Hotel rooms in Milwaukee selling out as March Madness approaches
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- March Madness is already driving up prices of hotels and many are already close to selling out.
After NCAA teams were selected Sunday, hotel demand increased drastically almost immediately.
"Going into this morning, we were sitting at 80 percent occupied," Adam Dziadosz said. "We've seen fairly large increases in pricing throughout this week. Over $200 for rooms."
Adam Gziadosz is the area general manager for the Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Downtown and president of the Greater Milwaukee Hotel And Lodging Association. He is expecting a sellout, along with every other hotel downtown.
"In addition to March Madness coming in, we also have a regional volleyball tournament, so in total we should see 25,000 visitors this weekend," he said.
Visit Milwaukee said NCAA teams, media and officials will account for at least 5,000 rooms alone.
"We only have 16,000 rooms available within basically 15 miles of downtown," Gziadosz said. "Back in 2017 when we had March Madness as well, we sold out all the way to Brookfield."
Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport is already greeting visitors with signs at the gate. And hot tourist spots like the Milwaukee Public Market are getting ready for a big spike in visitors.
"It's going to be madness in the market," executive director Paul Schwartz said.
He expects this to be one of the busiest weekends of the year so far.
"Inform our vendors so they can stack up and then also order enough product," Schwartz said.
He said the market will have the games playing on every TV. Certain vendors will also have March Madness specials going on all day during the games.
"We expect a lot of people to come in here and enjoy the products and bring souvenirs back to the area," he said.