- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) - The new owners of the Catfish Bend Casino Riverboat hope to move the watercraft from the Fort Madison riverfront by the end of October.

Marcus Murphy of Sunflower Enterprises told The Hawk Eye (https://bit.ly/1KKUEzK ) that the Dubuque-based company wants to place the boat where it will get the most use. If the company doesn’t find a permanent home by the time their lease is up at the end of next month, the former riverboat will go into storage in Dubuque.

“We don’t have a specific place for it yet, and we’re looking at places for it,” Murphy said.

If the watercraft’s new home is found sometime within next month, he said the company will move the boat as soon as possible.

“When we move it depends on where it ends up right now,” Murphy said.

The riverboat was sold in August to Sunflower Enterprises for $315,000, after the Fort Madison City Council in June approved a sublease for the dock where the boat currently is located, Great River Entertainment CEO Gary Hoyer said.

Removing the boat from the dock is crucial for the prospect of attracting Viking Cruises, which is considering using Fort Madison as a stop along its upcoming Mississippi River tours, Fort Madison officials said.

Sunflower Enterprises rents out a diverse fleet of marine equipment, including barges, tugs and support vessels that accommodate winches and cranes. The company plans to find a good reuse for the riverboat, Murphy said.

The Catfish Bend Casino Riverboat hasn’t been used since 2007 and had been up for sale since 2008.


Information from: The Hawk Eye, https://www.thehawkeye.com

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