[ Future of the Delta Queen Steamboat Co Boats ]

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Date: November 13, 2002 at 10:36:35
From: Ted Guillaum, []
Subject: Re: Goldenrod Showboat - UPDATE

Here is the story that Keith refered to.

This story was published in St. Charles County Post on Friday, November 8, 2002.


By Mark Schlinkmann
Of The Post-Dispatch

If St. Charles officials really want to get rid of the Goldenrod Showboat, they'll probably have to give it away.

That's the latest assessment from City Administrator Jim O'Connor, who discussed the issue with the City Council on Wednesday night.

O'Connor emphasized in an interview that he had yet to get an actual bid from any of the five parties who expressed interest in acquiring and operating the boat since the city put it up for sale in August.

"I just wanted to make (the council) prepared that it might be that kind of proposal" with no money coming to the city, O'Connor said.

The city government would benefit, however, in no longer having to pay for maintaining the boat, which is docked on the Missouri River. City Convention Director Steve Powell said "we've got some fairly good prospects" and that a decision could be reached by the end of the year, but he didn't elaborate.

Among those looking at the boat is Thomas Klein, owner of Windows on Washington, a banquet facility in downtown St. Louis.

Klein said Thursday that he was considering trying to acquire the boat to operate it as a restaurant at which various types of music and other entertainment would be offered - not just the scripted stage shows featured in recent years.

He said, though, that he hasn't decided whether to submit a proposal. Klein said if he ends up getting the Goldenrod, he would keep it on the St. Charles riverfront.

The subject came up at Wednesday's council meeting during a discussion of capital improvements spending on various issues.

The council approved paying new Goldenrod-related bills of $21,878 out of casino tax revenue instead of from the convention and tourism tax fund - which has been used in the past. An additional $4,500 in spending on the boat is expected by the end of the year.

The latest expenses included a total of $12,895 to two marine consulting firms that worked with the city on inspections and determining how much repair and renovation is needed to meet Coast Guard requirements. The bills also include $6,340 for removing river debris around the boat.

"We're going to have to make a hard decision on the stupid thing," said Councilman Bob Kneemiller, 4th Ward. "Are we just going to let that stupid thing sit there?"

Last month, the council voted to use $220,000 in casino tax money to pay a company that had been hired by the city earlier this year to operate the boat. The amount reimbursed the company, KKI Entertainment, for repairs it had made and other expenses.

The council decided to try to sell the 93-year-old national historic landmark when bids for further repairs to meet Coast Guard requirements came in higher than expected.

The city bought the Goldenrod in 1989 for about $300,000 and moved it the following year from its longtime location on the Mississippi River in downtown St. Louis.

Reporter Mark Schlinkmann:\E-mail:\Phone: 636-255-7203

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