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Hard Rock Casino is More than “Just” a Casino

I was fortunate to be one of the very first people to view the new Grand Opening of Hard Rock Casino and Museum in Gary, Indiana. Located right off of Burr Ave, just south of I-80-94, you can see the casino from the highway. Turns out, this facility is more than a casino, it is also a museum, concert venues and restaurants as well – two concert venues and five restaurants. The casino is completely surrounded with parking facilities, allowing separate entrances to some of the individual venues inside. As you will see in this article, they thought of everything.

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The first thing you notice is the guitar-shaped door handles, which is a very clever idea, but I’m sure the other hard rock facilities throughout the world have this same feature as well. After entering, one will notice that you are actually “in the casino.” No big escalators to climb, no long hallways or entry ways to navigate through, no large parking garage to wade through, you are actually “in the casino,” the minute you walk in the doors. With a drop off by your vehicle at the front door, this feature will delight those with mobility issues.

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The second thing you will notice is the HUGE Neon Guitar across the ceiling that spreads across the entire Casino floor and leads down the “yellow brick road” heading straight to the Hard Rock Restaurant, Bar and smaller Concert venue.  The elevated and rounded full service hard rock bar and restaurant surrounds the stage.
ice buck from atlants georgia tito jackson scaledShown above is a photo of “Ice Buck” in front of the stage who came up here from Atlanta Georgia and has a new album coming out with Tito Jackson.

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To your left, as you walk in, are the gaming tables, I was able to take a photo of the high-stakes room, shown here. There is also an open area of Bacharach and Pieghot gaming tables, and a private Bacharach room as well. There’s a high limit slot area with 65 machines and a Black Jack pit.

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There were some of the Jackson family members present for the Guitar Smash that preceded the opening. Visit our Facebook page for a nice video of the guitar smash. (photo shown here)

Back in the far right hand corner is the all-you-can eat “Fresh Harvest Restaurant” that serves you with table service. There is also a small 24-hour café like area called the “Constant Grind,” serving pastries, coffee, breakfast, sandwiches and even pizza. There is an “Asian Noodle” restaurant with Chinese, Vietnamese, Tai, Korean and Asian dishes with dine-in and to go options. You’ll want to peruse the Rock Shop with all kinds of apparel, T-Shirts, Gary items and souvenir items available for purchase.
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      For Fine dining patrons, there’s a Council Oak Steak and Seafood restaurant. The “Council Look Lounge” includes a small stage with softer music and bar, known as a place to just hang out.


     All the wall space throughout is covered with lots of memoriabilia, most of them featuring Indiana artists. Shown below is the  “Gibson 335” guitar from Indiana native David Lee Roth who was the lead singer for Van Halen.
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    Look for our article in the next month’s issue and online regarding the history and more memorabilia photos with a unique and exclusive perspective from a local radio host we met at the opening.

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     The Wall of Fame, features with a Bigger than Life large display of members of the  Jackson Family – Jackie, Tito, Michael, Randy, Marlon, Janet and LaToya. The original Jackson Five (1965) consisted of five brothers: Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael. This wall is located right outside the entrance to the 1,900 seat concert venue. There are conveniently located separate doors close by right off the concert venue and parking lot that takes you directly into the concert facility, without having to walk through the casino (or a large parking garage either.)
      The two Majestic Star casino licenses were moved to this location which is partnered with the Seminole Tribe in Florida that provides housing, developments, schools, and other improvements for the reservation.

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