Hard Rock Rockford Expedites Hotel Timeline

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A general view of Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP

A Hard Rock Opening Act in Rockford, Illinois is a temporary casino that is operating until the main event is constructed.

The construction of the hotel that will accompany the permanent casino has been moved up and customers can’t wait.

Clock’s Ticking

The Illinois Gaming Board voted 4-0 to grant a license to construct a casino to the Hard Rock Casino Rockford on January 27th.

The temporary casino has been operating since November of 2021 and now the gaming giant has two years to construct the permanent casino.

The temporary casino is home to 625 slot machines and several table games.

Located about a mile away from the temporary site, the Hard Rock Casino will be located where the old Clock Tower and Resort used to reside on East State Street.

Geno Iafrate, Hard Rock Casino Rockford President, said, “Once the resort is ready, we will transfer the license from the temporary casino to the resort location.”

However, the heavy lifting is still not done as the Hard Rock must submit final construction plans to the Illinois Gaming Board for their approval.

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What the company plans to do with the temporary location once the license has been transferred to the permanent location is still undetermined.

There is also a casino proposal, roughly 30 minutes away from Rockford, in Beloit, Wisconsin called the Ho-Chunk Casino and Resort but that development has been stalled by the failure of the state to transfer 75 acres of land into a trust for the project.

The tribal casino was given the go-ahead over a year ago by Governor Tony Evers, but the land snafu continues.

The Finished Product

Once the ground is broken on the casino, it appears as though the hotel will be constructed in tandem, or at least that’s the way it looks as of this writing.

When the Hard Rock Rockford is built it will reportedly feature a Hard Rock Live entertainment center that will accommodate up to 2000 people and will present primarily musical acts.

But because final plans have yet to be approved for the construction of both the casino and hotel, the details are somewhat nebulous at this point.

We do know there will be several eating and shopping locations scattered throughout the facility as well as an expansive gaming floor.

The hotel is rumored to include 250 rooms as well as conference rooms and a business center.

“There is still a lot of work and decisions to be made when it comes to the resort and we are working diligently to uphold our license and agreement with the Illinois Gambling Association,” Iafrate noted.

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If the temporary casino’s numbers are any indication, the future looks bright for the permanent facility under the Hard Rock brand name.

Despite being the smallest casino in the state of Illinois, it welcomed over 40,000 customers last month and the casino generated $5 million in business, approximately $300,000 of which went into the city’s coffers in April alone.

Over the past three months, the casino has done over $13.2 million in business which bodes well for the future of casino gambling in Rockford.