spas for 2011″ and received Condé Nast Traveler’s 2011 “Readers’ Choice Award” for a top Mainland U.S. Large Resort.

The Iron Horse Hotel, Milwaukee, was named to Condé Nast Traveler’s “2012 Gold List,” which is based on readers’ picks of the best hotels in the world.


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Congratulations to the following WH&LA member properties for their recent awards and recognition!

U.S. News Travel section has announced their top 10 “Best Hotels in Wisconsin,” based on an analysis of awards, expert recommendations and user ratings. Each of the 10 properties are WH&LA members, and they include: The Iron Horse Hotel, Milwaukee; Canoe Bay, Chetek; The American Club, Kohler; The Delafield Hotel, Delafield; The Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee; Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Lake Geneva; InterContinental Milwaukee; Ambassador Hotel, Milwaukee; BEST WESTERN PREMIER Bridgewood Resort Hotel, Neenah; and Heidel House Resort & Spa, Green Lake.

The Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee was also named as one of the top 25 luxury hotels in the US by TripAdvisor in the company’s 10th annual Travelers’ Choice Awards.



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Congratulations to the following WH&LA members on their recent awards and recognition!

The Iron Horse Hotel, Milwaukee was honored by the American Hotel & Lodging Association at its Stars of the Industry Awards ceremony, held during the Summer Summit at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, GA. The hotel was a winner of the Guest Relations, Small Property award and the Special Events, One-time Only, Small Property award for its celebration of the 77th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition, where the property was transformed into a 1933 speakeasy.

Bob & Anita Dhir of DHIR Group LLC, Milwaukee were recognized at the Choice Hotels International 2011 Convention as 2011 Premier Alliance Winners, which recognizes exceptional franchisees that develop properties with Choice Hotels, live up to the brand promise through excellent property performance and are active in the franchise community.


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Congratulations to the following WH&LA member properties for their diamond ratings from AAA:

Four Diamond – The Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee; The Iron Horse Hotel, Milwaukee; Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Lake Geneva; and The Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake

Five Diamond – The American Club, Kohler

Only 4.4 percent of AAA-rated hotels and 2.7 percent of restaurants receive four diamonds. Only one-third of 1 percent of rated establishments receive five diamonds.

The entire list of diamond-rated properties and restaurants can be found here.


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Congratulations to the following WH&LA members for their recent awards and recognition!

A-1 Textiles & Hospitality Products, Chatsworth, CA, named to the “Inc. 5000,” Inc. magazine’s annual list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the country.

Iron Horse Hotel, Milwaukee, named Boutique Hotel of the Year by The Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association, Hospitality Design Group and The Nielsen Company.


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Congratulations to The Iron Horse Hotel, Milwaukee, for winning two national awards at the American Hotel & Lodging Association Summer Summit last month!

James Valona was named Outstanding Manager of the Year, while Graham Adams received the Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year.

“We’re honored that not one, but two Iron Horse employees were recognized this year,” said owner Tim Dixon. “With only 12 awards given out, that’s pretty impressive.”

The Iron Horse put together a great old-time-style YouTube video highlighting a day in the life of Graham Adams, available here.


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Congrats to the following five WIA members!

The Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, and The Pfister & the Iron Horse hotels in Milwaukee all received AAA’s Four Diamond ratings for 2010.  This was the first year that the Iron Horse received the rating.

Also, for the 25th consecutive year, the American Club in Kohler received AAA’s Five Diamond rating.  They continue to be the only Five Diamond recipient in Wisconsin.  Read more about each property at our other blog post here.

Interesting facts: The American Club is one of only 113 lodging properties throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean to earn the Five Diamond status. Also, The Pfister Hotel is one of only 14 lodging properties to hold the AAA Four Diamond rating for 34 consecutive years (since the program’s inception in 1977).

Learn more about the AAA Diamond Rating system at their site here & Congratulations again to the five above!


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Web 2.0 & social media for business – seems I can’t open my email anymore without seeing another article, blog or headline about utilizing the web to increase your visibility, engage customers or generate interest in promotions.  The following are some of the best from my email this week & are definitely worth checking out:

Google’s Matt Cutts on “How to Get Better Visibility on Google”
In less than five minutes Matt shares 5 common sense & completely above board tips to increase the Google ranking of your site.  Some may be elementary, but this short video is definitely worth your time.[youtube=]

Google also recently launched a new free tool in their Local Business Center which allows “business owners to control the content of their business listings as they appear in Google Search and Google Maps.”  Check out this blog post by Google on how to access the following info on your site: Impressions, Actions, Top search queries and Zip codes where driving directions come from.  Google also does a good job of including a short instructional video with more info on using this new dashboard.  Pretty cool, eh?

Hotels jumping on social media bandwagon
If you’re not sure how Twitter applies to your property, Maya Meinert shares info on how companies such as Marriott International are utilizing Twitter.  Also included are single property tweeters including LA’s Westin Bonaventure and Milwaukee’s Iron Horse Hotel.  With over 1,800 followers, the Iron Horse Hotel shares info on current promotions, responds to guest comments and offers fun, random thoughts (“Is vice-versa to a dyslexic just plain redundant?”)

Meet The Hotel Tweet
Over at, Adam Kirby shares more info on properties using Twitter and has some good advice from Susan Black, a NY “travel industry social media consultant”:
“Develop a personable, recognizable voice for your Twitter account and focus on building brand loyalty, picking up one-off business when you can, Black says—and never lose sight of the fact that Twitter is a conversation, not a bullhorn.
“It’s not one-way. It’s a dialogue,” Black says. “Be there to answer the queries. It’s well known on Twitter that people follow other people when they know there is a person or a personality behind it.”

And finally, if you’re looking to the future and want to know what’s headed this way soon, check out this post from  Will you be Ready for 2012, The Real Year of Mobile. 1.5 BILLION users accessing the web from mobile devices by 2012?  If that doesn’t make your head spin & your stomach a bit queasy, you’re stronger than I!


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