Construction has officially begun on the new, land-based Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana in Gary. Officials this week broke ground on the $300 million casino, which was approved by the Indiana General Assembly last year.
Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the groundbreaking included representatives from Hard Rock International, state and local officials, and three members of the Jackson 5, who hail from Gary.
The 200,000-square-foot complex will include 1,650 slot machines and 80 table games; a sportsbook and bar; six restaurants, including a Hard Rock Cafe; a Rock Shop retail store and a 2,000-seat Hard Rock Live venue, according to the publication. A Hard Rock hotel is also planned for the site, though it is not expected to be added until a few years after the casino opens.
Jon Lucas, chief operating officer for Hard Rock International, tells The Times, the new casino will be a “first-class facility.”
“We’re not about just building a box with slots and tables in it. We’re about creating an entertainment venue,” Lucas said. “You will find that our food and beverage and restaurants, along with our entertainment, is what really helps to sell the brand and helps to create the excitement in our facility. And we will deliver that here in Northwest Indiana for sure.”
Indianapolis-based Spectacle Entertainment is developing the casino, which will replace the existing Majestic Star riverboat casinos on Lake Michigan.
As part of the bill signed last year by Governor Eric Holcomb, Spectacle was able to use one of the two Majestic Star gaming licenses to build the land-based casino in Gary, while the other went to Vigo County, where a new casino is also being developed by Spectacle.
Spectacle Chief Executive Officer Rod Ratcliff tells the publication the new Hard Rock casino could open as early as the end of this year, but is more likely to open in the first quarter of 2021.
You can read more about the Gary casino project and groundbreaking in The Times of Northwest Indiana.