Hotel Blackhawk captures presidential history

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Hotel Blackhawk is offering discounted rooms Monday night after the Inaugural Ball at the River Center in Davenport.

The hotel is no stranger to presidential stays. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama stayed in Presidential Suite 722 August 17, 2011. Sasha and Malia Obama also stayed in the connecting room, called Presidential Suite 719. Each of those rooms was also connected by a living room.

President Obama also enjoyed Bix Bistro's pork chop so much that White House chefs now use that same recipe for their guests in Washington D.C. Bix Bistro's pork chop is marked with the presidential seal on its menu.

"There were like three security guards back here," hotel chef Kevin Nape said of the 2011 presidential visit. "They were watching us cook to make sure we weren't doing anything wrong."

Since the hotel's reopening in 2010, presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and Michelle Bachman have all stayed at Hotel Blackhawk. Hotel workers say these guests help make the place well-known.

"They eat here, dine here, have CNN press conferences here in the Gold Room," hotel worker Abe Blair said. "It's really an honor to host all the prestigious guests that we have."

Hotel Blackhawk is owned by the Gill family of Restoration St. Louis. The Gill family is also interested in building a downtown casino for Davenport, with the city's plans to buy the Rhythm City Casino.

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