Hard Rock International has announced a strategic alliance with Paper City Development LLC., to develop and manage a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Holyoke, Massachusetts, making it the third big corporate name seeking to bring gaming to western part of the state. The proposed project, slated for the 100-acre Wyckoff Country Club site off Interstate 91, is projected to generate more than $100 million in gaming taxes for Massachusetts annually.

"We are thrilled to be working with Paper City Development to bring the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino brand to Massachusetts," said Jim Allen, Chairman of Hard Rock International. "We are planning a state-of-the-art facility with a wide range of non-gaming amenities that will provide a world-class entertainment experience unique to the region. The project will complement the local community and its surroundings, as well as rival any property in the world."

"Hard Rock is a terrific partner with an unmatched track record in hospitality around the globe," said Joseph Lashinger, Managing Partner of Paper City Development LLC. "Hard Rock will benefit the local community and state by creating thousands of new permanent jobs, increasing out-of-state tourism, and improving area infrastructure. This project will generate a financial impact that only a global company of its kind could bring to the area. Hard Rock's 40-year history, vast experience and unique commitment to philanthropy made them a perfect partner for this project."

Hard Rock joins Mohegan Sun and Penn National as leading corporate names in gaming seeking a license to operate in western Massachusetts. Bills that provide for three regional casinos and one slot parlor in the state have passed by the House and the Senate and are expected to be reconciled later this month.