HOLLYWOOD — Even to say it exceeded expectations would be an understatement.

About 2,500 job hunters descended on the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood June 4 for a shot to work at the site where the iconic brand’s first guitar-shaped hotel will soon open.

“It was amazing. It goes to show you: if you build it, they will come,” Jennie Sumner, vice president of human resources for the Hard Rock Hollywood, said.

Sumner said that out of the 2,500 who filled out an application, about 500 were offered positions.

Those offers include positions in departments such as banquets, beverage, cash operations, culinary, front desk, housekeeping, poker, pool operations, public spaces, restaurant outlets, security, slot operations and stewarding.

About 2,500 people attended the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood job fair on June 4. A line of job seekers wound throughout the Hard Rock Event Center and casino area. (Photo Damon Scott)

Sumner said many of those same departments – including a smaller number of professional positions in marketing and finance – will be on the list for attendees at the next job fair – a three-day run scheduled for July 7-9. In fact, she expects the job fairs to be ongoing through December.

Sumner said that while the lines to apply for the positions may be a little intimidating – almost the entire interior of the casino and event center had a line running through it on June 4 – job seekers should be assured that her staff is well organized and is as aware of the wait times as anyone.

And she has some advice: “Be prepared; come professionally dressed and with your resume. You may be interviewed on the spot and perhaps hired on the spot.”

Sumner said she expects to fill 1,600 positions before the grand opening date. Start dates for those who are offered positions vary.

“What we do is give you a ‘yes, you’re hired,’ but we’re still working on the start date,” she said. “Since unemployment is so low, a lot of people have jobs when they apply. We tell you to keep your job while we do a background check and then give you a tentative orientation date and start date.”

About 2,500 people attended the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood job fair on June 4. A line of job seekers wound throughout the Hard Rock Event Center and casino area. (Photo Damon Scott)

Sumner said start dates will typically be in August and September.

The new positions are the result of the Hard Rock Hollywood’s $1.5 billion expansion — the cornerstones being the 450-foot guitar-shaped hotel with 638 rooms, a 6,500-seat Hard Rock Live entertainment venue and major additions to the casino.

“It’s an exciting time for anyone who wants to join the Hard Rock and the Seminole Tribe of Florida,” she said. “A great time to get your foot in the door.”

Sumner is used to coordinating large job fairs for hotel-casino operations. She used to live in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she helped to open the massive Aria Resort & Casino. She’s worked for Hard Rock Hollywood since 2010, starting as a training manager, then a director and now a VP.

“Jim Allen and the Tribe have been phenomenal,” she said.

Allen is the chairman of Hard Rock International and the CEO of Seminole Gaming. The Seminole Tribe is the parent company of Hard Rock International.

Meanwhile, on the west coast of Florida, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is also undergoing its own hiring boom. The hotel-casino is in the midst of a more than $700 million expansion. Its latest job fairs on June 4-5 were reported to have huge turnouts similar to Hollywood.

The economic impact of the Hollywood and Tampa expansions has been immense. Both locations have employed thousands in construction positions for almost two years. Temporary and permanent non-construction jobs at both sites also number in the thousands.

Prospective job candidates for either location must submit applications prior to any job fair by visiting gotoworkhappy.com or by texting the word “CASINO” to 97211.

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