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A prominent site in Bettendorf once was a destination for families and romantics seeking a stay in a German-style castle in the middle of the Midwest. Now, developers hope the site will be a draw for the modern professional on the move.

The deteriorating, iconic 1970s-era Jumer's Castle Lodge closed its doors in August 2015 and was demolished the following year. Now, a $15 million Hilton-branded Home2 Suites extended-stay hotel has been built in its place.

The Bavarian-style architecture, gargoyle statues and grand banquet hall have been replaced with a modern four-story, clean-lined concrete and brick structure. 

"The Lodge years and years ago was a different experience, with the restaurant and banquet facilities. It was a grand experience," said developer Daniel Huber, co-owner of Frontier Hospitality Group. "But now for the every day person, this hotel is a more efficient, easier stay. It's everything you need and nothing you don't." 

Huber said the more than 64,400-square-foot hotel's design is reminiscent of Davenport's manufacturing industry and historic warehouses, with brick elements and steel-framed windows. But the interior of the hotel — which opened this week at 975 Utica Ridge Court — feels completely new.

The 107 rooms, he said, are designed with the modern business professional and traveler in mind, with fully-equipped kitchenettes, spacious bathrooms, desks and storage space. 

"We're targeting people who are in the market for what could be five days, or what could be a year," Huber said. "It could be traveling nurses, a recruit in between houses, someone working on a project for a number of months. It's really for people who don't want the limitations of a normal hotel. They want to really be moving in." 

The hotel also features an indoor pool, fitness center and outdoor patio.

While the hotel is now completed, construction continues on the surrounding land. Investor Jim Russell, president and CEO of Russell Construction, is developing the site, which will feature a Kwik Star convenience store and gas station — to be completed by the end of this year.

A retail strip center is planned next door, but tenants have not been announced. And one lot to the north is up for sale.

"Russell did a great job of getting this hotel done in probably the worst weather we could ever have," Huber said. 

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Last summer, the Bettendorf City Council approved a tax increment financing agreement for the development, with Russell agreeing to build a hotel valued at a minimum of $6.7 million. It will receive a TIF rebate of 20 payments over 10 years.

The developer will continue to pay property taxes on the site’s current assessed value of $600,000. But as the value increases with new development, the company will be reimbursed any tax increment over the base for one decade, according to the agreement.

Jeff Reiter, the city’s economic development director, previously said the hotel could help restore the city’s declining hotel/motel taxes, and generate an additional $47,000 a year in the taxes.

One of the most visible sites in Bettendorf, Huber said he couldn't "think of a  better, more accessible location to develop a hotel." 

"We always have referred to I-74 between Davenport and Bettendorf, and into the Illinois Quad-Cities, as the economic spine of the trade area. And this is about the center of the spine; this is the bull's-eye location," Huber said. 

The new Hilton-branded hotel is the third Quad-City development for Frontier Hospitality Group. The company began 69 years ago when the Baker family opened a dozen-room motor inn in Clinton. Huber added the family was snowed-in during the first Thanksgiving and served turkey to their guests.

"That's a long, long history of being hoteliers. We're not just developers. We talk about how special is it we're longtime hoteliers, and how it makes a difference in the quality of service," he said. 

Huber said Frontier will open its next Quad-City hotel, Cambria Hotel Bettendorf by the TBK Bank Sports Complex, later this month.

 

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