The Merrill Hotel continues to rise on the shoreline of the Mississippi in the heart of Muscatine’s downtown. The 40-million-dollar project, led by the Riverview Hotel Development group, is on schedule for a soft opening in January of 2018. The 122-room hotel and conference center plan to open at that time. The facility will feature a swimming pool, a restaurant, fitness center, and 13,500 square feet of conference room space that will be customizable for anything from major conferences all the way to small get-togethers.

“We want to provide a state-of-the-art conference facility, as there really aren’t any available in a fifty-mile radius,” said Rebecca Howe, President of the Riverview Hotel Development group. “We are already booking the facilities for January Christmas parties. Many of the facilities will be accessible daily for local residents.”

This commitment to the downtown area includes partnering with local businesses to help furnish the amenities of the hotel from complimentary confections to the art on the walls. “We are meeting with local businesses and artists to see how we can incorporate them into the finished space,” said Howe.

Andy Mclellan, the Chief Operating Officer of the Merrill, said, “We are a part of the community. We want to make sure our guests know what is available in the community. We have an opportunity to display some of the art from the art museum, and that will hopefully entice our guests to visit the entire museum when they have time available.”

The addition of a sixth-floor terrace will allow for an elegant river view that could host a reception and dinner. Also included in the Merrill grounds is a green space that will preserve the sightlines to the river from Second street.

Within the next six months, over 70 new jobs will be created to operate the hotel. “This is a great opportunity for someone to begin an exciting career in the hospitality industry,” said Mclellan.