UPDATE: A representative for Hard Rock Terre Haute, LLC confirmed to mywabashvalley.com Thursday that Terre Haute businessman Greg Gibson is a joint venture partner in the company’s proposed casino.
Gibson, a Terre Haute native, is the owner of Lucy Luck Gaming, the company that previously held the Vigo County casino operators license.
The application process for a Vigo County casino reopened on July 1 after the IGC denied an operating license renewal from Lucy Luck Gaming. According to the official order document from the June 24 ruling, the IGC found Lucy Luck to be ineligible for license renewal after “extensive review and considering all statutory and regulatory qualifications for renewal”.
The full statement from Hard Rock Terre Haute, LLC sent Thursday read:
“Hard Rock International (HRI) is excited for the opportunity to bring our unique brand of world class entertainment to Terre Haute. We expect a development cost of nearly $200 Million in addition to the 175 onsite hotel rooms, 2,000 jobs during two construction phases and $50 Million a year in annual county and state tax revenue once the project is operational. 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.“
ORIGINAL STORY BELOW
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — If certain Vigo County leaders have their pick, it will be a Hard Rock casino coming to the area in the future.
Mywabashvalley.com obtained letters sent to Indiana Gaming Commission Executive Director Greg Small from all three Vigo County Commissioners, the seven Vigo County Councilmembers, Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce President Kristin Craig and 2021 THCC Chair John Collett sharing support for Hard Rock as the operator of the future Vigo County casino.
Hard Rock Terre Haute, LLC is one of four companies vying for the Vigo County casino license. The company’s casino would be called “Rocksino Terre Haute” and would include 850 slot machines, 35 gaming tables, six restaurants and bars, a 300-person capacity entertainment showroom and a 1,000 square foot Rock Shop for retail, according to its submitted proposal to the IGC.
In the letters from each commissioner and the Chamber of Commerce reps, Hard Rock is said to “provide the best economic opportunity for Vigo County and the West Central region”.
The same four letters referenced the November 2019 referendum in which 63% of county voters endorsed the casino project. The letters said despite delay, support remains within local residents.
When it comes to financial aspects, the same four letters pointed to over $100 million in a “state-of-the-art, high-quality gaming and non-gaming facility” which the local leaders said will make the area a destination for tourists.
The construction project, according to the letters, will create over $3 million in local wages and “an additional tens of millions of dollars spent with local subcontractors and suppliers”.
In the long-term, leaders said the casino is expected to create roughly 600 permanent jobs and contribute $148 million annually along with millions of new tax dollars to benefit the surrounding community.
All five of the letters, including the letter signed jointly by all county councilmembers, pointed to Hard Rock’s ability to start construction almost immediately, as the project is reportedly fully designed. Four letters referenced that construction could start “mere weeks” after final approval from the IGC.
Additionally, the letter from the Vigo County Council made reference to a “local member” within Hard Rock Terre Haute, LLC. That unnamed local member was quoted by the council to have a “long history of community involvement, community investment, and charitable giving” in Vigo County.
The IGC has expressed intent to make a decision regarding the Vigo County casino license on November 17.