After 34 years of cruising the Mississippi River, the Spirit of Dubuque is being relocated.
The most recent owners, Walt Webster and his wife Nancy, have decided to sell the boat. "It's a time in our lives where we need to move on. We've been doing it for 24 years," he said.
The vessel is now making its way to its new home of Cincinnati, Ohio.
This was not an overnight decision. The Webster's say were trying to sell the Spirit of Dubuque for five years now. "We endeavored to keep the boat in Dubuque. That was the primary goal, but it just didn't work out that way. Everybody wanted the boat here, but nobody wanted to buy it," said Walt.
The boat has attracted people from all over who wanted to enjoy the views and breeze of the Mississippi. Marina management say river tourism will be affected by its departure. "The paddle boat was a big draw for tourism here in the Port of Dubuque, and it'll be sadly missed," said Ben Alden, Port of Dubuque Marina Facilities Supervisor.
Its former captain will miss those days too. "It was fun. It was enjoyable. Yeah, there were days it was challenging, but I got to go for a boat ride everyday. What more do you want out of life," said Walt.
As for now, the Spirit of Dubuque gift shop remains open.
We're told, if you have gift certificates for the spirit of Dubuque boat, you should contact their office and it will be taken care of. The phone number to call is 563-583-8093.
Leslie Hospitality owner Edwin Leslie says he doesn't have anything to hide, and to prove it he invited the public to view all of the documents, emails, agreements, and financial statements related to the deal at a public meeting this morning.