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Hard Rock Casino Donates $3 Million USD To ‘Revitalize’ Downtown Gary, Indiana

James Murphy
by in Gaming Industry on
  • The Hard Rock Casino will donate $3 million USD to ‘revitalize’ downtown Gary, Indiana.
  • Gary, Indiana can usually be found at any list of ‘worst places to live’ in the United States.
  • By some metrics, Gary is ranked as the ‘Most Miserable US City’.

Gary, Indiana, is on the brink of a transformative era, thanks to a significant partnership aimed at reviving its downtown area. In a major move to stimulate economic rejuvenation and eliminate blight, Mayor Eddie Melton and Hard Rock Northern Indiana President Matt Schuffert have announced a momentous $3 million donation from Hard Rock. This generous contribution is earmarked for the revitalization of the Metro Transit Development District (TDD), centering on the Broadway Corridor of downtown Gary.

The announcement, made at a press conference at Gary City Hall, highlights a joint effort between city officials and Hard Rock to address longstanding issues of urban decay. The donation is a critical component of a blight elimination matching grant program set forth by Indiana SB 434, an economic development bill authored by Mayor Melton during his time as a State Senator and passed in 2023. The legislation offers Gary two grants of $3 million each for blight elimination within its Metro TDD in 2024 and 2025, contingent on Gary securing $6 million in matching funds.

Mayor Melton shared his vision for the city’s future, stating, “This catalytic donation from Hard Rock marks a new chapter in Gary’s story, one where we begin to turn the page on blight and write our future. A future in which Gary residents see real change and feel a renewed sense of pride in our downtown Broadway Corridor. With this $3M contribution, we are planting seeds of hope and growth for our downtown.”

Hard Rock’s commitment to Gary’s redevelopment is a testament to its corporate philosophy of giving back to the community. “Hard Rock is pleased to support Mayor Melton’s mission to improve the economic development of the City of Gary by demolishing the blighted properties that currently stand in the way,” said Matt Schuffert. He further emphasized the Hard Rock ethos of “All Is One,” highlighting the brand’s longstanding tradition of community engagement and philanthropy since its inception in 1971.

Sherri Ziller, President and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA), and Tai A. Adkins, President of the Gary Common Council, both underscored their organizations’ support for the project. Ziller highlighted the RDA’s critical role in regional economic development and the administration of the Transit Development District Program. Meanwhile, Adkins spoke of the Common Council’s dedication to collaborating with the Melton Administration on vital redevelopment initiatives.

The Hard Rock donation not only serves as a cornerstone for blight elimination in Gary but also symbolizes a broader commitment to the city’s resurgence. It is a significant step towards revitalizing downtown Gary, promising a brighter, more vibrant future for its residents and laying the groundwork for sustained economic growth and development.

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