Wednesday, May 30, 2007

RiverCenter Casino a step closer?

Isle to lease part of the RiverCenter? -QTimes

The Times has definitely gotten a lot of column inches out of writing articles about the Isle not knowing what its going to do. Hopefully they (IOC) figure it out soon, so Davenport can stop being held hostage by their indecision and start moving forward on the riverfront, the Blackhawk, and the RiverCenter.

I do think that its better for Rhythm City to build a new hotel than try and make the Blackhawk work for them. They've shown over the last decade how capable they are of operating a historic building like that. Also, I find it interesting the people from Ad Group either a. Don't know what's happening, or b. Are better at keeping secrets than Aldermen Meyer and Hamerlinck. I could definitely see their building being eyed by IOC, because the green space across from Majors doesn't seem big enough for both a hotel and parking garage.

Now we just have to make sure that our new hotel tower doesn't look anything like the hotel towers in Bettendorf.


At 5/30/2007 9:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see why the Casino is reluctant to talk to the city......THE 2 ALDERMAN CAN'T KEEP THERE MOUTH SHUT!!!!!!

We need someone wiyh some kind of business background, and I don't mean Lynn!

At 5/30/2007 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe they can finally fix the roof of that place, seems like every boat show they have the same damn leak. the casino probably can't do a worse job maintaining the building. I say give them the side with the blackhawk as well.

At 5/30/2007 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the IOC takes over the River Center then can Daveport stop subsidizing it? After all we are going to need a lot of money to pay back the medicom fee and camera fees from the sounds of it.

Another beautiful spring day

At 5/30/2007 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Winborn, Frink, Brook and Dumas all have more than a little business experience.

At 5/30/2007 2:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

at least Bettendorf has hotel towers.

At 5/30/2007 2:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to chuckle at your choice of people with business sense.
Brooke has had serious financial issues, and Winborn's wife was running a business without a license. I am not impressed with Dumas - he seems to think getting even is best. Frink - there is hope for - his father will teach him well.

At 5/30/2007 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Winborn, Frink, Brook and Dumas all have more than a little business experience."
my point exactly, they didn't blab to the press.

At 5/30/2007 8:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What will happen to the old part of the river center when the casino takes the biggest chunk out of it? Would the city still need to pay whoever runs that place the same amount of money they do now (and the city can't do just a good a job as them loosing half a million a year)? Just give the casino the whole thing and make sure the city gets the hotel room tax out of the new tower.

At 5/30/2007 8:37 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I would think that IOC would have some part in running the River Center, or at least that it would be a lot cheaper to have someone run it.

Its been pointed out to me by various people in favor of this over the last couple months that the only things that use both halves of the RiverCenter are the pool tournament, auto show, and possibly the Festival of Trees. Its too bad that we'd be losing the nicer of the two sides though.

At 5/31/2007 12:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As taxpayers we paid to build the RiverCenter. Casinos make lots of money. No reason they should be getting such a sweet subsidized lease. They should pay normal commercial rates if they want to rent our building.

And I say we should hold them to the Blackhawk. The problem before "supposedly" was that it was so far from the boat. Can't get much closer now. QCI, you've seen what someone can do in rehabbing and retro-fitting an historic structure. With all the financial backing of a casino there is NO reason the Blackhawk has to be transferred to taxpayers as a liability.

These people that run the casino are good businessmen. I don't blame them for trying to make a good deal. The problem is the lack of negotiation skills on the city side of the table with D-1 wispering to give away the farm besides. We don't have to give away the farm - or the rivercentre. We own that building as taxpayers. We should have fair value for it including adding it to the tax roles as a private business enterprise and having the casino pay appropriate commercial property taxes on it.

At 5/31/2007 7:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, I wonder if the convention center in Bettendorf will be getting the fast track once the river center lease is signed.

At 6/01/2007 3:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where to start? The voters approved the hotel tax years ago to subsidize operations at the RiverCenter when the first part was built and again when they approved an increase several years later to build the second part. They were told this up front in the voting materials. THEY KNEW WHAT THEY WERE VOTING FOR! The whole purpose of this tax is to operate the RiverCenter to generate economic activity downtown. Does it work? This investment ($600K annually) in operating the RiverCenter with money from out-of-towners who stay in our hotels generates $20 million of economic activity downtown every year. This is a return on investment of 32 to 1. That is a pretty smart thing the City did there. You can't show me any business in America that gets that kind of ROI.

Every convention center in America including those in Peoria, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Vegas, Dallas, NY, LA etc., are subsidized with hotel taxes.

Second, I have heard that the Bettendorf Convention Center as currently planned would be $8-$10 million over budget. My bet is that it won't get built at all in the current configuration and will have to downsized so much that it won't compete with Davenport for the same type of conventions if it is built at all.

Finally, too bad for the lawyers and the change in the cable franchise law signed by the Governor. Can't wait for the Supreme Court to kick booty on the camera tickets and stick it to Lane and Waterman again. All that work and no big fat percentage to suck off of their clients. Take a good look at this thing and see who the real bad guys are (or bad ladies, Ms. Cartee). I think those of you who have spent your refund money before you got it will be crying in your beer.

At 6/02/2007 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't -or shouldn't the Festival of Trees, auto show, and pool tourney have multi-year contracts? If the casino takes over the river center shouldn't it take responsibility for those contracts? How are they going to give these clients the space they need. Oh look, there's a nice new convention center that they built five miles up river with plenty of hotel space attached to it. The IOC executives are spoon feeding us there master plan. Davenport has been complaining for years about how the rivercenter is run -maybe because the same management company that hired the embezeler is still managing it for them. Give Davenport what it wants and hand over the convention biz to private enterprise.

At 6/02/2007 8:17 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

From what I'm hearing, and what Alderman Meyer said in the newspaper article, IOC would be helping to expand the RiverCenter to the north.

I'm starting to wonder if their Bettendorf project isn't in more danger than the RiverCenter.


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