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The fast-track plans to make Northfield Village an entertainment destination in less than a year are coming to a close as the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park prepares for its Dec. 18 opening.
More than 2,200 glowing video lottery terminals fill the 200,000-square-foot gaming venue highlighted with about $1 million worth of rock star memorabilia including Eddie Van Halen's Harley Davidson and stage costumes from the Jackson Five, the Osmond Family, Bette Midler, Shakira and Lady Gaga.
"It's not just about the VLTs, it's about entertainment," Rocksino President Jon Lucas said during a Dec. 11 media preview of the facility. "It's something different than what's been offered in the area."
The Hard Rock Live, a 1,800-seat music venue with a maximum standing capacity of 2,600, will feature Joan Jett and the Blackhearts on opening night, followed by Night Ranger on Dec. 27 and Huey Lewis and the News Jan. 24.
Lucas said plans are to host about one act per week.
The racino is next to Northfield Park at the northern border of Summit County. It has 3,000 parking spaces and three outdoor game patios with smoking areas and their own VLTs.
Seven color-changing chandeliers guide patrons to the center bar, a signature attraction at Hard Rock Casinos, Lucas said.
Aside from the entertainment and gaming options, Lucas said the Rocksino is also a great dining location. For dinner, guests will have five restaurants to choose from, including Kosar's Wood Fired Grill featuring steak and seafood options while being surrounded by Bernie Kosar memorabilia and televisions that will feature college and professional games.
Other dining options include the Hard Rock Café, the Fresh Harvest Buffet and the Constant Grind, which is the only restaurant offering 24-hour service.
Lucas said plans are in the works for a parking garage and Hard Rock Hotel but nothing has been finalized yet.
"The goal is to get the casino up and running and make sure it's as successful as we think it's going to be," he said, adding that the hotel would probably feature between 200 to 300 rooms.
The Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park is the first establishment owned and operated by Hard Rock International, Lucas said.
"The other locations are either licensed or franchised," he said. "Hopefully, this will blaze the pathway to create a template for future projects."