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Seminoles celebrate Hard Rock expansions

After years of plans and on-the-ground work, the Tribe has completed two major expansions on what is now unquestionably its two flagship Hard Rock integrated casino-resorts, both in Florida.

The centerpiece of Hollywood’s $1.5 billion project is the now open 638-room Guitar Hotel – a 450-foot high one-of-a-kind architectural marvel. The adjacent Oasis hotel adds another 168 rooms with swim-up suites.

When added to the original Hard Rock Hotel Hollywood, there are now 1,271 rooms on site.

The traditional Hard Rock guitar smash signifies the grand opening of a $700 million expansion at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa on Oct. 3. Tribal Council, dignitaries and celebrities Nicole Kidman and Christie Brinkley lent a hand to the festivities. (Photo Beverly Bidney)

The $100 million Hard Rock Live welcomed its first show Oct. 25 – Maroon 5 – in a 225,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility that accommodates 7,000 people.

There’s a new nightclub, day club, 13.5-acre pool and lagoon area, meeting and convention spaces, and retail promenade. Patrons now have 19 restaurants and 20 bars and lounges to choose from.

The team behind the iconic fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas designed the new entrance to the new hotel lobby – the Oculus.

There’s all of that and more without even mentioning the casino. The casino was expanded by 195,000 square feet, 200 table games, 1,300 slot machines and a 45-table poker room.

The Guitar Hotel at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood towers into the sky Oct. 24, the day of its grand opening. The hotel, no doubt destined to be one of the most photographed buildings in Florida and beyond, is part of a $1.5 billion expansion on the property. (Photo Beverly Bidney)

Meanwhile, Hard Rock Tampa completed a more than $700 million expansion that includes a new 14-story hotel tower adding 562 guest rooms and suites to the existing 237 rooms.

Tampa has a new 1,500-seat events center, multiple pools, eateries, a spa and, yes, there’s an expanded casino there as well.

The Tampa casino encompasses 245,000 square feet with an additional 1,000 slots and 41 table games. There are now 5,000 slots, 179 table games and 46 poker tables.

Hard Rock Tampa was already one of the largest and most profitable casinos in the U.S. before the expansion efforts. It is the sixth largest casino in the world.

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Damon Scott
Damon is a multimedia journalist for the Seminole Tribune. He has previously been an editor and reporter for digital and print media in Florida and his home state of New Mexico. Send him an email at damonscott@semtribe.com.
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