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Hard Rock Casino Rockford Update

HARD ROCK CASINO ROCKFORD

7801 East State Street
Rockford, IL 61108

Hard Rock International will build a $310 casino in Rockford, Illinois at the location of the former Clock Tower Resort at East State Street and I-90. The 65,000-square-foot casino will include a Hard Rock Cafe, a Hard Rock Live concert venue, restaurants, retail stores and a hotel.

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Proposed Hard Rock Casino Rockford

In October 2019 the Rockford City Council selected Hard Rock International as its sole casino choice under the Rebuild Illinois Act of June 2019.

News

News Hard Rock Rockford clears casino site 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 ... Read more News Hard Rock Casino Rockford gets green light for construction 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 ... Read more News Hard Rock Casino is approved by Rockford City Council October 12, 2019 - Rockford City Council selected Hard Rock International over two other proposals as Rockford's single applicant for state licensing. Hard Rock will build a $310M casino with 65,000-sq-ft ... Read more News Ho-Chunk Nation responds to Hard Rock Rockford application July 18, 2019 - Ho-Chunk Nation has responded to Hard Rock's application to build a casino in Rockford, IL and says it will "make the region a powerhouse." ... Read more News Hard Rock Casino Proposed for Rockford IL July 17, 2019 - Hard Rock International is the first to announce their plan to build a casino in Rockford, IL. It includes a casino, an entertainment and music venue, restaurants, retail stores and a hotel. ... Read more Headlines continued...

Hard Rock Casino Rockford Status

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.

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Hard Rock Casino Rockford Construction Plan

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

Hard Rock will use space from Giovanni's Restaurant and Convention Center for a temporary casino while the proposed casino is under construction. The temporary facility would host 700 slot machines.

PHASE 2 - PERMANENT CASINO

Construction of the permanent ard Rock Casino Rockford will take 18-24 months to complete.

PHASE 3 - HOTEL

A hotel is planned for the future, however there have been no details or schedule announced.

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Hard Rock Casino Rockford

Gaming

$310 million casino
65,000-square-foot casino

Further details are pending

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Table Games
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Restaurants

Hard Rock Cafe

Additional restaurants and food venue TBA

Entertainment

Hard Rock Live - entertainment and concert venue with 1,600 seats

Kings and Queens of Quarantine

Hotel

Details are pending

News Articles

Hard Rock Rockford clears casino site

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.

Crews clear way for future Hard Rock Casino site - Courtesy of Eyewitness News WTVO WQRF, Mar 10, 2021. Available from YouTube

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Hard Rock Casino Rockford gets green light for construction

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.

Hard Rock can begin construction on temporary Rockford casino - Courtesy of Eyewitness News WTVO WQRF, Feb 4, 2021. Available from YouTube

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.

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Hard Rock Casino is approved by Rockford City Council

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.

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Forest City Casino Proposal

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.

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Second Proposal for Rockford Casino

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.

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Hard Rock Casino Proposed for Rockford IL

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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News Headlines Continued

News Forest City Casino Proposal September 23, 2019 - The third applicant for a Rockford casino license proposes a $500M casino, hotel and entertainment complex in Forest City. It would include a golf entertainment center, waterpark and family fun center. ... Read more News Second Proposal for Rockford Casino July 29, 2019 - A downtown casino and entertainment complex including an aquarium is proposed by Rock River West Casino Group, a local partnership with developer Gorman & Company, ... Read more News Ho-Chunk Nation's casino plan for Beloit gets challenge from Rockford IL July 5, 2019 - As the Beloit tribal casino awaits a federal go-ahead decision, Illinois has enacted a massive gambling expansion bill that will bring a casino to Rockford, IL. ... Read more
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