Even though a bitter battle continues over whose casino will monopolize gambling in Sioux City, hopes are high for backer of the future Hard Rock Casino that's currently under construction.
Friday, folks from the Hard Rock, City, and community leaders gathered for a ceremonial groundbreaking.
The president of Sioux City Entertainment, Bill Warner, along with Mayor Bob Scott and the President of Missouri River Historical Development, Mark Monson, spoke about the progress that's been made and the bumps along the road over control of the gambling license.
"The MRHD board has gone through some tough times over the past year and a half but by golly we are going to see it very soon. There's a lot of exciting things going on around Woodbury County and Siouxland and this area is going to start exploding and I can't hardly wait until the casino is the first thing up," said Monson.
Work trucks can be seen pulling in and out of the entrance to the Battery Building. What was once an empty lot is now a big hole, but by next summer it will be the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
"It's real and we're moving forward so it's actually a lot more tangible seeing the work happening behind us and it's exciting. Just going from the stages of competing for the project and creating the plans for it and now watching it get built it's a fun process," said Warner.
Conlon Construction, a company out of Dubuque, is in charge of development and Charles Warren, the Project Superintendent, says he's no stranger to this type of construction.
"Casino work is a little different work than say like schools or hospitals or anything like that. It's challenging," said Warren.
A few changes have been made to the construction plans. The big guitar on top of the tower? It's not going there anymore.
"There was an issue with the tower, and they just felt that it was better not to put that kind of stress on the tower," said Warren.
It's hard to miss the free standing Milwaukee Wiener House sitting just feet away from the construction site. Warner says one of his priorities is making the hot dog shop's transition into its new building on 4th and Douglas Street as smooth as possible which is much appreciated by the owners.
"It's pretty exciting right now. The area's getting really busy and hopefully they'll be starting on our building shortly, and we're hoping to move in close to the beginning of the new year," said Mike Eliades, Co-Owner of The Milwaukee Wiener House.
A bittersweet goodbye but a chance for change.
"It's nice to get a new facility and it's kind of sad to see the old one go but its time to move on," said Eliades.