7801 East State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
Hard Rock International is bulding a $310 million casino in Rockford, Illinois on the location of the former Clock Tower Resort at East State Street and I-90. The 65,000-square-foot casino will have a Hard Rock Cafe, a Hard Rock Live concert venue, restaurants, retail stores and a 250-room hotel.
HARD ROCK CASINO ROCKFORD - Opening 2024
The groundbreaking for construction of the Hard Rock Casino Rockford is expected in summer o 2022. Competition will take 18-24 months. A 250-room hotel, which was expected in a later phase of construction, will now open within a few months of the casino's grand opening. See features.
TEMPORARY CASINO - Open Now
On Nov. 10, 2021 Hard Rock opened its Rockford Casino, a temporary casino operating 24/7 until the Hard Rock Casino Rockford construction is completed in 2023-2024. See features
The Illinois Gaming Board has given preliminary approval to the Hard Rock Rockford casino project, which sets the stage for construction. There will be three building phases in the Hard Rock Casino Rockford plan.
PHASE 1 - TEMPORARY CASINO
The temporary casino opened Nov. 10, 2021. The casino is named Rockford Casino and uses space from Giovanni's Restaurant and Convention Center. There are 635 slot machines and two restaurants. There are no live table games.
PHASE 2 - PERMANENT CASINO
Construction of the permanent ard Rock Casino Rockford will take 18-24 months to complete. Completion is expected in 2024.
A 250-room hotel was originally planned for a later construction phase; however, the plan has moved up and the hotel will now open with the Hrd Rock Casino.
In addition Hard Rock has committed to incorporate a music production studio at Washington Park Community Center, an outdoor amphitheater at Levings Lake, improvements to the Sinnisssippi Music Shell, and support to neighborhood youth programs.
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Opened November 10, 2021
Now Open 24/7
610 N Bell School Road
Rockford, IL 61108
On Nov. 10, 2021 Hard Rock opened its Rockford Casino, a temporary casino operating 24/7 until the Hard Rock Casino Rockford construction is completed in 2023-2024.
The temporary casino, named Rockford Casino, has 635 slot machines, Interblock Electronic Table Games and two restaurants. The location is inside the former Giovanni's Restaurant and Convention Center at 610 N Bell School Road in Rockford.
The Rockford temporary casino cost $8 million and includes the following features:
635 slot machines
Electronic table games
Rock River Bar & Grill
Rock Shop - retail
21,000 square foot facility
The Rockford casino results from the Rebuild Illinois Act signed into law by Gov. Pritzker on June 29, 2019. The law authorizes the licensing of new casinos in Rockford and five other Illinois cities.
On October 7, 2019 the Rockford City Council selected Hard Rock International as its sole choice from three casino proposals. The vote allows Hard Rock to submit its application to the Illinois Gaming Board for a casino license.
Hard Rock Casino Rockford was selected over the proposed Rock River West Casino, which would build a downtown casino with an entertainment district and aquarium (see plan), and the proposed Forest City Casino, which would build a $1B casino, hotel and entertainment complex south of Mercyhealth Javon Bea Hospital-Riverside. (see plan)
The Illinois Gaming Board gave a preliminary approval to the Hard Rock Rockford project on Feb. 4, 2021, which effectively green lights the start for construction of the casino.
In June 2021 the Illinois Gaming Board issued a Casino Supplier License to 815 Beltway Holdings, LLC, the owner of the Hard Rock's temporary and permanent locations in Rockford. The approval allows construction to start on both facilities pending board approval of the final building plans. The temporary casino was approved for construction in late June and will open in November 2021.
A temporary casino, named Rockford Casino, opened Nov. 10, 2021 to operate during the construction phase of the Hard Rock Casino Rockford.
The Illinois Gaming Board granted a final license to Hard Rock to build a permanent casino. News
Hard Rock Casino Rockford is expected to break ground for construction in the summer of 2022.
