It's been over two years since Hard Rock International called dibs on Rockford as a future home for their hotel, casino, and entertainment venue. Finally, after a long delay, state officials have finally given the "go-ahead" in the hunt for a gaming license.

Though this is not 100% set in stone yet, the Illinois Gaming Board voted Hard Rock Casino Rockford is "suitable" for a gaming license. What does this mean? It means it's time to clear the snow off of the former Clock Tower Resort property and get ready to break ground on something that is guaranteed to put Rockford on the map the way it deserves. This preliminary decision means Giovanni's Restaurant and Convention Center can begin to be transformed into Hard Rock Casino's temporary location, according to MyStateline.

Here is the floor plan for the temporary casino:

Today’s vote is a significant step in the licensing process, clearing the way for the investors to arrange financing, order gambling machines and start construction.

Since this process began two years ago, let's revisit what is to come at I-90 and E. State Street in Rockford.

Here's is the current look of the land, minus the snow:

Here is a look at the future exterior:

Here's a closer looks at the giant Hard Rock guitar, which is a massive replica of one of Rick Nielsen's guitars

815forhardrock via Facebook

Let's peek inside:

Here is a detailed rundown of specifics:

Rock River West Casino Group [WATCH]

- 60,000 sq. ft. facility
- 1,000 slots, 200 table seats (could grow up to 2,000 - depending on demand)
- Letter of intent signed Rock and Brews
- Invest in downtown including: UW Sports Factory, White - Water Rafting, and Colman Village
- Build Rockford Aquarium with a target opening date of 2024
- Redevelop a warehouse on South Main Street into a boutique hotel (expected opening date 2024). Would include an indoor/outdoor locally sourced food court, a bowling alley, bar, and bocce


JB Love is ½ of  Q98.5's Lil Zim & JB In The Morning, weekday mornings from 5:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

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