ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Officials with Hard Rock International announced on Wednesday that a formal groundbreaking ceremony will be held for the permanent casino next week.
The groundbreaking will take place on Wednesday, September 28th.
“The festivities are slated to begin at 1 p.m. where Hard Rock executives will be joined by local elected officials, business and community leaders, and Cheap Trick guitarist and Rockford legend Rick Nielsen. Given the current nature of the site, the ceremony is limited to invited guests and media only. The festivities will feature remarks by several key figures from Hard Rock and the Rockford community. Mayor McNamara, Hard Rock COO Jon Lucas, and others will be available for media interviews following the ceremony,” according to a press release.
The casino will be built on the site of the former Clock Tower Resort, on E. State Street and Lyford Road.
The Rockford City Council voted in favor of the plan from Hard Rock International in October 2019, after considering proposals from the downtown Rock River West Casino Group and Forest City Casino.
Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a gaming expansion bill into law on June 28, 2019, allowing a casino to be built in six areas in Illinois, including Rockford.
Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen said the $310 million casino project would create 1,200 permanent jobs and another 1,000 during construction.
The company has committed to incorporate a music production studio at Washington Park Community Center, build an outdoor amphitheater at Levings Lake, provide enhanced performance opportunities and make possible improvements to the Sinnisssippi Music Shell. Hard Rock has also agreed to provide support for neighborhood youth programs.
In development competition with a Rockford casino, the Ho-Chunk Nation announced plans to build a $405 million resort casino in Beloit.