Spectacle Entertainment and Hard Rock International’s construction of Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana got underway with an official groundbreaking ceremony held on January 9.
The ceremony was conducted at the construction site, located at 5400 West 29th Ave. in Gary, and included state and local officials, Spectacle Entertainment and Hard Rock executives.
The premier 200,000-square-foot entertainment complex is a joint venture between the two companies and will include six food venues, a sportsbook, a retail shop, a 2,000-seat showroom and more than 2,130 gaming positions. Phase two of the project will see the addition of a 200-plus-room hotel and a multi-level parking garage.
Guests of Honour at the ceremony were Tito, Jackie and Marlon Jackson, of the world-renowned Jackson family.
Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana is forecasting more than $20m annually in tax revenue and payments to the City of Gary and surrounding communities. Approximately 1,000 construction jobs, with an emphasis to hire union labor, and an estimated additional 500 jobs are expected. With a location adjacent to the 80/94 Burr Street interchange and approximately 193,000 cars passing daily, the expectation is to become the leading entertainment destination for the entire Northern Indiana region.
Additionally, Spectacle Entertainment has a commitment to local investment with a pledge to work with minority and women owned businesses. Currently all 17 senior leaders at Spectacle’s Majestic Star Casino are board directors for local charitable and community organisations in Gary and the Northern Indiana region. The team has sponsored, participated and volunteered for multiple local events and programs throughout the year, with a plan to directly drive more than $500,000 in fundraising in 2020.
Spectacle Entertainment Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rod Ratcliff said: “Breaking ground for Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana is the start of an incredible partnership between Spectacle Entertainment, Hard Rock International and the City of Gary, Indiana. It is an honor to be here today and to see this dream become a reality. A lot of work has gone into this project, a lot of planning. I’m grateful to all those who played a part in it. There is no doubt this is a game changer for Gary, Indiana and the entire Northern Indiana region.”
Hard Rock has a presence in 76 countries and is one of the most recognisable brands in the world. Spectacle Entertainment is confident the Hard Rock name will attract visitors throughout the region and beyond, maximize job creation, increase tax revenues, and greatly benefit the City of Gary and the State of Indiana.
“It’s an honour to partner with Spectacle Entertainment on this project, bringing the Hard Rock brand of world-class entertainment to Northern Indiana,” said Jon Lucas, Chief Operating Officer of Hard Rock International. “This property will be the premier casino destination in the region.”
Caption: First row, left to right: Executive Vice President Spectacle Entertainment Jim Brown, Chief Operating Officer Hard Rock International Jon Lucas, Chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida Marcellus Osceola, Chairman and Chief Executive Office Spectacle Entertainment Rod Ratcliff, Vice Chairman Spectacle Entertainment Greg Gibson, Gary Mayor Jerome Prince, Executive Vice President Spectacle Entertainment and General Manager Majestic Star Casino Jahnae Erpenbach, Executive Director Indiana Gaming Commission Sara Tait, President and CEO of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority Speros Batitstatos. Second Row, left to right: Hard Rock International Board Of Directors Member Robert Gips, Former Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Gary Common Council President Mike Brown, Marlon Jackson, Senior Vice President Design & Project Development Hard Rock International Joe Emanuele, Jackie Jackson, Tito Jackson, Former Indiana State Senator Earline Rogers, President of Gary Chamber of Commerce Chuck Hughes, Vice President of Development Spectacle Entertainment Rich Zeigler, Senior Vice President of Casino Development Hard Rock International Sean Caffery, Vice President and General Counsel Spectacle Entertainment John Keeler.