Hard Rock

Hard Rock International/City of Rockford

Last week, the Rockford City Council voted 11-to-1 (with one abstention) in favor of certifying Hard Rock’s plan to the Illinois Gaming Board. Hard Rock edged out two alternative casino proposals. 

The Gaming Board has up to a year from when it receives the proposal to decide whether to grant a casino license to Hard Rock. If they do, Mayor Tom McNamara says Hard Rock will first open a temporary casino site at Giovanni’s Restaurant and Convention Center.

"I would say you have about 90 to 180 days and you will have that temporary facility up and running," he said.

Chase Cavanaugh

Rockford residents had the chance Monday to hear about the three plans for a new casino. 

Crowds packed the Coronado Performing Arts Center for the city's public hearing. Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara was optimistic as he kicked off the night's events.

"All three organizations believe in the City of Rockford," he said. "All three want to invest their dollars in the City of Rockford, and all three see potential in a community that continues its comeback." 

Pixabay

Friday afternoon was the deadline for casino operators for submit their proposals to the City of Rockford. It received three different proposals. 

One proposal is by Hard Rock International. The company wants to build the casino at the site of the former Clock Tower Resort near I-90.  The second is by Gorman and Company, a firm that wants to build next to an Embassy Suites downtown.  The Register Star confirms both companies delivered their proposals Friday afternoon. 

Rockford Park District

Hard Rock International has pledged several philanthropic initiatives to the Rockford Park District if the company secures a casino license in the city. 

The district has been searching for alternative sources of funds due to declining property tax revenue. Hard Rock approached them several weeks ago about public investment. Rockford Park District Executive Director Jay Sandine proposed several music-related projects. These include an outdoor amphitheater and a music production studio at a community center.