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Hard Rock lays groundwork for Wisconsin casino-resort

Menominee Tribe Chairman Ronald J. Corn Sr. (Menominee Tribe Facebook)

Hard Rock International (HRI) has purchased 60-acres of land for $15 million in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to develop a casino-resort with the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. The Village of Bristol, which owned the land, approved the deal July 19.

The land deal is an initial step in a renewed effort to develop a casino-resort after then-Gov. Scott Walker rejected a similar plan seven years ago.

The Menominee Tribe would own the casino and related facilities and HRI would be the developer and manager of the project, according to a statement from the Menominee Tribe July 20. Plans for the project include a casino, hotel, music venue and a Hard Rock Cafe, among other amenities. 

Menominee Tribe Chairman Ronald J. Corn Sr. said in the statement that the effort is aimed at “providing necessary resources for the ongoing and growing needs of the tribe’s members.” The Menominee Tribe is ranked as one of the largest and poorest tribes in Wisconsin and regularly reports some of the highest rates of poverty and lowest ratings for health outcomes of any area in the state, the statement said.

In the statement, Corn praised the Seminole Tribe, which owns HRI, for its continued support of the project. He said that adding the Hard Rock brand and HRI’s expertise to the project would help “ensure that the Kenosha casino will be an appealing destination for people from throughout the Midwest.”

The size of the project is expected to be trimmed back from seven years ago, however, “to reflect the increased number of gaming facilities in both Wisconsin and northern Illinois.” The Hard Rock Casino Rockford, in Rockford, Illinois, opened a temporary casino in 2021, with a permanent casino expected to open perhaps as soon as next year. It’s located about 90 miles from Kenosha.

Corn said the scaled down project will still create jobs and be substantial.

“It will still be a Hard Rock brand and be an incredible addition to the community, the local and regional economy, and the state,” he said.

No timeline for construction has been set, as several government entities, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs, would need to approve the plans. The land is located near Interstate 94 and 60th Street in Kenosha.

Damon Scott
Damon is a multimedia journalist for the Seminole Tribune. He has previously been an editor and reporter for digital and print media in Florida and his home state of New Mexico. Send him an email at