Original plans for the marina placed it on the main channel of the Mississippi River, just south of the Dubuque Train Bridge. A protective breakwater would need to be constructed to place the marina in this location. The cost to construct such a break water would have left little funding to build utilities and services for the marina.
Before a final decision was made, the Diamond Jo Casino boat expressed an interest in moving to a land based facility. The casino boat was removed from the protected Ice Harbor of Dubuque, opening up a water front for the construction of the marina.