Schmitt Island – Creating a Gateway to Entertainment and the Mississippi

by Beth Triplett

You may have driven by the Q Casino many times or crossed the bridge between Iowa and Wisconsin without ever realizing that you were passing through Schmitt Island. It won’t feel that way for long, as extensive efforts are underway to make the Island a destination spot for the city and surrounding communities.

Schmitt Island stretches from Miller Riverview Park on the North, across 16th Street to the Southern tip past Catfish Charlie’s and the Marina. The island is owned by the City of Dubuque which currently leases the land to house amenities such as the casino, a hotel, several restaurants, the Ice Center, Veterans Memorial Plaza, ballparks, and a skate park.

Plans call for the island to be much more cohesively branded and vibrant. The ultimate vision is to have a “connected island that welcomes visitors and the community to recreation, entertainment, and the outdoors.” The four main objectives of the island’s development are to connect the riverfront, allow people to “put their feet in (the river)”, celebrate the island’s “islandness,” and create opportunities for people to spend their day and night on the island year-round.

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