Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood debuts massive $1.5 billion expansion in South Florida

After three years of work, the world’s first guitar-shaped hotel opened on Thursday, October 24 in South Florida. The massive 450 ft structure is part of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood’s $1.5 billion dollar expansion that broke ground in the summer of 2017.

Owned and operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the Hollywood venue’s official reopening was marked with a guitar-smashing event attended by a slew of rock and entertainment royalty. The star-studded grand opening celebration a culmination of three years work that sees the integrated resort and casino gain world-class status as an unrivaled gaming and entertainment destination.

“The Guitar Hotel will attract visitors from throughout the nation and around the globe.”

Guitar Hotel:

In addition to changing the South Florida skyline, the Guitar Hotel adds 638 luxury rooms and suites, along with 168 upscale guest accommodations via the seven-story Oasis Tower, with swim-up suites, to the property’s existing keys at the Hard Rock Hotel for a combined total of 1,271 rooms.

Hard Rock Live:

Complementing the 34-level Guitar Hotel, the 7,000 capacity Hard Rock Live performance venue saw a Maroon 5 concert mark its formal opening on Friday, October 25. The $125 million venue was designed by Canadian firm, Scéno Plus and is part of a new section of the Broward County resort built within the footprint of Paradise Shops, the outdoor bazaar of retail stores, restaurants and clubs that were all closed by the end of March 2017 to make room for the guitar-shaped tower addition.

A game-changer for the South Florida entertainment scene, the 225,000-square-foot, three-level space features a system of motorized curtains that can conceal balconies while transforming Hard Rock Live into a 2,500-seat theater for more intimate events. Also featured is more than 300 sq ft of bar space, an area called the Couches, complete with a tier of premium-view banquettes with tables and cocktail service, as well as nine VIP suites.

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According to the Sun-Sentinel newspaper, Chief Executive Officer for Seminole Gaming and Chairman of Hard Rock International, Jim Allen, commented on the new entertainment venue…

“Frankly we could have gotten more seats in here, but to me it was about having an extra wide seat and having enough distance between [the rows], so somebody really can get up and go to the restroom if they’re in the middle of the row. That’s the most uncomfortable thing in so many environments.”

Expansion details:

The Guitar Hotel’s topping off ceremony was held on July 9, 2018, and also features the Oculus, an enormous dome-shaped atrium at the entrance from a new grand porte-cochere and is the resort’s showpiece attraction. The upscale space includes the Oculus Bar, which features a wraparound bar and lounge seating, all within close proximity to the front desk and the resort’s new 26,000 sq ft retail Promenade.

Also included in the $1.5 billion project, the existing  casino was updated and expanded to now feature 195,000 sq ft of gaming space, housing 3,100 slots, 193 table games and a 45-table poker room, 19 dining outlets and 20 bars and lounges, the extensive DAER nightclub and dayclub complex, more than 150,000 square feet of meeting space, a collection of high-end retail stores (Promenade) and a 13.5-acre pool and lagoon experience outfitted with overwater cabanas and butler service, and a 42,000 sq ft ultra-luxury spa and fitness center.

“The Guitar Hotel will attract visitors from throughout the nation and around the globe,” said Allen. “They will experience a world-class entertainment, gaming and dining destination,” according to the official press release.

Hard Rock Tampa reveal:

As part of a record $2.4 billion economic 7BALL investment, in May 2018, the Seminole Tribe of Florida embarked upon on a nearly $700 million expansion at its second flagship destination casino complex. And on October 7, 2019, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa unveiled its extensive renovation that among other amenities includes a new, 14-story hotel tower, which offers 562 additional hotel rooms and suites, along with the 223,900 sq ft casino, which adds 1,000 slots and 41 table games throughout its new gaming spaces, making for a total of nearly 5,000 slots, 179 tables and a state-of-the-art poker room with 46 poker tables.

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Allen reportedly said at the time…

“Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is already one of the largest and most profitable casinos in the United States. The expansion will increase entertainment and dining options, and help us attract guests from throughout the country and around the world.”

Enterprise Rancheria tie-up:

In related news, the Enterprise Rancheria’s $440 million Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain is just days away from its planned October 30 opening after having begun booking room reservations on August 15. Located near the Toyota Amphitheatre in Wheatland, the Fire Mountain mega-resort is being developed by the Seminole Tribe-owned subsidiary of Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment, Inc., which will also manage the facility.

Rockford proposal:

Also on the horizon, on August 30, Hard Rock International was the first operator to submit a proposal to win Rockford’s casino license. The proposal for the site of the former Clock Tower Resort at East State Street along Interstate 39/90 announced in July reportedly includes a casino, 2,000-seat concert venue and a café.

In June, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed bills that among other things included a massive gambling expansion that could see the Midwestern state‘s existing 10 casinos grow by as many as six with the licensing of gambling venues for the cities of Chicago, Waukegan, Danville and Rockford as well as for locations in the jurisdictions of Williamson County and Cook County.