Unveiled Rockford Casino Plans Explained In Layman Terms
All three sets of plans for a casino in Rockford has been presented. Now it's up to city officials to decide which will come to fruition.
More than 600 people packed the Coronado Performing Arts Center to hear three detailed pesentations for each group with interest in building a casino in Rockford. Here's a quick look at each group's proposal, courtesy of MyStateline.com.
Rock River West Casino Group [WATCH]
- 60,000 sq. ft. facility
- 1,000 slots, 200 table seats (could grow up to 2,000 - depending on demand)
- Letter of intent signed Rock and Brews
- Invest in downtown including: UW Sports Factory, White - Water Rafting, and Colman Village
- Build Rockford Aquarium with a target opening date of 2024
- Redevelop a warehouse on South Main Street into a boutique hotel (expected opening date 2024). Would include an indoor/outdoor locally sourced food court, a bowling alley, bar, and bocce
Hard Rock International [WATCH]
- 5 restaurants
- Hard Rock Live! venue to feature local/internationally known artists
- Rock Shop
- Retail space
- Rockford Park District Partnership: Hard Rock to provide $150,000 over 10 years for marketing and/or sponsorships, construct outdoor amphitheater at Levings Lake, music studio at Washington Park Community Center, and improvements to Sinnissippi Music Shell
- Promise to help fund police/fire, Remedies (locally funded program for problem gambling), Rockford Promise, Rockford Family Peace Center, RAVE, RACVB, transportation
- Establish Hard Rock 815 Community Foundation (distribute grants yearly to local charities/causes)
- Phase 2: construction of hotel and parking garage
Forest City Casino [WATCH]
- 60,000 square foot casino
- Two hotels: 250 room Wyndham Hotel & 150 room casino hotel
- 50,000 square foot indoor/outdoor waterpark
- Luxe Golf Bays
- New Perspective Senior Living facility
- On-site camping, amphitheater
- 2,000 permanent jobs
- Estimated $18 million in property tax revenue annually
As of this writing, all three groups say they will open a temporary casino location while a permanent venue is constructed. Only Hard Rock has specified exactly where their temporary casino would be.
Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara says officials hope to narrow down the process to two casinos, leading to the eventual single proposal to be sent downstate. In a recent Rockford poll, a majority of participating residents voted for the I-90/E. State Street Hard Rock International.