The opening of Rockford Hard Rock Casino could be soon
“We want to make sure that when we open that everything is ready”
Source: Rockford Register Star
Rockford’s Hard Rock Casino could welcome its first guests as soon as next month as the casino continues to work to fill open positions.
It will take more than 250 employees — who Hard Rock likes to call “band members” —to properly open the temporary Rockford Casino, 610 N. Bell School Road, said Dawn Reynolds-Pettit, Hard Rock International regional vice president for human resources.
“We want to make sure that when we open that everything is ready,” Reynolds-Pettit said. “There’s the regulatory side and we want to make sure we are doing everything in compliance. We want to make sure all our new band members have the opportunity to be onboarded and trained, so when we open it’s the best experience for our guests and the best experience for our team members.”
Although officials had pegged a late October temporary casino opening after an $8.8 million renovation, no specific date had been announced.
Reynolds-Pettit said the opening remains on track and about what was expected.
“The timeline is pretty much and you will see more information about specifics about opening dates coming out shortly,” she said.
The temporary casino featuring 736 slot machines and two restaurants is expected to operate for about two years as the permanent Hard Rock Casino Rockford campus with casino, Hard Rock Live venue and Hard Rock Cafe is built on East State Street near the Interstate 90 exit.
Rockford is budgeting $1.5 million from temporary casino tax revenues into its 2022 budget, City Administrator Todd Cagnoni said.
The money will be used to fund Rockford Promise scholarships to Northern Illinois University for graduating Rockford Public Schools students.
Although a labor shortage has crippled hiring in some areas of the country, Reynolds-Pettit said Hard Rock’s brand and career potential has sparked intense interest in Rockford.
“This has been the most challenging year and half I have experienced from a recruitment perspective in many of the markets, but in Rockford, I haven’t seen that at all, and it’s been great,” Reynolds-Pettit said.