UPDATE: Clock Tower Resort closing for the winter

Published: Nov. 18, 2016 at 1:02 PM CST
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Updated 1/09/2017

UPDATE: ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR)-- Businesses in and around the former resort are keeping the lights on after a deadly October shooting killed one and injured five others.

The Clock Tower didn't just bring those who were looking for a place to rest their heads, it brought traffic to the business's that share the building.

What was once a bustling center for conventions and visitors has gone quiet, and the hotel closing doesn't help the situation. Totally You Hair Salon says without the hotel they have seen a loss of business. While they still have their regulars the Clock Tower closing has removed the foot traffic that use to keep their chairs filled.

"I think anytime you have an owner that doesn't take care of the details in any business, you're going to have it felt in the residents paying rent,” said Adrian Vasquez, Owner of Totally You. “It affects everybody, even the community it affects."

Vasquez hopes to see the Clock Tower open back up again as a hotel especially since it is one of the first people see coming in off the interstate. Vasquez says he has heard that the ownership of the hotel is attempting to sell the business. This is contrary to what the hotel has previously said saying they would be closing for the winter and doing renovations expecting to open up this coming spring. While there are signs on the building saying renovations are happening. Employees inside the building are saying that is not true.


Updated: 11/20/2016

UPDATE: ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Rockford's Clock Tower Resortl is officially closed and there are signs posted all over the building saying it is undergoing renovations.

On Friday, the hotel's owner, Steve Shu, said that the hotel was closing for the winter to undergo renovations that would freshen up the feel of the hotel and hopefully help it overcome the revenue loss it has sustained since October’s fatal shooting of Marcello Brown, as well as bring it up to code.

23 News learned the hotel had a staff meeting on Saturday, November 19 to discuss the future. When we asked about that meeting the hotel said they had no comment. Shu said on Friday he believed the hotel would be opening up again by spring, but one guest that stayed there who doesn't want to be identified doesn't think that will happen.

"Well my impression is they are probably using that shooting as an excuse,” said the past guest. “I don't think it's actually going to occur where they are going to let people come back."


Originally published on 11/18/2016

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – A once Rockford landmark is closing its doors one month after six people were shot, one person killed, in the attack.

Rockford’s Clock Tower resort is shutting down in the next few days for the winter, saying the recent deadly shooting played a major role in their decision.

Steve Shu, the owner of the hotel, says last month’s shooting cost the hotel too much revenue. In attempt to change the feel, Shu says the best thing to do is to close down the hotel over the winter, which is their slow season, and renovate.

Shu says the other operations such as Tilted Kilt, daily parking, and bus services to Chicago will still operate as normal and believes the hotel will reopen in the spring.

“When we initially completed our inspection, 30-45 days ago, we laid out all the violations and areas of improvement that were needed on the property. So, we’re not identifying new issues. We put forward a strategy that allowed the business to remain open and make investment in the property,” says Community and Economic Development Todd Cagnoni.

The Clock Tower was once a major staple in Rockford and a draw to bring people to the Stateline. CoCo Key was once paired with Magic Waters as a packed attraction. Rockford’s tourism bureau is calling this a major loss for the area.

“When you think of a space like this, you really have to be reinvesting your property every 6-7 years,” says President/CEO of the RACVB John Groh.

Other hotels in the area are expected to take the business.

The Clock Tower resort was built around the renowned clock museum by the Atwood family in 1968. In 1999, the family sold the hotel and ownership of the hotel has changed several times since. In 2005, the resort added the CoCo Key waterpark, however that was later shut down in August of 2015 after it was deemed unsafe by the health department and the pool license was revoked.

In 2014, radio hosts Stone and Double T from WXRX started a campaign to have the iconic four-sided clock on top of the resort actually keep time again. While the clocks were initially fixed, they didn’t last the winter and required repairs again.

Last month, one person died and five others were shot at a private birthday inside the resort, causing the city inspectors to order repairs and security changes.