Capone Suite Brings Mobster Mystery to Dubuque

By Katie Weidemann, Reporter

DUBUQUE - A story has circulated in Dubuque for decades. It says one of history's most infamous mobsters, Al Capone, stayed at the Julien Dubuque Hotel while he was hiding from Chicago police.

Now the 150 year old hotel is nearing completion of a $30-million dollar renovation. We got a sneak peak at the Al Capone Suite.

What went on inside the walls of the hotel room keeps a lot of people guessing.

"In the late 20's and 30's Al Capone did live in this hotel. There is a rumor that he once owned the hotel. But we haven't figure out yet if that is true," said hotel manager Mark Czeshinski.

History buff Deb McDowell is one of the first people to get a look at the newly renovated suite. She won a contest through the Diamond Jo Casino that allowed her to open what's now known as Capone's vault.

"When he got into trouble, when they got hot for him, he'd come over here so he could get away from things," said McDowell.

Legend has it, Capone locked himself in the vault when police were searching for him.

"He trusted only two of his top men, whether they were hit men, or whatever the proper term was back in those days and he trusted them with the combination," said Czeshinski .

A look outside the suite's picture window shows the Mathis building, an old warehouse where Capone stored his get-away vehicles.

That's one fact Hotel Managers say they know for sure. The rest of the stories remain a mystery. If only these walls could talk.

Hotel managers say anyone can rent the Al Capone Suite. The cost is $499 per night.
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