Forget the bear! Pass the rolls!

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Former Jumer's Castle Lodge now a senior living center 

Take a walk through the familiar Bavarian-style building at Western and Moss avenues today and you will not find the famous black bear.

But you can still get those cinnamon rolls, if you know the right person.

The former Jumer's Castle Lodge is now Courtyard Estates of Peoria, billed as a "supportive living community" for seniors that has now opened and is close to half-filled, said officials of Petersen Healthcare, which acquired the former hotel less than a year ago and converted its 161 rooms into 100 one-bedroom and studio apartments.

For many of the residents and their visitors, the memories of when the building was Jumer's and then Radisson will linger, said Amanda Hendricks, admissions and marketing director for Courtyard Estates of Peoria.

"When I give people tours of the building it's amazing to hear some of the stories they tell of staying here or eating in the restaurant. Most of our residents knew it as Jumer's and have stories, also. Some stayed here for their honeymoon or spent special occasions in the restaurant.

"It was a special place for them. We want it to stay a special place," she said.

If when you first walk in to the building it seems familiar, that's because Petersen Healthcare kept the lobby the same because of the memories it will evoke. Petersen acquired the lobby furniture, including antique cabinets and the grand piano, when it bought the building.

Also the same is the lounge area, formerly the Black Bear Lounge. It remains for use by the residents and their guests, not only for the occasional happy hour but for various other events, Hendricks said.

The main hall is the same and the gift shop, which provides for the residents' basic needs, is the same.

But the rest of the former hotel has changed. The swimming pool was filled in and now is the main dining room. Added were an exercise room that employs a wellness director, a spa, a beauty shop, wine garden and private dining room.

The former Jumer's Restaurant remains unused as do the banquet rooms. Hendricks said plans for those spaces are still in the works.

The rooms all were converted to either studio apartments or one-bedroom units. Monthly fees range from $2,500 to $3,500, depending on the type of unit and the level of service the tenant requires. Courtyard Estates brochures show the cost compares favorably to what most people pay each month to own or rent a home.

That's why, Hendricks said, it is billed as "Affordable Living for Active Seniors."

On the health care side, Courtyard Estates of Peoria offers two levels of care for residents.

• Active Plus Care is "the entry level for tenants" and "is designed to maximize individual freedom and choice, providing minimal assistance in the tenant's daily life."

Services at this level include daily dietician-planned meals, the choice of weekly housekeeping and linen service, daily trash pickup and bathroom cleaning, planned activities and social events and an emergency call system.

• Assist Plus Care is "designed to accommodate an individual tenant's changing needs and preferences. As needs change the health care team, in conjunction with the tenant and his/her family, will review and appropriately adjust the service level as necessary."

Services at this level include all that available with Active Plus Care as well as assistance with bathing as needed, assistance with dressing and grooming as needed, daily medication reminders, assistance to and from the dining room and activities, in-room dining during minor illness and transportation to and from medical appointments.

There is an additional charge for these services, according to the Courtyard Estates brochure.

Licensed practical nurses also are on-hand as well as certified nursing assistants.

Courtyard Estates residents get three home-cooked meals a day and snacks, including the famous Jumer's cinnamon rolls.

"We couldn't get the black bear when we bought the building, but we got the cinnamon rolls recipe," Hendricks said. "But you have to be a tenant or their guest to get them. Sorry."

For more information about Courtyard Estates of Peoria call (309) 674-2400 or go to www.CourtyardEstates.net/Peoria.

Paul Gordon is editor of The Peorian. He can be reached at 692-7880 or at editor@thepeorian.com

About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).