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GUEST COMMENTARY: Hard Rock Casino in Gary long time in making
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GUEST COMMENTARY: Hard Rock Casino in Gary long time in making

As I witnessed the spectacular opening of the new Hard Rock Casino in Gary it warmed my heart to have been a part of the history.

It also made me a bit melancholy to realize that I am the sole surviving member of the Gary City Council which was first to sponsor the legislation.

It all began with a suggestion by my late former council colleague Roy Pratt. The mayor at the time, Thomas Barnes, had his corporation counsel MacArthur Drake draw up the legislation.

Next it was presented to the City Council. After unanimous adoption, it was advanced to the state to be sponsored by our legislators at the time, state Rep. Earline Rogers in the House, and Sen. Carolyn Mosby in the Senate.

After long and arduous work on their parts, the casino legislation was adopted. Gary’s efforts also provided the same casino economic development opportunity for several of our neighboring cities.

Then to see the work done by recent officials to help to facilitate the move to 29th & Burr Street adjacent to interstate 80-94 culminating into the spectacular Hard Rock structure that is here today really warms the heart.

I am so happy for the city of Gary, our civic leadership and the residents. The development of Hard Rock is the start and we can all truly rejoice and Reimagine Gary.

Chuck Hughes is a former Gary city councilman and is the president/CEO of the Gary Chamber of Commerce. The opinions are the writer's. 

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