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Mayor Eddie Melton and Hard Rock Casino Announce $3 Million Donation to Revitalize Downtown Gary

GARY, Ind., March 27, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- In a joint effort to stimulate economic growth in downtown Gary, Mayor Eddie Melton and Matt Schuffert, President of Hard Rock Northern Indiana, announced today a substantial $3M donation from Hard Rock.

This generous contribution will be allocated directly towards blight elimination within Gary's Metro Transit Development District (TDD), which is primarily located around downtown Gary's Broadway Corridor. The announcement was made at a press conference held at Gary City Hall earlier today.

The Hard Rock donation is an important part of the blight elimination matching grant program established by Indiana SB 434, an economic development bill authored by Mayor Melton during his tenure as State Senator and passed in 2023. The bill makes available two grants of $3M dollars to the City of Gary for blight elimination within its Metro TDD, in 2024 and 2025 respectively, if Gary brings $6M dollars in matching funds.

Image: Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana will be donating $3 million to the city of Gary to boost economic development throughout the downtown area. Mayor of Gary, Eddie Melton (left) and Matt Schuffert, President of Hard Rock Northern Indiana (right).

Mayor Melton expressed his vision for the transformation of downtown Gary. "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."

According to Hard Rock Casino President Matt Schuffert, "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. Our announcement today of Hard Rock's transfer of $3 million dollars to help support the City's contributions to the Northwest Indiana RDA's blighted property demolition fund confirms our mission of 'All Is One', which has been Hard Rock's motto throughout local and global communities since 1971. Giving back is core to the Hard Rock brand, and Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana has been making good on that mission since we opened our doors in Gary in 2021."

Sherri Ziller, President and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) was present to underscore the RDA's pivotal role in regional economic development and in administering the Transit Development District Program. The President of Gary Common Council Tai A. Adkins also spoke about the Common Council's commitment to work with the Melton Administration on critical redevelopment efforts moving forward.

About Hard Rock®:
Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies with venues in over 70 countries spanning 309 locations that include owned/licensed or managed Hotels, Casinos, Rock Shops®, Live Performance Venues, and Cafes. HRI also launched a joint venture named Hard Rock Digital in 2020, an online sportsbook, retail sportsbook, and internet gaming platform. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world's largest and most valuable collection of authentic music memorabilia at more than 88,000 pieces, which are displayed at its locations around the globe. In 2023, Hard Rock Hotels was honored by J.D. Power's North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study as the number one Upper Upscale Hotels brand in Outstanding Guest Satisfaction for the fourth time over the last five years. Hard Rock was also honored by Forbes among the World's Best Employers, as well as Best Employers for Women, Diversity and New Grads, Best Brands for Social Impact, Customer Service All-Star and a Top Large Employer in the Travel & Leisure, Gaming, and Entertainment Industry. HRI became the first privately-owned gaming company designated a U.S. Best Managed Company by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal in 2021 and has since been honored threefold. In the 2022 Global Gaming Awards, Hard Rock was named Land-Based Operator of the Year for the second time in four years. Hard Rock International currently holds investment grades from primary investment rating agencies: S&P Global Ratings (BBB) and Fitch Ratings (BBB). For more information on Hard Rock International, visit www.hardrock.com or shop.hardrock.com.

SOURCE Hard Rock International