SIOUX CITY | Gamblers will have the chance to play for bigger paydays if approval is given for a proposed expansion at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City.
The Hard Rock is planning a $5 million, nearly 8,000-square-foot addition to its property at 111 Third St. In addition to a high-stakes gambling area, the expansion would include a wine bar and a private lounge.
The Sioux City Council is scheduled to discuss the modified site plan at its 4 p.m. meeting Monday. The city's Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended approval.
Hard Rock general manager Todd Moyer said since the casino opened nearly two years ago, visitors had requested more gambling and drinking options.
"We were getting requests for different gaming machines and a different bar experience," Moyer said.
The 7,857-square-foot addition onto the southeast side of the current 30,000-square-foot gaming floor will add that high-stakes gaming area, including 50 new slot machines and two blackjack tables.
The wine bar will offer 32 varieties of wine by the glass. Moyer said wine is available at all the casino's bars, but the new bar will be able to offer more wines in a quieter setting.
On the exterior, more landscaping will be added once the addition is finished, Moyer said.
Plans for the expansion have been in the works for the past six months, Moyer said, and it's hoped that all the necessary approvals can be gained in time for construction to start this summer. Construction will take about six months.
Moyer said construction should have no significant impact on casino operations. A temporary wall will be erected in the casino while the exterior wall is removed for the addition. There will be a temporary loss of some parking for storage of construction equipment and materials; 26 stalls will be lost permanently.
Expansion had always been in the plans when the casino opened in August 2014, Moyer said. That it's needed so soon after opening is a good sign.
"What we're most excited about is the area's responded well to the property," he said. "We're glad to invest further in the city."
The expansion is also on the agenda of Thursday's meeting of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, which regulates gaming in the state.