Coronavirus Halts Hard Rock Construction In Gary
Hard Rock is hoping that the new Gary casino will provide hundreds of jobs, but the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic might change those plans. The casino had set an opening date for next year, but with the pandemic, there are chances that the casino would not get the grand opening it wants.
Despite the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, the construction is going as planned. Although the venue still looks like a construction site, it is expected that a $300 million casino will be sitting on the site come spring in 2021.
“It’s incredibly important,” said Matt Schuffert, president of the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana. “There’s a lot of folks like you said, that are looking for the opportunity to get back to work, and by building this facility, we’ve got a lot of opportunities for people to come and join and our team.”
According to Schuffert, when the casino is complete, it will be Gary’s only casino. Although there is the Majestic Star casino, it will close its door, and its employees will become part of the Hard Rock Casino.
The company will also hire close to 1000 new staff for various roles. So, the question now is how will the casino prepare itself in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Well, it’s hard to speculate what march will look like, but today there’s slot machines are separated apart, there are food and beverage social distancing, and a limit on the number of tables you can operate. A maximum for the number of people who can play at a table,” Schuffert said.
The casino will implement coronavirus safety measures such as social distancing, temperature checks, and so on when it opens its doors. There will also be hand sanitizers at various points in the casino, as well as masks for guests and staff.
“It’s hard to speculate and say what the spring is going to look like, but obviously, we’ll pay attention to whatever is going on from a pandemic, regulatory perspective,” Schuffert said.
While construction charges ahead, Hard Rock will host some events in Gary on Nov. 17 and Nov. 19.
“You don’t need to know anything about blackjack. What we really want you to know is how to have a great experience with the customer, a great personality. We will definitely train for the rest,” said Dawn Reynolds-Pettit, vice president of Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana.