Jumer's Castle Lodge Inc.'s hotels, with their Old World charms, once dotted Interstate 74 until their owner went into bankruptcy in 1999.
Along with the Castle Lodge in Bettendorf, Illinois properties in Galesburg, Peoria, Bloomington and Urbana were sold off in 2001 and 2002.
Three remain in use as hotels, one is a hotel and convention center, and one serves as a senior living center.
Jumer's also operated the Casino Rock Island riverboat on that city's riverfront from 1992 until opening the land-based Jumer's Casino and Hotel in 2008. It was sold to Delaware North Companies in 2011.
The Urbana and Peoria properties had their struggles. The Urbana property was closed for a time before reopening in 2012 as the Urbana Landmark Hotel. The Peoria hotel closed in 2009 but reopened in August 2011 as the Courtyard Estates of Peoria.
Before reopening as the senior living center, the Courtyard Estates got a bit of a facelift, admission and marketing director Ashley Steward said. Workers painted dark wood white to help lighten the interior.
"We kept a lot of the antiques," Steward said. "It is still definitely a landmark here for the local people.
"A lot of people still refer to it here as the former Jumer's. It still has that Jumer’s feel."
Galesburg attorney Barry Barash bought the Galesburg property in 2001 after making what he called a "ridiculously" low offer. It operates as the Best Western Prairie Inn. He said the building was in good shape when he bought it, originally built as a Sheraton hotel. He sold the property five years ago.
Barash is aware of the Bettendorf and Peoria properties and said they are difficult to maintain because of their Old World atmosphere. When the properties were owned by James Jumer, he had woodworkers on staff to maintain the Germanic style.
"Being built as a Sheraton, it didn’t have all that stuff," he said of the Galesburg property.