Biz Buzz Monday: Luxury inn opens in historic Bellevue building

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-states. In addition to this update from Bellevue, Iowa, we will share additional developments in Tuesday’s edition.

BELLEVUE, Iowa — A historic Bellevue building has found new life as a luxury lodging facility.

River Rock Inn recently opened at 909 S. Riverview St. The riverfront inn includes five luxury suites owned and operated by Dan and Annie Blitgen, who also run Riverview RV Park & Vacation Rentals on land adjacent to the inn.

“We have the RV park already, but we wanted some kind of larger accommodation to bring people to the riverfront,” Dan Blitgen said. “The inn is a way for us to invest in our hometown and show people what Bellevue has to offer.”

The River Rock Inn building has served several purposes since its 1860 construction, Blitgen said, including time spent as a saw mill, ice house, clay pot factory and — most recently — a nationally known motorcycle repair shop.

The Blitgens purchased the building in February of 2023 with the intention to remodel the space and open the inn last summer. Mother Nature had other plans, however, and the building was damaged by a March 31, 2023, tornado.

“The tornado came right over that hill and straight to the (RV) park,” Blitgen said. “It took the roof off the building and did some damage to the property itself, … so our original timeline wasn’t going to work out.”

The couple pressed on and added storm repairs to an already lengthy list of building improvements, which included a complete interior remodel and build out. Renovation work continued throughout last summer and fall, with the inn finally opening this month.

The inn now is outfitted with five luxury suites — including three one-bedroom and two two-bedroom rentals. Suites can be rented individually or altogether for weddings, reunions or other large gatherings, Blitgen explained.

Guests will notice nods to the building’s history throughout the space, Blitgen added, such as a display made out of an old gear wheel system used in the building’s manufacturing days and the use of several clay pots previously made at the factory.

“We wanted to show the old, historic aspects of the space but still give it a modern feel, so we tried to leave in some of those original details to create a sort of one-of-a-kind accommodation here in town,” Blitgen said.

The Blitgens will host a community open house at the inn at 5 p.m. on July 17, although the space is already open to guests. Booking information and additional lodging details are available online at