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April 21, 2005

Down on the Davenport levee

The good news is that we Davenport residents are going to get a chance to officially tell the city what we think of the plan to build a 10-story casino hotel on the downtown riverfront, about where the building housing the former Dock restaurant is now.

I'm not real crazy about the fact the opportunity to talk is costing $31,500 to pay a consulting firm "facilitation" fees, but city administrator Craig Malin insisted city staff doesn't really have what it takes to quickly translate whatever we say into reports complete with financial and design data.

The public "input" hearings are coming early next month. Plan on being there.

The city council, in the meantime, has declined to call off negotiations with the Isle of Capri Corp., which wants to build the hotel. Karl Rhomberg of the levee commission and Ald. Keith Meyer are among those suggestng the talks with IOC are premature until the public hearings are over.

Here are details on the public hearings, from the city website. The link is to a longish .pdf document. The info regarding the hearings begins on page 13.

Posted by jcb at April 21, 2005 11:13 AM

Comments

The riverfront hotel is a lousy hand of cards to deal the public. We lose a unique part of the public riverfront forever, basically, to a large eyesore. We "win" an aging Black Hawk Hotel that the casino folks want to unload.
If you've ever been on a riverboat casino, you know that the gamblers aren't interested in scenery. They don't care about being on the water. The Davenport casino would do better in the middle of a cornfield, if that corn field was next to an interstate.
If there has to be a riverfront hotel, take it out of downtown and go west. I'm a long-time Davenport taxpayer, and that's my opinion. For free.

Posted by: Vita at April 21, 2005 02:07 PM

A lot of people try to make out like alderman Meyer is a nut, but he makes a lot of sense to me.

Posted by: Anonymous at April 21, 2005 04:08 PM

So Vita, did you also complain about the Figge arts center or the Skybridge? They obstruct some view from somewhere. Doesn't the vacant Dock also obstruct the view? Last time I checked, I couldn't see the river through the building. So who cares if they put a hotel there, the benefits to Davenport will far exceed the minimal change to downtown.

I am glad you are a Davenport Taxpayer, but do you really know what the casinos do for your town?

Posted by: Anonymous at May 3, 2005 02:07 PM

You really need someone to explain the long-term benefits of a classy art museum vs a casino?

The Figge isn't ON the riverfront, btw.

I consider the riverfront should be public space, not squandered for now and future generations for a business that does very little for Davenport. Yes, there are some jobs (not well paying). And there are people who are hurt when they bleed their lives away in the casinos. And there are the casino owners, who... Well, they're assuaging their consciences with the RDA money. Just a bribe, just a bone thrown.

Posted by: Vita at May 3, 2005 02:21 PM

Have you ever worked in casino? Do you know its low paying? I know for a fact that wages are very fair.

How many people will the Figge attract each year? How many will the casino?

Obviously they are two different products, but the point is that Davenport has the opportunity for a cohesive mix yet people are complaining about green space. How many people actually spend time in LeClaire park now. Do you think that would really increase if there were no casino, hardly.

Yes problem gambling does exist, but so does alcoholism. Does that mean we shut the bar in the River Music Experience. America has a problem with over eating, do we close Centro. If there is nothing in the building then we would be able to tear it down and see the river from 2nd Ave. I'd love to walk along 2nd Ave and see the river, 3rd and 4th for that matter too.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 4, 2005 01:34 PM