Restaurant and Hospitality Professionals Delighted Milwaukee to Welcome RNC

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – It’s no secret that those working in the restaurant and hospitality industries have had a tough few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, chain issues in supply and staffing shortages. The announcement of hosting the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee in 2024 could be seen as a breath of fresh air.

“We couldn’t be more excited,” exclaimed Brandon Drusch, General Manager of Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel. “It’s a big opportunity for us and Milwaukee to really rewrite history. For us, that’s a big deal.”

The city and the businesses there missed out on the millions of dollars the Democratic National Convention was expected to generate in 2020 after the convention was made mostly virtual amid the pandemic. Now, the RNC is giving the community a second chance to showcase all it has to offer.

“It’s a rebuild, and we’re ready,” Drusch said. “We do it every day, and for us to have the opportunity to put that on an international level, that’s what excites us.”

Paul Bartolotta is the co-founder and chef of Bartolotta restaurants. He is also an active board member of Visit Milwaukee, 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, speaking to CBS 58 by phone. “We have an amazing city. We have so much to show for it. Milwaukee is capable and has hosted a lot of great things over the years and it just shows what a higher level we can do.”

Bartolotta also highlighted the economic impact the convention will have not only for the city, but also for the employees who keep the businesses running.

“We have a lot of fabulous, hardworking people who are going to benefit from this,” Bartolotta said. “Waiters, bartenders in our industry who are going to be tipped, hotels are going to have higher occupancy. We’re going to have the opportunity to not only generate revenue, but also improve the quality of life by investing in the future of our city.”

The RNC is expected to take place in July or August 2024.

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