I mentioned in my last post that I’m traveling through the Midwest and writing about several locations for Midwest Gaming and Travel magazine. After leaving Dubuque, Iowa we traveled about 70 miles south to the Quad Cities of Davenport, Bettendorf, Moline, and Rock Island. If you make this trip, and have time, we recommend taking the “Great River Road” — longer, but more scenic. We were in a hurry, so we took US-61.
Isle of Capri, Bettendorf, IA
On the west bank of the Mississippi river you’ll find the Isle of Capri, Bettendorf, IA. This is a very large casino complex spread over many acres, and they have a huge parking area for RVs and trucks. It’s gravel, level, in fairly good shape with no big potholes. It looks big enough to accommodate a small RV rally, so there’s room to get away from the trucks and their running engines. No check-in procedure, staying for a few nights is OK, security drives through and it’s well lit.
The casino operation is in a large riverboat, tied up for dockside gambling and open 24/7. It’s an attractive and modern casino, and you won’t feel like you’re on a riverboat from the inside. If you like to gamble, they have all the machines and table games you’d want, along with a very nice smoke-free poker room on the top deck.
On the “land side” they have a very good buffet, a sandwich shop/grill, and Farraday’s steakhouse which is excellent. Be aware that the buffet closes between meals; we ate a very nice breakfast there, but only had about 15 minutes to eat because we arrived a little late. In the evenings and on weekends they have a sports bar/pub called the Caribbean Cove with lots of big TVs for your favorite game and bar food. They also sometimes have live entertainment. Note that things are spread out a little and on several floors. They actually have two hotels, an older one that’s OK and a newer one that’s really very nice. There’s also a convention center. The Buffet and sandwich shop are on the 2nd floor of the original hotel closest to the casino. The steakhouse and Caribbean Cove are on the ground floor in the convention center area.
The Isle of Capri also has another casino in the area, the Rhythm City Casino about 4 miles west. There’s no RV parking there, but they run a shuttle between the two properties. Rhythm City is more of a locals place, smaller, good buffet. I liked it and recommend trying both casinos to see which suits you the best.
Isle of Capri casinos is an RV friendly business overall, with locations in many states from Mississippi to Colorado to the Midwest. Wherever they have space, and local ordinance permits, they allow overnight RV parking. We encourage you to take advantage of their hospitality and give them your business in the casino, restaurants, etc.
Jumer’s Casino, Rock Island, IL
I’ll mention Jumer’s because they’re building a new casino and plan to allow RV parking. Their current facility is a dockside casino, and the parking area is NOT suited for oversize vehicles. The new place will be located at I-280 exit 11, and will open in December. They plan to allow RVers to overnight in the large parking area behind the casino. At this point there are no details about the process, whether registration is required, etc. So be sure to call them before going there, or check my website for an update. Here’s a bit of trivia for you; Illinois doesn’t allow “land based” casinos, they have to be over water, so Jumer’s casino floor is built over a shallow pool of water!
If you’re in Rock Island before December it’s worth stopping at Jumers current place because it’s a fun casino, and a historic place. Jumer’s was the first casino to open in Illinois in the early 1990’s and is a classic riverboat casino of the era.
Now I continue to head East with 3 more planned stops in the midwest before heading south with the geese!
Happy travels, and good luck in the casinos,