It started out as Jumer’s Castle Lodge Hotel and eventually became simply known as The Lodge. Monday, the Quad Cities landmark had an appointment with the bulldozer.
The iconic German-style hotel has stood in Bettendorf since the 70’s.
The Lodge Hotel will take a while to tear down, 45 to 60 days to be exact. Monday afternoon, The Lodge was still intact, and about 60 people gathered to watch the demo start.
“This is hard. It’s a beautiful place. Many great memories, we, anniversaries, weddings,” said former Lodge employee Daniel Connors.
Daniel connors worked for the Jumer family for more than three decades. For eight years, he was the general manager of The Lodge Hotel, and he’s sad to see it go.
“Nobody else could ever duplicate this. It was just beautiful. All the antiques that he had shipped over… and It was it was magical,” Connors said.
The demolition kicked off with a ceremony. Russell construction copied a scene from the classic Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher threw a rock at a window, and made a wish for the future of the property.
A future he’s optimistic about.
“This is an iconic structure for our community and it’s a little sadness to see it go today. But the plans for the future especially after it had become so dilapidated, are incredible,” Gallagher said.
Russell Construction President and CEO Jim Russell says the future of the property is uncertain, but he’s already got a timeline in place.
“It’s almost 10 acres here, and I can say with a lot of confidence that we’ll be breaking ground on a new project next year,but I’m not going to tell you what it is, because I’m not sure what it is yet,” Russell said.
And although sad to see it go, Russel Construction’s Angela Bagby says the structure was too far gone to be rehabilitated.
“I had several sorority formals here I came to many wedding receptions here, so while it’s kind of sad to see it go, it needs to. It’s a nuisance, it’s a danger, and there’s so much more that this site can be,” Bagby said.
Russell Construction says by the end of the year, the site should be empty enough to break ground on a new development. Russell employees say that could be anything from an office building to a new hotel to apartments.