TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Spectacle Jack, LLC on Friday announced plans for its Terre Haute Rocksino to be smoke-free. It will be the first casino in the state of Indiana to open smoke-free.
Vigo County and the City of Terre Haute have one of the strictest smoking ordinances in the state, but beyond that, it has some of the poorest health metrics.
Recognizing these overall concerns for the community, Spectacle Jack chairman Greg Gibson sought a non-smoking casino from the onset; however, the company needed to work through the potential outcomes of either decision.
“Recognizing we had to make a good business decision for the company to maintain a solid financial ground for the future and provide a welcoming entertainment facility for all Hoosiers and guests, we had to look at data, become creative and benchmark other facilities which were successful with this model,” stated Gibson.
To accommodate all guests while meeting the requirements of the smoking ordinances, Spectacle Jack and Hard Rock International designed an outdoor patio, which has a track record for success at other locations in the U.S. The outdoor patio will include the following:
- The HVAC system will be designed to have positive pressure that will expel air from the building when doors are opened. This will prevent outside air (including air from the smoking patio) from entering the casino.
- The HVAC units will be located on the west-side of the roof, which places them away from the smoking patio, minimizing the possibility that air from the smoking patio would be drawn into the building system.
- To welcome our guests that choose to smoke while gaming, the Smoking Patio is planned to accommodate 117 slots and 8 table games. This represents about 15% of the 1,060 planned gaming positions.
- The Smoking Patio will have large ceiling fans to circulate air and exhaust fans to discharge air from the space. Overhead radiant heaters will be installed to moderate temperatures in the winter. This design is consistent with what has been provided for smokers at casinos in Ohio including Northfield Park and Cincinnati.
“It is extremely important to Hard Rock International that each and every guest that enters the Rocksino feels welcome,” Jon Lucas, Chief Operating Officer of Hard Rock International, said. “Our brand represents the best in the gaming industry, and we do that through safety, customer service and being receptive to the needs of our guests. We look forward to the future in Terre Haute.”
The Indiana Gaming Commission approved the transition of the Vigo County license to Spectacle Jack during their business meeting on May 15.
“I’m pleased to see Spectacle Jack and Hard Rock International work through a process that led them to this result,” Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett said. “I recognize this wasn’t an easy business decision and one that took much thought and process. I believe it will be this type of approach that will set the stage for a promising future. The Terre Haute community has so much to gain from this opportunity.”
“We applaud Spectacle Jack and Hard Rock International for deciding to open the new Rocksino in Terre Haute in compliance with the city’s smoke-free air law by prohibiting smoking indoors, making it Indiana’s first casino to open smoke-free on day one,” said Nick Torres, Advocacy Director of the American Lung Association.
“I appreciate the investments and the commitment Greg Gibson has made to ensure our workers can continue to enjoy a better quality of life and a healthier Vigo County,” added Brandon Halleck, COO of Chances And Services for Youth. “Vigo County is still somewhat of an unhealthy community, so this will just help further our cause and further our push to make sure we can keep moving in the direction that we need to.”
The Rocksino is on track for a fall groundbreaking, allowing for work to begin before the winter months set in. The architects and engineers are already steady at work preparing the building permits in preparation for the celebration and work ahead.