Architect’s view of the proposed hotel site.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has given the go-ahead for a remodeling project at the Q Casino in Dubuque that will include a new upscale eight-story hotel.

Architect Matt Coen told regulators the hotel will be between the casino and the existing Hilton Garden Inn.  “The project will include between 76 and 83 rooms — although we could go up to 88 as a top number there.  A rooftop restaurant and flexible event spaces,” Coen said.

The casino owns the Hilton Garden Inn and the plan is also to link all the buildings together. The casino sits on Chaplain Schmitt Island in the Mississippi River and Coen says the project goes along with other projects done by the city there that include sports fields and a veterans memorial. He says they are looking to get all ages to come with the various entertainment and recreation opportunities, with the target demographic of 18 to 55-year-olds.

Coen said there is not currently a good high-level view of the river, and the new hotel will provide that view. “There is a private dining room on the right-hand side, which is the east side of the building that happens to align perfectly with the Highway 151 bridge, which will really create a wonderful dining experience. And then a combination of indoor and outdoor dining experiences on that top floor,” according to Coen.

He says the river isn’t the only view that will be available. “Really incredible views too of the downtown of Dubuque. Capturing views of the gold steeples and the church steeples that are present in Dubuque and characteristic of Dubuque,” Coen said. The casino received approval from the Racing and Gaming Commission to move ahead with the $22 million. Construction is expected to start on the hotel early next year.

The IRGC also approved a remodel project for the hotel at the Prairie Meadows Casino in Altoona. Casino CEO Gary Palmer says the hotel was built in 2012 and it is ready for a refresh. “We are going to do 168 rooms, the hallways, lobby, lounge. Right now we are in the middle of putting a couple of model rooms together,” Palmer said. “We want to start the construction in the third quarter of this year and completing it in the first quarter of 2021.”

Palmer says the budget for the project is $8 million.