Historic Fox Lake hotel, former Capone retreat, hits market for $7 million
A historic Fox Lake landmark hotel that once went up for auction on eBay is now on the market in a more traditional method.
The Mineola Hotel, at one time famous as a weekend retreat for mobster Al Capone, has been listed by Baird & Warner real estate services for $7 million, officials said.
The 133-year old hotel, which has been closed since the 1960s, is included in the Mineola's 16-acre parcel along the shores of Fox Lake. The property also includes a bar and restaurant that has been shuttered since 2012, an operational marina and a single-family residence, owner Pete Jakstas said.
"Bottom line, I'm 80 years old and its time to retire," Jakstas said, adding he's been working at the Mineola Marina for 64 years. "I have been doing this all of my life, and I really enjoyed it. But I've been doing this for a long time, and I think it's time for me to get out and enjoy what's left of my life."
Real estate agent Terri Mlyniec said the hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of Interior and Parks. That means the property is designated as a landmark, but does not prevent its next owner from making any changes they see fit, Mlyniec said.
"The hotel itself is more than likely beyond repair," she said. "But we want someone with the vision to look at the whole property that can help move it forward."
Although the hotel closed in the 1960s, The Mineola Lounge and banquet facility remained open until 2011, when the village of Fox Lake condemned it. The structural integrity of the building led to the building being shuttered for good in 2012, after a long court battle between the village and Jakstas.
While the two sides argued in court, Jakstas put the hotel building up for auction on eBay with an asking price of $2 million. No bids were received.
Built in 1884 and once listed as the oldest wooden structure in Illinois, the hotel and lounge became known as a retreat for several mobsters in years leading up to the early 1920s. Among them was Capone, who used Fox Lake and the Mineola as a place to get away on the weekends.
In later years, the Mineola gained a following for the Mineola Fireworks. The annual event started off as a $4,800 fireworks show that blossomed into a $65,000 display that attracted thousands of boaters to the Chain O' Lakes on the Fourth of July.
Jakstas retired from organizing the fireworks in 2008.
The hotel is even known to "ghost hunters" from across the country who have been clamoring to get inside and search for spirits believed to still roam there.