ROCKFORD – The Hard Rock Casino in Rockford could be welcoming its first guests as early as next month as the casino continues to work to fill vacancies.
It will take more than 250 people – whom Hard Rock likes to call “band members” – to properly open the temporary Rockford Casino, 610 N. Bell School Road, said Dawn Reynolds-Pettit, regional vice president of human resources for Hard Rock International .
“We want to make sure everything is ready when it opens,” said Reynolds-Pettit. “There is the regulatory side and we want to make sure that we bring everything into line. We want to make sure that all of our new band members have the opportunity to step on board and be trained for the best experience for our team members. “
Although officials had slated a temporary casino opening in late October after a $ 8.8 million renovation, an exact date was not disclosed.
Reynolds-Pettit said the opening stayed on track and about what was expected.
“The schedule is pretty much exactly where we expected the schedule to be and you will see more information about opening dates shortly,” she said.
More:Before Rockford gets a casino, it can get a casino, only smaller
The temporary casino with 736 slot machines and two restaurants is expected to be built as a permanent Hard Rock Casino Rockford Campus with casino, Hard Rock Live venue and Hard Rock Cafe on East State Street near the Interstate 90 exit for approximately two years.
Rockford plans to add $ 1.5 million in temporary casino tax revenue to its 2022 budget, city administrator Todd Cagnoni said.
The money will be used to fund Rockford Promise Scholarships to Northern Illinois University for Rockford Public Schools graduates.
There are still about two dozen open positions, including full-time maintenance, cleaning and supervisory staff, but the hiring has been brisk. Log on to the Hard Rock Casino Rockford website for more information.
Although a labor shortage has paralyzed hiring in some areas of the country, Reynolds-Pettit said that Hard Rock’s brand and career potential have generated a strong interest in Rockford.
“This was the most challenging year I’ve had in terms of recruiting in many markets, but I didn’t see it at Rockford at all and it was great,” said Reynolds-Pettit.
Jeff Kolkey: [email protected]; @jeffkolkey