The state’s landscape is going to be transformed, both literally and figuratively now that the casino laws of Indiana have eased up. Provided all business and construction permits are obtained in the coming month, Spectacle Entertainment’s plan to build a Hard Rock-branded resort in the city of Gary could kick off as early as this September as per Inside Indiana Business reports.
Spectacle wants to build one Hard Rock casino in Terre Haute and one in Gary. The project in Gary is marching ahead while the one in Terra Haute has been kept in abeyance for now. Last week the company told members of the Gary Plan Commission (GPC) that it plans to construct a 200-square-foot $400-million facility on an empty plot near the Borman Expressway, and added that it could be completed by New Year’s Eve going into 2021, if construction begins soon. Firstly, the casino would be built, followed by a parking garage and a new hotel in a span of a year of two.
The VP and general counsel for Spectacle, John Keeler says, “If it were not for Illinois [casino expansion], which kind of suspended operations, we would have completed the whole thing in one stretch as originally imagined. However, this project shall be done in two phases and we are determined to finish the same.”
Mayor of Gary, Karen Freeman and the GPC members favour the proposal. The mayor believes the venue will be a chief contributor to the local economy and last Tuesday the commission collectively approved the construction of the casino.
The transfer of Spectacle’s riverboat casinos to dry land is part of the casino changes authorized by the state. Two floating casinos - new Buffington Harbor and the new Hard Rock Casino Gary, planned for using any one of the two gambling licenses, has been offered by the company.
The region’s second-largest gaming property would be The Hard Rock Gary. It is likely to have bars, restaurants, sportsbook, gambling, a Hard Rock Live concert hall and the symbolic Hard Rock Café. On Tuesday the Gary Board of Zoning Appeals is expected to scrutinize the construction requests of the new venue.