Vigo County Commissioners, Vigo County Council members and the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce president have signed letters expressing their preference for the Hard Rock’s proposal for the Indiana casino.
US.- The Indiana Gaming Commission intends to announce on November 17 which company will get the licence to build a casino in Terre Haute, in Vigo County, however it’s emerged that Vigo County officials favour Hard Rock International.
The seven-member Vigo County Council submitted a letter to the IGC supporting Hard Rock on September 22, while the three-member Vigo County Board of Commissioners submitted three letters expressing its opinion in favour of Hard Rock those on September 17.
They suggested Hard Rock should be awarded the licence “based on Hard Rock’s brand recognition, the design of the facility, their operating history, and the ability to start construction almost immediately make them the best operator for our community.”
Hard Rock International is competing against Full House Resorts, Churchill Downs and Premier Gaming Group.
Councilman Todd Thacker said: “We understand that there are four proposals now and we would be willing to work with other ones.”
Hard Rock confirmed that Terre Haute native businessman Greg Gibson is a partner in the proposals. Thacker and councilwoman Vicki Weger said that this is one of the biggest factors in his decision.
“We know that Greg Gibson will put that money from the casino right back into the community,” Weger stated.
The Council letter states: “The members of this partnership also invested in the effort to pass a referendum supporting gaming in our county, and we are confident that HR Terre Haute will be a true community partner. We respectfully request that the Indiana Gaming Commission award the Vigo County gaming license to HR Terre Haute LLC.”
Gibson said that he “is grateful for Hard Rock’s commitment to this project and for extending our partnership in this way.”
“In addition, I’m truly thankful for the community’s support. …Although I will participate as a minority partner, I believe that local involvement is important and will be good for the community.” Gibson added.
Hard Rock International’s statement from Jon Lucas, chief operating officer, said the company “is excited for the opportunity to bring our unique brand of world class entertainment to Terre Haute. We expect a development cost of nearly $200m in addition to the 175 onsite hotel rooms, 2,000 jobs during two construction phases and $50m a year in annual county and state tax revenue once the project is operational.
Lucas also wrote: “HRI would be the management company and responsible for day to day operations. We are glad to be in this joint venture with our partner Greg Gibson, a Terre Haute native. Hard Rock would be honored to expand our presence in this region and continue to be loyal community stewards to the people of Indiana.”