$310 million casino
Slot machines - number to be announced
Table games - number and games to be announced
Hard Rock Cafe
Additional restaurants and food venue TBA
Hard Rock Live - entertainment and concert venue with 1,600 seats
Details are pending
May 15, 2022
Hard Rock now plans to build a 250-room hotel concurrently with the construction of its casino. The original plan was to build the hotel a few years after opening the casino. The first phase was to build only the casino, a Hard Rock Cafe and a Hard Rock Live concert center. The change to build the hotel with the casino was revealed last week by Geno Iafrate, the President of Hard Rock Rockford.
Iafrate confirmed that site work is underway to complete the property design and to prepare for the construction phase. Design details are still pending for the casino floor's layout, the types of restaurants, the square footage of each venue, and the design of Hard Rock Live. When finished, the final design package must be submitted to the Illinois Gaming Board. The board's approval is required before breaking ground this summer.
March 24, 2022
Although the temporary Rockford Casino has been operating since November, construction of the permanent Hard Rock Casino in Rockford has not started and a groundbreaking date has not been set.
"Hard Rock Casino Rockford cannot commence construction on or begin gaming at the proposed facility without first submitting the required disclosures and receiving the request and receiving the appropriate IGB approval."
- Illinois Gaming Board, Mar 10, 2022
The gaming board granted a casino license to Hard Rock Casino in January. Now Hard Rock has until January 2024 to complete construction.
Meanwhile the Rockford temporary casino continues to bring in revenue and pay state and city taxes. Since opening the casino generated over $15 million through February.
To date Rockford Casino has paid $1,812,951 in taxes to the state and $906,475 to the City of Rockford.
March 4, 2022
Rock Hard's temporary casino ion Rockford, A Hard Rock Opening Act, has added two weekly events for March.
The first is "Sunday Jazz Brunch" at the Rock River Bar & Grill every Sunday 10 AM to 2 PM. The brunch will include live performances by Stateline Jazz Quartet (March 6), Groove Hotel Quartet (March 13), and the Evon Sams Quartet (March 20).
The second event is "WINESday" on Wednesdays 5-8 PM at the Rock River Bar & Grill. Wine bottles are half price and music is provided by Mario Duenas Electric Duet (March 2), Tristan Sheedlo (March 9), and the Evon Sams Quartet (March 16).
February 11, 2022
This week Hard Rock Casino Rockford announced a five-year sponsorship deal with the Rockford IceHogs, the AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks.
The deal includes a Hard Rock VIP suite inside the BMO Harris Bank Center at center ice. The suite will be named "The Stage" and feature 56 seats, a bar, private buffet, restrooms and Hard Rock decor including memorabilia from Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen.
Hard Rock will also sponsor a new game intro, in-game entertainment and a larger video scoreboard.
January 29, 2022
This week the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) voted 4 to 1 to license the Hard Rock Casino Rockford to build a $310 million casino on the site of the former Clock Tower Resort at 7801 E. State Street at the I-90 exit ramp.
The license gives Hard Rock two years to complete the construction of the casino; however, construction cannot begin until the required disclosures are submitted and approved by the board. Construction is expected this spring and take 18-24 month to complete.
Hard Rock Casino Rockford is the first to be licensed of the six new casinos authorized in the 2019 Illinois casino bill.
January 13, 2022
Since opening Nov. 10, Rockford's Hard Rock casino has generated $8.4 million in revenues. Of that amount the casino will pay 511,000 to state taxes and $255,400 to local taxes. According to the Illinois Gaming Board, Rockford Casino earned $4.1 million In November and $4.3 million in December.
Rockford Casino is a temporary casino that will operate until the opening of the permanent Hard Rock Casino Rockford in 2024.
December 9, 2021
Hard Rock's temporary casino in Rockford, Illinois pulled $4.1 million in revenue in November. The number of casino visitors was 41,637. The Rockford casino opened November 10, 2021 and will operate 24/7 during the two-year construction period of the Hard Rock Casino Rockford.
