In operation since 2011, River Park Place Conference Center is available by appointment for events from family gatherings, parties and showers, to classroom and other group meetings. They specialize in groups from 10 to over 40 people, accommodating groups that may be too large to host at home. The conference room can be arranged to fit each group’s specific needs. Talented in the kitchen, Lori handles catering and scheduling for groups and aims to provide food that is different than everyday fare.
In addition to the conference center, Lori and Jeff provide rentals, vacation housing, and rooms available for extended stay. Of their residential units, Lori says, “we want to be an overall retreat. We’d love to have a spa here so we’re one stop.” Rental units feature beautiful interiors, spectacular views, and off street parking is provided for tenants. In the process of remodeling, it is important to the couple that the units include modern features and are energy efficient, but also maintain period-correct interiors.
Jeff has long been interested in historic structures and the skill that goes into building them. He can often be found working on construction projects in River Park Place’s courtyard. He grew up on a farm in Buchanon County and attended Iowa State University to study geology. He graduated and was drafted into the Army as a medic and later went back to Iowa State to study computer science. He relocated to Alaska where he worked for Unocal (later Chevron).
Lori grew up on a farm in Minnesota and opened The Buzzz in Guttenberg in 2005. Jeff retired in 2007 and came to Guttenberg, where he already owned 302 S. River Park Drive, the Corner Cafe building. Upon returning to Guttenberg in 2007, Jeff says the first thing he did was go to the coffee shop, and that’s where he met Lori, a self proclaimed people person who enjoys that her business allows her so much interaction with people.
The couple's complex includes four historic buildings; 302, 304, 308, and 310 South River Park Drive. Upon completion, these four buildings will include ten rental units and three commercial storefronts. 302 features two small studios and two two-bedroom apartments, and houses the office of LuAnn Martins; 304 is a two bedroom stone cottage; 308 houses the conference center, three suites, and penthouse residence; and 310 currently serves as a workshop. A courtyard in the middle of the complex is perfect for outdoor dining or relaxing around the fire. In the future, Jeff and Lori plan for the courtyard to be a venue for music and dinner theater. Visit them online here.
Don’t forget to join us for some special events this season!
Sunday, November 30, 12-4pm: Merchants Open House, Holiday Extravaganza, first day of the 12 Days of Christmas Contest at local businesses
12 Days of Christmas Contest
For twelve days, starting on November 30 for the Christmas Open House, a turtle "dove" will be hidden at a different participating GD&T business every day. Shoppers who find the turtle dove can enter their names in a drawing for a chance to win that day's prize. A grand prize drawing will take place once the twelve days are over. Prizes donated by GD&T businesses.
Saturday, December 6, 1:30 pm: Canadian Pacific Holiday train will stop in Guttenberg at the east side of the Schiller Street crossing with live music and a food drive
Monday, December 15, 12pm: Deadline to register your home or business for the Christmas Lighting Contest (pick up and turn in entry forms at the Welcome Center), judging will take place on Thursday, December 18 at 5:30pm, prizes are credits on winners' utility bills