Area investors eye Bellevue as next major riverside resort

BELLEVUE, Iowa — A Dubuque-area investment group with hopes of reeling people into the area is now sizing up its latest project that could transform Bellevue’s current event center and campgrounds into a riverside resort featuring an aquatic center and bar.

During a recent Bellevue City Council meeting, members of Offshore Enterprises LLC spoke with council members about their interest in renovating the 49-acre parcel. The group hopes to establish a relationship with the city and receive financial assistance to recoup some of the money it plans to invest to complete the project, said City Council Member Tim Roth.

“It all sounds positive,” he said. “They have got some great background in what they want to try to accomplish down here. Everything is pretty preliminary right now.”

The investors hope to expand the campground from 65 campsites to hold more than 100 spots, add an aquatic center which will include a 6,000-square-foot pool, one-acre swim pond with a beach and bar. Additional plans include renovating the event center to accommodate about 450 guests and improving amenities at the current restaurant.

Jamie Becker, who is part of the investment group who spoke to the Bellevue City Council, told the Telegraph Herald they are slated to close in November on a purchase agreement with A.J. Spiegel, the current owner of the Baymont Inn & Suites, Offshore Bar & Grill and Offshore Event Center.

She declined to provide any additional information until the agreement is finalized but said they do plan to invest about $6 million to renovate and expand amenities at the site. Other members of the Offshore Enterprises LLC present during the City Council meeting include Kim Becker, A.J. Becker, Ryan Becker, Steve Launspach, Tracy Launspach and Jason Germaine.

“The City of Bellevue and their community have been absolutely amazing to work with thus far,” Jamie Becker said in an email to the TH.

This isn’t the investment group’s first go-around with developing a summertime resort along the Mississippi River. In 2018, many of the members included in Offshore Enterprises LLC opened Coconut Cove, a 40-acre resort in Hazel Green. They have also spearheaded transformations of the Dubuque Marina & Yardarm and Whitetail Bluff Campground in Cassville.

Bellevue City Administrator Abbey Skrivseth said the investors plan to renovate the Bellevue facility, which has a beautiful riverfront location, into a tourist attraction similar to Coconut Cove. She said they commended Spiegel for his initial vision to develop in Bellevue.

In 2007, Spiegel, who has also been a major player in growth throughout Peosta, purchased the property for $1.8 million and developed the land to build what is now the Baymont Inn & Suites as well as the Offshore Bar & Grill and Offshore Event Center.

But over time, Spiegel said he realized the project was too much for him to tackle alone. After being approached by Offshore Enterprises LLC, he agreed to sell the facility.

“My initial interest was to make something happen in a nice way, and I could not do that myself,” he said. “I really think they will do a good job because this is what they do.”

Skrivseth said members of the investment group said they plan to begin work immediately and are hopeful to have the campground expanded by next May with the aquatic center being the next project in line.

“The timing is beneficial for the fact that the city has a pool that is almost 60 years old, and in the past the city went out for bond referendums, and they failed twice,” she said. “We see it as we can do a private-public partnership, but we also see it as a way we can help our town.”