"We needed a place to live and were looking to buy a house. We looked in both Tama and Toledo. The Lincoln Bridge Inn came up for sale...we noticed the living quarters, three-four bedrooms, two baths. We decided to fix it up and put it back in business." - Vlaznim "Jimmy" Arifi.
With that, Jimmy and his wife, Lejka, embarked on their second business in Tama. The couple reopened the King Tower Cafe just down the road from the motel in May. (Read about King Tower in the Jan. 25 issue of The Tama News-Herald).
Last month - in December - they opened up 10 units of the 14-room Lincoln Highway Bridge Inn and began welcoming nightly and weekly guests.
New owners of the Lincoln Bridge Inn Lejka and Jimmy Arifi with their sons Arti, 6, and Lipi, 8 at the sign along Business Highway 30 in Tama. News-Herald/John Speer
Jimmy says they are enjoying the motel business and he says honestly "It's a piece of cake" compared to the restaurant business.
However, a lot of remodeling went into getting the motel ready for occupancy.
New floors and plumbing were a priority.
A previous owner had put a new steel roof on the motel which was a real selling point, Jimmy says.
He says they are "so happy" to be on the original route of the Lincoln Highway, located near the historic bridge and four miles from the Meskwaki BingoCasino.
The motel features both one and two bed units, has cable TV with HBO and wireless internet is provided.
Reservations are a accepted by calling 641-481-7119.