By Jim Hagerty
ROCKFORD – The City of Rockford has extended the deadline to respond to its request for proposal (RFP) to build a casino to Aug. 30, at 2 p.m., Mayor Tom McNamara announced Friday, Aug. 2.
McNAmara said the original deadline of Aug. 16 only gave potential developers 44 days to complete their proposals. That’s less than half the industry standard for casino RFP responses. The new extension will give respondents 58 days.
“We hired consultants who have national experience in dealing with gaming, specifically with casinos, and requests for proposals,” McNamara said. “They’ve all stated to us that the time frame that we provided to respondents is incredibly tight. They strongly urged us to extend the time, so we extended it 14 days. We did this because we want to make sure that we get the absolute best proposals. We want the absolute best deal for the citizens of Rockford.”
While no one has filed an official response to the city’s RFP as of Friday afternoon, two groups have announced their interest in giving Rockford its only casino. The group that includes Cheap Rick’s Rick Nielsen and Ringland-Johnson CEO Brent Johnson announced last month a plan to build a Hard Rock Casino at the site of the former Clock Tower Resort.
A proposal by Wisconsin developer Gorman & Company to build a casino and aquarium downtown is also reportedly in the works.
McNamara said the extension will not affect the city’s ability to review and certify proposals before the application due date. The city has until Oct. 25 to send proposals to the Illinois Gaming Board.