Three years after Rockford selected Hard Rock Casino from among three viable casino proposals, construction has begun on the casino’s latest resort at the Rockford’s East State Street corridor.
Hard Rock Casino Rockford threw an invitation-only party yesterday to celebrate the start of transforming a 25-acre empty field into a more than $310 million resort.
Once completed, the Illinois casino will generate millions in local revenue, creating thousands of new jobs.
Hard Rock casino will greatly impact local economy
City officials and celebrities threw a groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 28 at the new Hard Rock Rockford casino and hotel site.
At the official ceremony, Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara gathered with Hard Rock COO Jon Lucas and Rockford casino chief investor Dan Fischer, as well as Rick Nielsen, a Rockford resident and a member of the band Cheap Trick.
On this occasion, Nielsen said:
“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.”
Hard Rock resort agreed to provide the city of Rockford with a guaranteed $7 million yearly.
Moreover, the casino will pay the city impact fees of an additional 1% annually of its adjusted gross receipts for the first two years of operations. Hard Rock will pay 0.5% of adjusted gross receipts for each year after.
Hard Rock will also deliver an additional $150,000 annually to help economic development in at-risk or impoverished areas of the city. And it will establish an 815 Hard Rock philanthropic foundation.
A portion of the revenue will go to the Northern Illinois University Rockford Promise Scholarship Program, dedicated to offering free college tuition to students in Rockford’s Public Schools.
What will the Hard Rock Casino Rockford look like?
Once Hard Rock opens, the $310 million resort is expected to include:
- 65,000-square-foot casino with 1,500 slot machines, a sportsbook and 60 table games of blackjack, roulette and craps. The casino may also have a poker room of 10-12 tables
- Dining options, including a Hard Rock Café, Council Oak Steakhouse, and an Asian cuisine restaurant YouYu
- Hard Rock Live event center featuring a 23,500-square-foot conference venue with up to 1,600 seats
- 250-room hotel to be built in phase two of construction
The resort’s construction is expected to involve 1,200 union construction workers and is planned to be completed by winter 2023.