Keokuk residents get first look at new riverboat attraction - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Keokuk residents get first look at new riverboat attraction

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Riverboat on the water next to Southside Boat Club. Riverboat on the water next to Southside Boat Club.
Crews working to put in the walkway. Crews working to put in the walkway.
Families taking photos and video with their phone. Families taking photos and video with their phone.
Crews working on the river. Crews working on the river.
Different Angle of the Riverboat. Different Angle of the Riverboat.
KEOKUK, Ia. (WGEM) -

After being delayed for a few months, the riverboat from the Quad Cities has finally docked in Keokuk. 

Crews spent the morning putting in parts of the walkway to the riverboat so the city can get it ready for use.

Residents wanted their first look at the progress. 

"I'm excited, we saw it online and saw it get moved," Jillian Bryant said. "We didn't think it would be here by now but it's cool." 

Residents had a lot of suggestions for what it could turn into.

Austin Hemann from Montrose, Iowa hopes it becomes a fancy restaurant. 

"We could actually use a better restaurant down here," Hemann said. "The one in Fort Madison is now gone and it moved up to Burlington. They used it, and the guy got rid of it. So this is wonderful." 

The city initially said it would be an event center but now that it's here, Mayor Tom Marion says council wants to talk more about it. 

"It was set up as a restaurant, all the cooking equipment is there," Marion said. "Owners now want to study their financial prospects and we will see what goes on with that. I always thought it could be a meeting area." 

Regardless of what comes in, the city sees this as a big boost in the local economy. 

"The river itself is a tourist attraction," Marion said. "It's recreational, people want to boat here or travel and they want to see something unique." 

Residents think it could bring more jobs to the area. 

"Yes it would, honestly, if there are people looking for jobs, this would be the best place to look for a job," Hemann said.  

"For Keokuk, a lot," Bryant said. "Hopefully, they look for people from the surrounding area."

Marion said there is no timetable on when it will open.

He said the council will have to vote on the best proposal when it comes on the city's desk. 

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