Two decades after first proposed land-based casino in Gary, The Hard Rock Northern Indiana Casino opened its doors to the public last Friday.
In an event only Hard Rock could pull off, the Indiana casino’s opening was marked by more more than two dozen casino officials, local dignitaries, and popular musicians smashing logo-emblazoned guitars in front of sparkler fireworks, backed up by the sound of Fall out Boy’s “Light ‘Em Up”.
But more than the star-studded, guitar-smashing, rock and roll event that took place, the opening was regarded as the start of a promising future for Steel City.
A $300M Gambling and Entertainment Destination
The $300M gambling and entertainment destination replaces the former Majestic Star Casinos that operated from Lake Michigan from Gary’s Buffington Harbor for the past quarter of a century. It is the first land-based commercial Indiana casino built away from its dockside location.
The Hard Rock in Gary includes a casino that has 1,600 slot machines and 80 table games, five restaurants including a Hard Rock Cafe, a 1,954-seat Hard Rock Live performance venue, a gift shop, and an on-site sportsbook. The casino is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Guests, including those at its restaurants, must be at least 21 years old to enter.
Building Local Partnerships
Sen. Eddie Melton, a proponent of the 20119 Indiana law authorizing the relocation of the Gary Casino, said that the opening of the Hard Rock Northern Indiana Casino opens the door for economic growth and endless opportunities. Melton talked about Gary going from one of the state’s lowest income-generating casinos at Buffington Harbor to a location with over 200,000 cars a day passing by.
The Hard Rock Casino in Gary employs around 1,200 locals across the property and has pledged to prioritize Gary and Northern Indiana companies in its spending just as it did during its construction phase. Hard Rock says it will continue to build local partnerships and help local vendors provide products and services to the Indiana casino.