BELLEVUE, Iowa — Plans to create and expand a riverfront resort and campground in Bellevue are becoming a reality.
Investment group Offshore Enterprises LLC last week took ownership of the riverfront property that is the site of an existing campground, hotel, Off Shore Event Centre and the former Off Shore Bar & Grill, which closed in September 2019.
The following day, the group broke ground on a project that will transform the property into Off Shore Resort, which will feature the reopened restaurant, hotel, renovated event center, an expanded campground with 173 seasonal and overnight campsites, a manmade lake with water amusements and an outdoor pool.
The resort will have some similar elements to the popular Coconut Cove Resort in southwest Wisconsin, which is owned by the same investment group. Ryan Becker, a partner with Offshore Enterprises, said the group will spend $10 million to $12 million developing the Bellevue resort.
“It kind of dropped in our lap, and we knew what we could do with the property,” he said. “We knew we could mimic the Coconut Cove atmosphere but still deliver something special.”
A new, inland aquatic area will be a major attraction of the resort, featuring a 1-acre lake, a beach and a 6,000-square-foot pool. Both the lake and pool will feature various water attractions, including waterslides. A clubhouse, containing a convenience store and arcade, will be constructed nearby.
“It’s going to be even bigger than what is at Coconut Cove,” Becker said. “It’s going to have a lot of features that people will be able to enjoy.”
He added that plans also call for the construction of a 700-foot dock for Mississippi River boaters to utilize.
The group intends to open the resort’s campsites, hotel, restaurant, event center and playgrounds by May. The manmade lake is scheduled to open at the end of May. Becker said he anticipates construction on the pool will finish by the end of the summer.
The group already is booking reservations for seasonal campsites. Becker said he anticipates they will sell all of them by Tuesday, Dec. 15.
The resort also will sell day passes to those who want access to the aquatic area.
Becker said the resort will employ about 50 people.
City Council members already approved up to $1 million more in financial incentives.
City Administrator Abbey Skrivseth said a previous development agreement for the property provided up to $2 million in tax- increment-financing benefits over a 15-year period that ran through 2027. Council members approved extending that agreement by five years and increasing the total to up to $3 million.
The TIF method incentivizes property owners to improve their properties by giving them back a portion of the increased property taxes they would have incurred as a result of the improvements.
“The city has always been willing to talk with property owners about TIF,” Skrivseth said. “The City Council feels that this project is providing something that residents have been asking for.”