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Plans for the Al Capone Wisconsin Hideout Revealed

Prospective buyers ask for public help to refurnish now-gutted Al Capone hideout and to prevent developers from destroying piece of Couderay, Chicago and American history

 
PRLog - Nov. 2, 2009 - COUDERAY, Wis. -- (Hendersonville, NC)—When Chippewa Valley Bank purchased Al Capone’s Wisconsin Hideout at a foreclosure sale earlier this month, people far and wide wondered what would become of the famous attraction. Would it be reopened? Would it be redeveloped? Would it be completely torn down? Answers are finally forthcoming as a North Carolina couple today unveiled plans to purchase, refurnish, improve and reopen the now-gutted, historic property. “Unfortunately, the previous owner took everything with him, leaving only empty shells,” says Gudrun Casper, a Couderay, WI  native and a business manager in Hendersonville, North Carolina.  

She and her partner James, a restaurant manager and master chef by trade, are not dissuaded, however, as there is a large interest in reopening the major Northern Wisconsin attraction and historic site. “We’re asking everyone interested in saving this priceless treasure to donate 1920s Chicago prohibition period artifacts—clothing, bootlegging stills, home furnishings, equipment—or cash, both of which we will use to refurnish the properties,” says Casper. The couple has launched a fund-raising website at www.AlCaponeHideout.org, which provides details. Donors will be privy to a month-long series of donor-only, grand-opening events slated for April, 2010. A public grand opening will follow in May.

Casper says she recently located Capone’s original bedroom furniture through an out-of-state auction house; she is certain more furnishings and pieces from the property will appear over time. “While we have raised the needed capital to purchase the land and buildings, and while the bank has accepted our offer, we are finding it hard to get a loan for restoration based on artifacts we might or might not find,” she explains. “That’s why we’re asking the public to help. If investors see that we have the public’s support and that we’re able to raise a portion of the money for refurnishing ourselves, then it is likely that we’ll secure the extra money we need to refurnish the museum and other buildings—and that property developers whose intentions do not include preservation lose in the end.”

Casper and her partner have “big plans” for the Capone Couderay Hideout, including keeping the attraction and tours open year-round; building a new, on-site bed and breakfast reminiscent of a 1920’s speakeasy; and opening the Hideout’s lodge to the public for the very first time. “Visitors will even be able to spend the night in Al Capone’s bedroom,” Casper says. “We also plan to offer 1920s-gangster-themed, murder-mystery dinner shows once we get the restaurant operational again,” she adds.  

Owning Al Capone’s Hideout has been a life-long dream of Casper’s; she has long been fascinated with the mysterious Capone and worked at the attraction’s soda shop when she was 16 years old. “My dream is ‘this close’ to coming true,” she says. Casper and her partner James have been in talks with officials at Chippewa Bank and the Sawyer County Historical Society about their plans to reopen the Capone landmark, which would bring an economic boon to the region.“The economic impact to the area is huge,” Casper says, explaining that thirty-five jobs were lost when the Hideout closed. “Since we want to keep the Hideout open year-round, and since we plan to expand by adding new lodging, we are finding strong support wherever we turn,” she adds. The couple has received blessings from members of the historical society and the county development board, and has also taken steps to make Capone’s Hideout a historical landmark, “…so that this level of uncertainty about the future of the property won’t ever happen again,” Casper explains. "Chicago has already seen the loss of Al Capone's 'Castle' as it was called,"Casper says, "which was torn down in the 1995. We want to prevent this happening to yet another part of Chicago's history."


To learn how you can help the Caspers maintain this important piece of history and nostalgia—not to mention to bring back the positive economic impact of the Capone Hideout on the Couderay region—visit www.alcaponehideout.org. The site also explains Casper’s personal connection to and interest in Capone’s Hideout, and provides additional details for prospective donors and a brief history of the property as well.

Contact Gudrun Casper
gudrun@alcaponehideout.com
828-388-3959

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Museum, restaurant, and historical preservation of infamous Al Capone Hideout in Couderay, Wisconsin.

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Contact Email:
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Source:Al Capone Hideout
Phone:828-388-3959
Zip:54828
Location:Couderay - Wisconsin - United States
Industry:Tourism, Restaurants, Entertainment
Tags:al capone, hideout
Last Updated:Nov 02, 2009
Shortcut:prlog.org/10397801
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