The Lodge Hotel, Soon To Be No Longer A "Castle" - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

The Lodge Hotel, Soon To Be No Longer A "Castle"

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A complete make-over for a longtime hotel and convention center. The Lodge Hotel in Bettendorf, formerly Jumer's, will become a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel.

The Bavarian or castle style theme that the QCA has either grown to love or has grown a little tired of, is going to be completely remodeled from top to bottom. 

The general manager, Ray Stoddard, said it's been a long, difficult journey to get to this point.

Stoddard toured around where he's worked for the past 12 years. Soon, over $17 million spent later, nothing will look the same. 

"The journey has been a struggle," said Stoddard. "The existing investors have tried to find a way for years to justify putting the money back into the property. Unfortunately, there just isn't a justification with the theme."

No more stuffed animals or old world European inspired flair will remain. Stoddard said they haven't decided yet what they'll do with all the old furniture and displays.
 
"Nobody likes to see a Grand Dame lose it's luster, but it has," said Stoddard. "It's lost it's luster."

He said while leisure travelers enjoy it's current theme, corporate travelers aren't interested in it at all. Instead, Stoddard said the hotel had to go to a completely contemporary design to stay in business. 

That's why he's excited to have secured DoubleTree by Hilton as their new franchise for the hotel. 

"The fears have been for the last number of years that the only option was that it was going to have to close for something to happen," said Stoddard. "We're going to be able to keep it open and all the employees that are here now, close to 75 employees all get to keep their jobs."

Stoddard said nearly 200 new jobs will be added. They have also asked for tax increment financing dollars. 

"That creates roughly $175,000 per year on the property tax TIF and we're extending that over a 10 year period, so $1.75 million on the TIF and then they have the potential for the hotel/motel tax up to a million over the 5," said Director of Economic Development for the City of Bettendorf Steve Van Dyke.

Van Dyke said the property after renovations might be assessed to over $10 million. Next he said they will get input from public, so the project can be put into play. 

The restoration process for the hotel will begin at the end of the summer. They're hoping to remain open during most of the remodeling and be completely finished by the first of the year in 2015.

The hotel manager said the property value on the hotel has been declining and consequently the amount it pays in taxes. He said this will all be reversed soon benefiting the city, county and schools. 

 

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