The Rockford Casino revenues in November have generated $497,000 in state taxes and $249,000 in taxes for the Rockford area.
November 11, 2021
Yesterday Hard Rock International opened a temporary casino named Rockford Casino to operate during the construction phase of the $310 million Hard Rock Casino in Rockford, IL. The doors were opened to the public at 11 AM.
Hard Rock has branded its Rockford temporary casino, "Rockford Casino, A Hard Rock Opening Act". The casino is open 24/7 and will continue operating until the opening of the permanent Hard Rock Casino Rockland.
October 18, 2021
Take a preview walk through Rockford's temporary Hard Rock Casino, which opens in a few weeks. The 21,000 square foot facility is ready to open with over 700 slot machines, a players club, a bar and a restaurant.
The Rockford Casino will open in November and operate during the construction of the Hard Rock Casino Rockford.
October 14, 2021
The opening of the temporary Rockford Casino will now likely be in November. An exact date has not been announced. This is a slight delay from the late October date expected after completing the renovation of the former Giovanni's Restaurant & Convention Center as the new home for the Rockford temporary slots casino.
A Hard Rock International official explained:
"We want to make sure that when we open that everything is ready. There's the regulatory side and we want to make sure we are doing everything in compliance. We want to make sure all our new band members (250 employees) have the opportunity to be onboarded and trained, so when we open it's the best experience for our guests and the best experience for our team members."
- Dawn Reynolds-Pettit, Hard Rock Regional VP, HR
The temporary Rockford Casino will open at 610 N. Bell School Road in Rockford. The 21,000-square-foot facility will include 635 slot machines, a restaurant, snack bar and casino bar. The casino is expected to operate until the permanent Hard Rock Casino Rockford opens in 2024.
September 20, 2021
Hard Rock Casino in Rockford, IL is preparing to open a temporary slots casino inside the former Giovanni's Restaurant & Convention Center within the next few weeks. During the past two months Hard Rock has interviewed and hired hundreds of new employees for the casino.
Many jobs at Hard Rock are still not filled. If your are interested, check out the current Hard Rock Job Listings.
Hard Rock Rockford job opportunites include cage operations, slot operations, facilities, finance, food and beverage, restaurant services, IT, security, surveillance, and administration.
July 30, 2021
The Hard Rock casino project in Rockford, Illinois will open a temporary slots casino in October 2021 to operate during the construction a permanent facility. The date was announced during a vendor fair on Wednesday.
The Illinois Gaming Board approved the Hard Rock temporary casino in a meeting last June. The temporary casino be a 21,000 square foot facility with 635 slot machines, a restaurant. a snack concession and a bar.
July 18, 2021
Hard Rock Casino Rockford made a major advance this week in its long approval process with the Illinois Gaming Board. The board approved the list of owners, executives, managers and associated companies that will operate the Rockford casino.
Hard Rock Chief Operating Officer Jon Lucas said, "This is a giant step forward. We're excited to get this project up and running beginning with the construction of the temporary casino."
The temporary casino is expected to open within three to four months inside the former Giovanni's Restaurant at 610 N. Bell School Road. Details.
This week's approvals by the Illinois Gaming Board included eleven management and executive personnel, six additional owner investors and five associated businesses.
June 28, 2021
The Illinois Gaming Board has approved construction of a temporary Hard Rock Casino in Rockford inside the former Giovanni's Restaurant and Convention Center. The temporary casino will open this Fall and operated for 18-24 months as the permanent Hard Rock Casino Rockford is under construction.
The temporary Hard Rock building will have 37,790 square feet. After an $8.8 million renovation, this casino will feature 635 slot machines and two restaurants. There will be no table games in this facility.
June 14, 2021
The Hard Rock Casino Rockford project took several major steps forward in last week's Illinois Gaming Board meeting. The Board approved a list of casino executives and investors and issued a Casino Supplier License to the property owner of the temporary and permanent casino sites. The actions allow Hard Rock to now seek approvals of construction plans for both casinos.
