Isle of Capri Riverboat casino returns to the Quad Cities with new purpose

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BETTENDORF - One year after its departure, the Isle of Capri Riverboat casino is returning home, but this time with a new name and new look.

It was a welcome home party for a piece of Quad City history.

"I remembered when it first came in 1995," said Nancy Ballenger, Vice President and General Manager at the Isle.

What was once a casino riverboat is now a piece of royalty on the Mississippi River. The American Duchess is the newest vessel of the American Queen Steamboat Company.

On Friday, September 8th, city officials got to take a look inside. The riverboat casino left Bettendorf a year ago to make way for a land based casino. The American Queen Company saw a lot of potential in it, turning the boat into a floating hotel, offering three-week cruises on the Mississippi.

"They took away the old 1800`s style and they modernized it now it`s 2017," said Joe McKey, Captain of the American Duchess.

Turning the space filled with slot machines to elegant parlors with chandeliers.

"It`s fun to come and see how the spaces have been redone, there`s certainly great memories in those spaces," said Ballenger.

There's also a library, dining rooms and so much more. The boat can fit up to 192 people.

"We have three bars on board. We have a restaurant in back of one of the bars," said Captain McKey.

Ballenger says she just happy the boat is still being used, "We loved its first life, but we wish them very well in their second life too."

The American Duchess stops at 77 different cities along the Mississippi River. The company says the Quad Cities will be a regular stop on the cruise.