According to a report from the Telegraph Herald Q Casino officials today unveiled plans for an estimated $75 million renovation to transform the casino and add new amenities to the facility and should be completed by 2025.

Credit: Google Maps
Credit: Google Maps
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At today’s (1/24) board meeting, members unanimously approved the project as a whole, as well as approved work to begin on the project's first phase. Over the course of the project, DRA board members will have to approve work on each of the five phases before they begin.

According to the report, Conlon Construction will be the general contractor on the project. Casino officials are said to be working with MidWestOne Bank on financing, which is not dependent on grant funding. The DRA also plans to continue to contribute to both its grant program and the City of Dubuque at the same rate it currently does. The DRA's lease agreement with the city splits the DRA's annual distribution evenly among the city, local charities, and continued improvements to Chaplain Schmitt Island.

Credit: Q Casino / DRA
Credit: Q Casino / DRA
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President and CEO of Q Casino and DRA Alex Dixon, will present the project to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission on Thursday, January 26th, to seek approval for the first phase.

"This is an exciting project for Q Casino, DRA and the city of Dubuque, so we look forward to making our presentation to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission and getting final approval of our plans. A lot of effort has gone into getting us to this point, but we have planned carefully and done our homework. We are now in a great position to begin transforming the old greyhound racing area into usable space, as well as refreshing and enhancing what is offered in our current casino footprint."

-Alex Dixon, President and CEO of Q Casino & DRA

Details on 5-phase project can be seen below:

  1. Sets up a temporary casino area in the facility's upper level of the former greyhound racing grandstand viewing area. That area will connect with the existing casino gaming space located on the upper level. All of the gaming equipment located in the main casino on the lower level (area to right of entrance) will move up to this section. This phase could potentially start as early as February 7th, lasting 3 to 4 months.
  2. Remodeling the main casino area, this includes upgrading the center bar with bar-top slot machines.
  3. Phase 3: Creating a family entertainment area to be located in the upper level and former racing grandstand viewing area. Plans are to include a banquet space and bar.
  4. Construction of a hotel tower between the Hilton Garden Inn and the Q Casino. Hotel plans are still being determined. The goal is to add more than 80 hotel rooms to the current 116 rooms at Hilton Garden Inn. A restaurant on the top level of the new structure is also being planned, with hopes to include both open-air dining and an enclosed space.
  5. Updating the facility's facade and landscaping.

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In addition to these big investments, Q Casino continues to push for future Schmitt Island developments. DRA officials have shared ideas about potential projects on the island, with the most concrete of those being plans for an outdoor amphitheater in place of the greyhound racing track.

Credit: Google Maps
Credit: Google Maps
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According to the Telegraph Herald, the City of Dubuque applied for a $7.3 million Destination Iowa grant, which is supported through federal American Rescue Plan Act money, in October to go toward the project, which is projected to cost a total $18.35 million. Other possible developments on Schmitt Island, include upgrades to ballfields at McAleece Park & Recreation Complex, better access to the Mississippi River from the island, and upgrades to the exterior of Dubuque Ice Arena. The Dubuque Ice Arena just recently finished more than $6 million worth of interior repairs and improvements last fall.

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