On Monday, at a public hearing at the Coronado Performing Arts Center, 3 candidates have decided to show their proposals for the creation of a casino in Rockford, Illinois. One of the proposals is for an installation with an aquarium on the Rock River, the other two to build a casino on the east side.
Around 45 minutes, each of the presentations lasted, where the Rock River West casino groups Rockford International and the representatives of the City of the Forest contributed. The Illinois Game Law was the one who required this public hearing, where there was also a part of questions and answers.
First, Forest City Partners intervened who has the idea of putting a casino near Spring Creek Road and thus turning it into a great development. Its goal is also to use the 136-acre plot, located south of a new hospital called Javon Bea, and place a temporary casino, a golf center, living rooms, two water parks, and two hotels for a family attraction.
The idea is to create a hotel for a private operator with 150 rooms, and another with 250 rooms.
From the LaSalle Development group, Tom LaSalle declares that they have the opportunity to do something very good for the city. Since the 80s, they have been dedicated to the realization of complexes and for commercial use. But now that they know that Rockford is changing course and want to include games, they also want to be participants in this expansion.
He also points out that apart from creating a casino, it is a great opportunity to create a family atmosphere where adults can have space just for them. Also, he talks about the budget for this project has an estimated $250 million.
Hard Rock International, after making a presentation with drummer Daxx Nielsen, and guitarist Rick Nielsen reiterated their idea of building a Hard Rock casino, in the old resort Clock Tower.
This casino would include the Hard Rock Café, shops, restaurants, and of course, 1 main casino. Also, an event center and a place for music with 1,600 seats,this East State Street casino would have 55 gaming tables and 1,500 slot machines.
But while this construction is finished, there is a temporary casino housed in the Giovanni Restaurant & Convention Center for 18 or 24 months, depending on the time it takes to complete the construction. This space has 736 slot machines for total fun.
This whole plan belongs to phase 1, since phase 2 would add a hotel and parking cover, for a budget of $310 million.
Hard Rock has committed to help in many of the projects that want to be carried out in the community, especially in those that have monetary problems. They could fund the Levings Park amphitheater, including improvements to the Music Shell Sinnissippi Park, and neighborhood and youth programs at Washington Park Community Center.
Also, this funding includes entertainment areas and other areas such as the center of peace in the city, and police and firefighters. In 2017, this group already bought the 21-acre clock tower, for $3.6 million.
Wisconsin Gorman & Co, are the ones leading the Rock West Casino Group, and their proposal to build a 250,000-square-foot urban casino, just below the Embassy Suites & Rockford convention center, to offer more distractions. This space would offer 200 table games, 1,200 slot machines like Fortunium, Avalon, Moolahand a hotel with 60 rooms, an aquarium, and a Rock & Brews Family Restaurant.
Ron Clewer, President of the Illinois market, said that a casino in the downtown area despite not generating large revenues would create a leisure area in the city market, despite the changes that the east side has had. For him, this area was very different, 10 to 12 years ago, a time of great opportunity for real estate.
Therefore, he needs to look at each of the changes, and see how it can be used for economic advantages, a casino in Rockford.
By 2022, the opening of a temporary casino is estimated, and 2 years later, the permanent installation. An estimated $184 million of revenue in the temporary casino, the permanent one in the first year $147.2 million, and by 2025 $171.7 million.
One thousand six hundred jobs could be generated with the construction of a casino in Rockford,and although still, in the budget of the city, the amounts that a casino would generate, in terms of annual tax revenues, have not been included.
Finally, the city continues to examine each of the proposals by Monday sends the recommendations to the Municipal Council meeting. Other proposals may be submitted to the Illinois Board of Games until October 25.