Frontier Hospitality

Our History

bart-and-hamp-kids_0025The first chapter of our history was written in 1950 when Mr. and Mrs. I. L. Baker constructed a 20-unit motor inn and family home.  Located on U. S. Highway 30 West of Clinton, it immediately welcomed travelers using this major route for business and pleasure.  The concept of motor inns was new at the time.  The Frontier Motor Inn took the lead then, and continued to grow and be innovative with its service and facilities.  The Frontier grew along with the city, expanding to 40 rooms by 1976.  It was the first motel in the area to have a swimming pool (1958) and a restaurant (1960).  Creative planning and a major commitment to providing the “Best” transformed the original motel and restaurant buildings into a convention center.  New meeting facilities, new lobby area, revitalized lounge and a vaulted atrium with pool and spa were created, along with 110 luxurious guest rooms.

There are many memories of the Bakers’ role in Best Western.  The Frontier was one of the first members of the association built on the idea of referring guests from one Best Western to the next, along their route.  Mr. I. L. Baker served as Best Western’s first full-term president (1959-66), frontierguiding it through major growth.  He instituted the inspection system, which keeps the chain uniform in cleanliness and maintenance.  Mrs. Baker designed the first Best Western gold crown logo, recognized around the world.  Currently, Bart T. Baker acts as governor in Best Western, District III.  Best Western is now the world’s largest lodging chain with over 3,000 properties in more than 70 countries.

Company Chronology

The Frontier Motor Inn started with 20 rooms and a family residence with office and lobby.  As the community and the hotel industry grew, the Frontier was the leader of change in the Clinton community adding additional rooms as needed, a pool, restaurant, lounge and convention & meeting facility.

The SteepleGate Inn opened in Davenport as a full service motel with 121 rooms.

The SteepleGate Inn expanded its’ banquet capabilities to accommodate groups up to 400 people as well as remodeled Dancers Lounge.

The Country Inn & Suites by Carlson was opened in Clinton with 63 rooms (including 25 two-room suites and two whirlpool suites).

The SteepleGate Inn overhauls Dancers Lounge and converts it to Lucky’s Bar and Dance Club.

The Frontier Hospitality Group purchases and renovates the Best Western Midway Hotel, 150-room full service hotel.  The existing restaurant is closed and renovation begins for the Champps Americana restaurant.

The Country Inn & Suites by Carlson is sold.

The SteepleGate restaurant was remodeled and reopened as the Prairie Grille.

The Frontier Inn is sold to Ashford University to serve as a dormitory facility.  The Midway Hotel changes its name to the Dubuque Hotel and Conference Center.

Lucky’s Bar and Dance Club was again remodeled and reopened as 1 Hundred West Bar & Dance Club.

Complete Atrium remodels at both the Dubuque Hotel and SteepleGate Inn.

Holiday Inn Express – Moline Quad Cities opened in June.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites East Peoria – Riverfront open in October

Home2 Suites by Hilton Bettendorf Quad Cities opened in July

Cambria Hotel Bettendorf Quad Cities opened in July at the TBK Bank Sports Complex

Construction started on a new Residence Inn by Marriott East Peoria in Winter 2020, just before the pandemic began.

Residence Inn by Marriott East Peoria opened in June.

Best Western Plus SteepleGate Inn Davenport and Best Western Plus Dubuque Hotel & Conference Center are each sold.

Plans are announced to break ground in late 2022 on a new Courtyard by Marriott Bettendorf Quad Cities located on the I-74 corridor.

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