Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood tops off guitar-shaped hotel
To the strains of “The Final Countdown” by the Swedish rock band Europe, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood on Monday topped off its massive guitar-shaped hotel, which is now visible for miles from locations around Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
The beam — with the American, state of Florida and tribal flags attached — slowly rose upward as hundreds of tribal members, construction workers and business and government visitors lifted video cameras to record the event under a sweltering midday sun. It was, by all accounts from managerial and tribal leaders, a signature event for an American Indian community that spent centuries fighting to survive and to preserve its cultural identity, and which now oversees a worldwide gambling resort empire.
“There is no other brand — none, zero in hospitality — that has a presence in 75 countries around the world,” said James Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International, which recently moved its headquartersfrom Orlando to Hollywood. “But at the same time, it’s the history of the tribe and its culture and sovereignty.”
The project’s economic impact on South Florida is “literally hundreds of millions of dollars,” Allen told reporters. “The building alone is $1.5 billion.”
The resort’s business team is pointing toward a grand opening in the fall of 2019, well in advance of Super Bowl LIV at the nearby Hard Rock Stadium in February 2020.
The 450-foot tower will include 806 additional guestrooms and suites, with 638 of them in the tower itself. An additional 168 rooms and suites will be located in a seven-story tower that flanks the pool complex.
Upon completion, the entire Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood complex will boast 1,264 hotel rooms, including the original hotel that was built more than a decade ago.
Other elements of the expansion include a casino with 3,267 slot machines and 178 table games such as blackjack and baccarat. Management is also rebuilding its Hard Rock Live theater to increase seating to accommodate 7,000 patrons.
The resort’s management says it has been committed to minimizing disruptions from the project. Services and amenities at the existing resort remain open, although noise levels have risen during daytime hours throughout the tower’s construction.
The “topping out” ceremony in Hollywood follows the June 28 opening of Hard Rock International’s more than $500 million Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, which occupies the site of the failed Trump Taj Mahal that closed in 2016.
Allen said Hard Rock International intends to build three other guitar-shaped hotels abroad, with the next one expected to rise in Barcelona. He declined to say where the other two will be located, but did offer one hint to reporters: “You’d better brush up on your Japanese.”