Hard Rock has now kick-started construction of the permeant Hard Rock Casino Rockford with a groundbreaking ceremony featuring Cheap Trick guitarist and Rockford native Rick Nielsen, Hard Rock executives and local community leaders.
The $300m casino will cover more than 180,000 square feet, and include over 1,000 slots, dozens of table games, and potentially a poker room of 10 to 12 tables. A sportsbook is also likely. Multiple restaurants will be available, a live venue that can serve as a 23,500-square-foot conference center. A 250-room hotel in the second phase of construction is also part of the plan.
Hard Rock Casino Rockford President Geno Iafrate hopes to open the permanent casino in the winter of 2023.
Jon Lucas, Chief Operating Officer for Hard Rock International, said: “From the moment we’ve stepped foot in Rockford, the support we’ve received has been overwhelming. The community has truly embraced us and we are so grateful, today’s event is a great step forward but there is so much more to come. We’d also like to thank our partners who have been engaged with us every step of the way.”
Rick Nielsen of rock band Cheap Trick, added: “I have called Rockford my home for my entire life, and I’m so thrilled to see Hard Rock install a little piece of rock ‘n roll in my backyard.”
Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara added: “Hard Rock is more than just another business coming to town, it’s an investment in our community. Just last week, Hard Rock approved a more than $3 increase in the minimum wage, voluntarily for all of their non-tipped employees. It shows that they’re not only a wonderful partner, they’re really working to be one of the best employees in town.”