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 mac
hines 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 leading the Rock West Casino Group. Their proposal is to build a 250,000 square-foot urban casino just below the Embassy Suites & Rockford Convention Center, in order to provide more distractions. This area would include 200 table games and 1,200 slots like Fortunium Avalon, Moolahand a 60-room hotel, an aquarium, a Rock & Brews Family Restaurant, etc.
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.
A future infused with glitz, glamour, and economic promise flickers on the horizon for Rockford, Illinois. The tantalizing prospect of a new casino has set three ambitious development groups to work. Each burning with conviction that their unique proposal will invigorate the local economy and birth a bustling hub of entertainment for tourists and locals alike.
Consider Forest City Partners. Their vision? A multi-pronged approach that seeks to harness the latent potential enveloping the newly minted Javon Bea Hospital. Not merely a casino, their aspirations run higher and broader. Envision an entire entertainment complex with thrilling water parks and luxurious hotels. The intent is crystal clear – to craft a family-centric destination guaranteed to draw crowds from every corner of the country.
Then we have LaSalle Development Group. Their strategy leans heavily on the sturdy pillar of their extensive experience, earned through decades in the construction and commercial sectors. With Tom LaSalle at the helm, they propose an enticing blend of family-friendly ambiance and the seductive thrills of casino gaming. Their substantial war chest of $250 million mirrors the grand scale of their ambitions.
Next, step into the limelight, Hard Rock International. Their proposal resonates, echoing the star-studded endorsements from Daxx and Rick Nielsen. Their game plan revolves around breathing new life into the erstwhile Clock Tower resort, transforming it into a landmark casino destination. Their pledge to finance community projects reflects a more profound commitment, showing their roots run deep in the city’s soil, far beyond the mere allure of the casino.
Finally, we turn to Gorman & Co. Their audacious vision paints a picture of an urban casino in downtown Rockford. More than just a casino, they propose a hotel, an aquarium, crafting a vibrant entertainment nexus. Their unwavering focus on the city center, often the neglected child of urban development, signals their dedication to breathing new life into the heart of Rockford.
The ball now lies in the court of the city council, staring down the barrel of a challenging decision. They must deftly navigate each proposal’s economic and social benefits against the lurking shadows of potential costs and risks. As the October 25 deadline for additional submissions looms, anticipation crackles, electrifying the development process. The prospect of a new casino in Rockford dances tantalizingly close, promising to be the catalyst for a golden era of prosperity and entertainment for the city.