Milwaukee, the new Hollywood?

Question: What do Johnny Depp (Jack Sparrow) and Christian Bale (the new Batman) have in common?

Answer: They are both stars in a new movie filmed in Milwaukee and other Wisconsin towns!

As part of Wisconsin’s new 15-25% tax credit incentives for companies that make movies, TV shows, or video games here in Wisconsin, the future blockbuster movie, “Public Enemies” was filmed here over the last two months.

(http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2008/07/17/ap5225851.html)

The public/private partnership Film Wisconsin (http://www.filmwisconsin.org/) is leading the charge and has announced that there is more to come, including a video game production, a TV show, and a new Sci-Fi thriller. (http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080717/GPG0101/807170591/1207/GPG01)

New studios are popping up and excitement is growing as the reality sets in that Milwaukee and Wisconsin might be the hot new destination for stars and blockbuster film.

Milwaukee as the new Hollywood? What do you think?

Enjoy Milwaukee!

Large Milwaukee Company to be Listed on the Big Board

Today, it was announced that Milwaukee will add yet another Fortune 1000 company to it’s already impressive resume of local business.

Milwaukee based Rexnord Holdings, owner of Falk Corp. (the plant near the Milwaukee Domes that blew up), announced today that it has filed the necessary paperwork to go public on the New York Stock Exchange with a stock offering worth up to $750 Million. With sales of approximately $1.8 Billion dollars this last fiscal year and over 7,000 employees worldwide, Rexnord will most likely join 24 other publicly owned companies in Wisconsin on the Fortune 1000 list.

http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSWNAB126220080718

About Rexnord:

Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Rexnord is a leading global multi-platform industrial company, currently comprised of two platforms; Power Transmission and Water Management, with approximately 7,400 employees worldwide. Rexnord’s power transmission products include gears, couplings, industrial bearings, flattop, aerospace bearings and seals, special components and industrial chain, and conveying equipment. Rexnord’s water management products include professional grade specification plumbing, water treatment and waste water control products. Additional information about the Company can be found at http://www.rexnord.com/ and http://www.zurn.com/.

Milwaukee: Top 10 City for Young Professionals

As part of its re-emergence as one of the best cities in the world to live and do business, Milwaukee was recently ranked by Forbes Magazine as one of the top 10 places for Young Professionals beating out the following cities this year:

Los Angeles
Dallas
Las Vegas
Phoenix
Atlanta
Portland
Denver
Seattle
St. Louis
Philadelphia
San Diego
Indianapolis
Tampa
Miami
Orlando
Salt Lake City
Detroit
San Antonio
Sacramento
Cleveland
Kansas City
Cincinnati
New Orleans

Find Milwaukee in the slideshow here:

http://www.forbes.com/2008/07/09/cities-professionals-young-forbeslife-cx_mw_0709youngprofessionals_slide_33.html?thisSpeed=15000

Here is what they had to say about Milwaukee in their article:

Milwaukee might not be a leading innovator, but it has the fifth-highest concentration of top companies in the country, by our count. And those jobs pay. Despite a below-average cost of living, salaries paid to professionals are comfortably above the national average, at $54,169. Sweetening the deal further, the city is in the top quartile for its population of never-married citizens between 20 and 35.” ( View entire story at http://www.forbes.com/home/2008/07/09/cities-professionals-young-forbeslife-cx_mw_0709youngprofessionals.html )

Just another magazine that has begun to enjoy Milwaukee!

Picking the Milwaukee PGA tournament over the British Open

For all the non-golfers out there, let me start by explaining that this week in the world of professional golfing, there are actually two tournaments to play if you are a professional golfer:

1) The prestigious British Open

or

2) The US Bank Championship in Milwaukee.

Steve Stricker, a Wisconsin resident and native, chose to hop the pond and play the British this year and last. Very disappointing, however, for the hottest player on the tour, now that Tiger is gone, it was an easy choice: Milwaukee!

“If I was going to play the British Open, I’d have to miss this week, and this is a week I love playing,” he said. “I was going to have to miss Milwaukee, which is a tournament I’ve won. Later he said, “I’m going to play where I want to play golf, and if they don’t like it, that’s fine with me.”
– Kenny Perry (arguably the #2 golfer in the world right now)

http://www.piercecountyherald.com/articles/index.cfm?id=21828&section=Wisconsin%20Sports&property_id=13

While it is always disappointing to see local favorites such as Stricker, who serves on the board of the US Bank Championship, skip out on Wisconsin’s annual PGA tour stop…it certainly feels great to see internationally known golfers such as Perry choose Milwaukee.

