The Pfister Hotel Is Reopening With a Meticulous Sanitation Plan

Gadgets, tissues and rigorous cleaning go a long way to restore a sense of comfort jeopardized by COVID-19.

It’s no secret that the hospitality industry took a big hit from COVID-19. Fear of transmission brought hotels across the country to a grinding halt, and Milwaukee’s historic Pfister Hotel was no exception. Despite looming COVID fears, people need to travel, and the Pfister’s doors have opened with a commitment to safety, health and sanitation that they’re calling the CleanCare Pledge.

At first, stepping into the lobby of the Pfister makes you feel like nothing much has changed at all. The spacious, elegant lobby welcomes you in and surrounds you with art, from the ceiling-spanning mural above your head, to the portraits that line the walls and the twin renaissance guard statues that flank the entrance to the lobby lounge. It’s when you notice those guards are wearing face masks that the rest of the little changes start to register.

Photo by Calvin Lemieux

Touchless hand sanitizer dispensers are mounted on the lobby’s columns, spotless plexiglass dividers are raised at the check-in and concierge desks, and social distancing markers dot the floor six feet apart. All of these changes, part of the CleanCare Pledge, are designed to be subtle yet reassuring, letting visitors know that the Pfister is prioritizing safety without compromising the guest experience.

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Flashy new technology brings a modern edge to the CleanCare pledge, including a powerful new disinfectant mister and a UV-disinfectant box for pocket contents at the concierge desk, but simple solutions aren’t overlooked. Tissue boxes mounted at every elevator, outside and in, let visitors touch buttons without making contact.

The CleanCare pledge doesn’t stop at the ground floor, however.  The door of each newly-cleaned room is sealed with an adhesive “CleanCare Pledge” seal to show that you will be the first person inside since its last post-checkout sanitation. Soon enough, there will be no need to worry about a keycard; the hotel is rolling out a new app in the next few weeks that will let you check in and scan in to your room with your own phone, bypassing the front desk altogether.

Inside the room, vectors of transmission (think magazines, glassware, those binders full of room service information and local phone numbers) have been removed and replaced with digital or disposable alternatives, and what can’t be substituted is thoroughly disinfected after each use. Even the TV remote comes sealed in a little plastic bag.

Aside from the Club Lounge on the 23rd floor, everything at the Pfister is open and sanitized at the same level of scrutiny and care, including the spa, conference rooms, Mason Street Grill, and BLU, boasting live music on Friday and Saturday nights (with reservations).

“The CleanCare Pledge is our pledge to our guests,” says Erin Levzow, VP of Marketing with the Pfister. “To take your health, take your safety very seriously. Everything you see, we’re constantly doing, to bring guests in and not have them worry.”

Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel, also managed by the Pfister’s parent organization Marcus Hotels & Resorts, will be re-opening under the standards of the CleanCare Pledge on July 31, with three full art galleries featuring brand new exhibits. For more detailed information about the CleanCare Pledge, you can visit the Pfister’s website.

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Calvin Lemieux is a Communication graduate from University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. Following an internship with Milwaukee Magazine in Fall 2019 and graduation in Spring 2020, he returned to work as a freelance writer.