Quad City River Bandits want to add miniature golf course to riverfront

DAVENPORT - Some would say the Mississippi River is the main attraction to Downtown Davenport, but it could get some competition.

The people who oversee Davenport's parks and it's riverfront took a tour of the area around Modern Woodmen Park, trying to envision what the baseball team's owner now wants to bring downtown.

"It`s a family-friendly activity to bring families downtown, bring young people downtown, a community attraction and to make memories," said Roby Smith, co-owner of the Quad City River Bandits.

The River Bandits now want to add a 19 hole miniature golf course right next to the ballpark's Ferris Wheel.

However, to be above flood stage, the course will need to sit six feet high with a six-foot-tall fence on top of that.

"If it would block the view from the freight house that was my concern," said Richard Thomas, chairmen for the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

"We have an area that`s unkempt right now an area that the taxpayers are paying for, for maintenance on it. We`ll come in add the miniature golf in for no cost to the taxpayers. We'll assume the maintenance and make this area a lively area," said Smith.

While the plans won support from some, "Today walking around and listening to Roby over there helped a lot it," said Thomas.

There are others staying skeptical to more development on the riverfront.

"I think I`m just going to wait and see what the public`s response to this is. We need to have a public discussion of it but I`m not opposed to it at this time," said Karl Rhomberg, member of the Riverfront Improvement Commission.

The public will get the chance to voice their opinions on the proposal at the Riverfront Improvement Commission's next meeting on October 24th.

The River Bandits hope to have the golf course up and running by next Spring.