It certainly gives me the “Milwaukee is Back” feeling.

I will be there at the tournament this week. It starts on Thursday and goes until the final round on Sunday. Should be great weather with some amazing golfers (and live music), so feel free to support your local Milwaukee PGA tour stop. There are many states, including Minnesota and Iowa, that don’t get that chance.

For more information on this big Milwaukee event, check out:

http://www.usbankchampionship.com/

Enjoy Milwaukee!

Goodbye Miller! (Requiem for a brewing company)

Miller Brewing Company was born in 1855 in Milwaukee, WI to Frederick Miller and his wife. It spent it’s childhood and adult life proudly headquartered in the beautiful lakeside city of Milwaukee, WI. Miller Brewing Company passed away from Milwaukee on July 15th, 2008 due to a merger and relocation. Survivors include Sprecher Brewery, Lakefront Brewery, and Stonefly Brewery. Miller is preceded in death by the Schlitz, Pabst, and Blatz breweries.

(Deep Breath)

Ok, I have to admit, I’m a bit unhappy at the moment. It could have something to do with my hometown business pride, or the fact that I feel really sheepish about using Miller Brewing Co. as a point of pride this morning when I declared that Milwaukee was officially back…and then this is announced.

I regret to inform you that Miller Brewing and it’s new partner Coors will be headquartered in Chicago, not Milwaukee. (Dramatic Pause)

http://www.theolympian.com/nationworld/story/507841.html

This will be the second beer brand to end up in Chicago after Pabst moved from Milwaukee to Texas and then to finally to Chicago last year. Yes, I know that Chicagoland residents drink 40% of the beer produced by the Milwaukee Miller brewery, but this is just crazy.

I have told friends and family since the merger that if they move the headquarters out of Milwaukee, then I won’t be drinking their beer anytime soon. Sadly, I will now be keeping that pledge, and I invite you to join me.

For hometown headquartered beer, we’ve got several other fun options:

One of my favorites, brewed by beer genius Randy Sprecher…
http://www.sprecherbrewery.com/beers.php

A bunch of fun people and real Milwaukee beer…
http://www.lakefrontbrewery.com/main_page.html

If you haven’t had the tours at either location, you might want to check them out. They are a riot.

As for MillerCoors, I’m definately disappointed. Yes, Chicago and Milwaukee are generally considered one big megalopolis, but then why not just stay in the Brew City, the home of Miller Park, the Miller Brewery, Miller Valley, and one of the only cities that isn’t overrun with Budweiser beer?

If anyone has any thoughts on the matter, please share them with us.

Until then…goodbye Miller! Enjoy your move 90 miles away…it’s been a great run (153 years).

Milwaukee is Back?

As many of my friends know, I am sort of a fan of Milwaukee. I was born here, went to college here, live here, and work here. But what some people don’t know is that I chose to move here from the Twin Cities of Minnesota (A beautiful metro area as well), where I went to high school and my parents still live.

Why?

Let me tell you in two words: Opportunity and Excitement

One of the most annoying things to me is when ignorant people make ignorant statements like this: “Milwaukee is shabby” or my personal favorite “Milwaukee is a dying city”.
Milwaukee, a dying city?

The reason that the last statement bothers me so much is because it simply isn’t true and couldn’t be further from the truth. We need positive thinking to keep moving forward, not negative, ignorant comments.

Yes, Milwaukee has had a rough time in the 80’s and early 90’s. I will never deny that. The shifting of manufacturing plants to overseas locations devastated Milwaukee. Thousands of people lost there jobs and hundreds of buildings began decaying, but Milwaukee never gave up and here we are today.

Opportunity and Excitement?

Let me tell you a little bit about that. We have one of the world’s most beautiful buildings (Milwaukee Art Museum), some of the most famous brands in the world still call Milwaukee home (Harley-Davidson, Miller Brewing, Kohl’s Department Stores, Briggs and Stratton, and many others), and we have a lot of fun (Summerfest, Potawatomi, great clubs, amazing restaurants, and so much more).

I could go on and on about the reasons that Milwaukee is back, but I think I will simply begin a series of web log entries defending my position and allow people to discuss their feelings about this subject.

Is Milwaukee back? Feel free to discuss:

(If you are interested in taking part in the discussion, or simply are curious about the 50+ articles I am planning to write, feel free to subscribe to the blog. The original feed is at http://milwaukeeisback.blogspot.com/ )