Tuesday, for the first time since the Hard Rock plans were announced, local media was invited to go insidethe Battery Building.
Las Vegas-based Sioux City Entertainment is behind the project. They want to turn the downtown facility into a $130 million Hard Rock Casino and Hotel. Inside would be three restaurants, a 60-room hotel, an 800 seat concert venue, 800 slots and 32 table games.
Project officials are excited.
"What we have here is the perfect marriage of location, visibility, access, and brand," said the Battery Building's owner, Roger Bomgaars.
Bomgaars keeps surplus items for his hardware stores in the space. If SCE takes over, with the exception of a concert venue, most of the Battery Building's basement and 1st floor would be used for storage, building infrastructure, offices, and kitchen space. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th floors won't be used at first, but could be used to expand the Hard Rock hotel in the future.
It'll take a good amount of work to bring the Battery Building back to life. It needs to be rewired, re-insulated, and more. Still, it's a savings.
"All it is, is renovating a building like this. Which is allowing us to save money on that, and actually put it into the ‘front of house areas' where we are able to generate more amenities then the competition," said SCE President Bill Warner.
Some potential obstacles are popping up. The Hard Rock plan cuts a 16 acre swath of Sioux City, and takes historic sites like the Reverend Haddock Memorial Marker and Dalton's. It has some people worried.
"For 40 years I've watched Sioux City tear down historic buildings. I want to make sure that the historic architecture that we have remaining is preserved," said Howard Wanned, a Sioux City resident.
In response, officials say plans aren't final yet. They've already want to incorporate the Haddock Memorial Marker into the project, and say they're open to preserving other property as well.
Sioux City Entertainment also met with local leaders, Tuesday afternoon, trying to drum up more support for their Hard Rock plan.
This time they talked to members of the Sioux City economic development group, Downtown Partners.
Officials say the casino would be right off I-29, and pull in a lot of traffic. Downtown Partners agree.
"Our skyline is amazing, this only adds to it. When they do come in off I-29 it's a great, great piece to come into," said Ragan Cote, executive director of Downtown Partners.
If you want to check out the SCE's Hard Rock website click here.
For a Hard Rock to happen, the members of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission have to sign off on the plan in April.
SCE faces two challengers. Penn National Gaming has proposed two "Hollywood" style casinos. While Ho-Chunk Inc. wants to renovate the old Warrior Hotel downtown.
In fact, Ho-Chunk will be presenting to Downtown Partners members Monday of next week. It'll be an hour long event at the Orpheum Theatre downtown. It all starts at 5 p.m.
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