"Now that the owner of the proposed temporary site and the proposed permanent site for the casino in Rockford has been licensed, that project can move forward with requesting approval to commence construction on the temporary and permanent facility." - Marcus Fruchter, Illinois Gaming Board
Construction of the temporary casino can now begin once the construction plans are approved. At that point it will take 90-120 days to open the facility for gambling. The gaming license must still be issued before then. The permanent casino is expected to takwe 24-30 months to complete.
March 15, 2021
Construction crews are clearing the site for the Hard Rock Casino planned for Rockford, IL following preliminary approval from the Illinois Gaming Board to begin construction. Crews are removing the former Coco Key Water Resort, which closed in 2015, and the Forest City Tennis Center, which burned down in 2020.
February 11, 2021
The Illinois Gaming Board voted unanimously last week to allow construction of the Hard Rock Casino Rockford to move forward. The board found "preliminary suitability" for the casino project although questions remain unanswered concerning the video gambling endeavors of the key investor.
The Gaming Board's action is an important step for the Rockford casino, howevedr, it is only another preliminary step. After further investigations are completed by the board, the final step will be the issuance of a casino license for the Hard Rock Casino Rockford.
October 12, 2019
The Rockford City Council voted 11-1 last week to certify Hard Rock International's $310 million casino proposal as the city's single choice for a casino. The vote allows Hard Rock to submit its casino application to the Illinois Gaming Board, which has up to one year to review, process and approve their license.
Video courtesy of Rockford Register Star
The Rockford City Council selected Hard Rock International over two other proposals. Rockford. Gorman & Co. proposed building a casino in the downtown Rockford and Forest City Partners proposed building a casino at I-90 and Spring Creek Road.
Hard Rock has guaranteed payments to the city. The temporary casino will begin operations upon state licensing. At that time the city will receive 15% of net income but no less than $1,820,000 in the first year. Afterwards it will receive 5% of net income but no less than $1,070,000 per year.
When the permanent casino opens the city will receive 1% of net income in the first two years and 0.5% of net income afterwards.
September 23, 2019
Proposed Forest City Casino Site
The third applicant for a Rockford casino license is Forest City Partners. The company proposes a $500M casino complex off Lyford Road in Forest City.
The Forest City proposal includes a casino, hotel, golf comples, waterpark and senior housing. The proposed site is 136 acres. The casino and hotel would reuire 52 acres. Senior housing would be allocated 7 acres.
The Rockford City Council will recommend one of more of the applicants to the Illinois Gaming Board by September 30.
DOWNTOWN CASINO, ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT, AQUARIUM
July 29, 2019
The Hard Rock Casino proposal for Rockford now has serious competition from Rock River West Casino Group, a local partnership with developer Gorman & Company. This group is proposing a downtown casino with an entertainment district including an aquarium.
Artist rendering of a downtown Rockford casino with entertainment district
Gorman & Company is building the Embassy Suites Hotel and Rockford Conference Center in downtown Rockford and has an option to buy 13 acres south of the hotel.
The company proposes building a downtown casino and entertainment complex on that site with pedestrian walkways to the hotel and adjacent train station. The project includes and aquarium.
This casino proposal will be submitted to the city by the August 16 deadline.
July 17, 2019
The first announced proposal to build a casino in Rockford came from Hard Rock International. On Tuesday Hard Rock CEO Jim Allen hosted a news event at the former site of the Clock Tower Resort. This property is the proposed location for the Hard Rock Casino Rockford. Hard Rock introduced the casino plan it will submit to the Rockford City Council before the deadline Aug 16th.
Video courtesy of Eyewitness News WTVO WQRF
The Hard Rock plan includes a casino, a music and entertainment venue, rstaurants, retail stores and a hotel. The first phase of construction is estimated to take 12-14 months to complete.
Artist rendering of the proposed Hard Rock Casino Rockford
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