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The bash was a smash

Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach to have big economic impact, officials say

The grand opening of the new Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach brought out a formidable crowd May 1 to enjoy music, the sound of ocean waves and guitars smashing.

A view of Daytona Beach’s new Hard Rock Hotel and its pool area. (Courtesy photo)

Part of the Hard Rock and Seminole Tribe tradition is to have dignitaries smash Hard Rock guitars – as opposed to champagne bottles – to mark the celebration of a new property or casino. A lineup of those associated with the new hotel did just that for the crowd and photographers. Tribal officials who participated in the smash were President Mitchell Cypress, Brighton Councilman Andrew J. Bowers Jr., Big Cypress Councilman Mondo Tiger and Hollywood Councilman Chris Osceola.

The seven-story, 200-room property at 918 N. Atlantic Avenue comes with an impressive array of amenities – a spa-salon, outdoor pool-bar, fitness center, the “Sessions” restaurant, open-air “Wave Terrace” eatery and bar, coffee shop, retail and 20,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

But beyond all the perks, rock memorabilia, shiny new rooms, balconies and ocean views are a lot of new local hospitality jobs as well. Officials say the hotel will average about 160 workers, and several temporary construction-related jobs were created in the process of development. The up-and-running hotel is likely to be a shot in the arm for the bottom line of area businesses too.

“The new Hard Rock in Daytona Beach will create jobs and stimulate the local economy,” said Cissy Proctor, executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “With more than 116 million visitors to the state last year, we know that tourism plays a vital role in the state’s economy and will give a boost to the Daytona area and families in the surrounding communities.”

One of those nearby communities is Daytona Beach Shores. Mayor Harry Jennings joined other local dignitaries at the grand opening.

“It’s a marvelous, marvelous facility,” Jennings said. “Abbas Abdulhussein has a hotel in the Shores. He’s a terrific citizen and businessman.”

Hard Rock officials, Tribal officials and special guests smash guitars at the grand opening of the new Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach on May 1. (Courtesy photo)

Abdulhussein is the president of Summit Hospitality Management Group, the developer of the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach. Summit sunk a reported $40 million into the property that it acquired in 2013 for $6 million. A Desert Inn was previously on the site.

“What happens in Daytona Beach has an impact on the greater Daytona area,” Jennings, in his eighth year as mayor, said. “If they succeed, we all do. It provides opportunity for additional jobs and a strong economy.”

In addition, the potential influx of new visitors both in Florida and outside its borders, as well as internationally, wasn’t lost on officials whose job it is to try and woo folks to the Sunshine State.

“We could not be more excited about the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach – what

an iconic brand that fits perfectly into the destination’s growing mix,” said Lori Campbell Baker, executive director of the Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Visitors will be arriving from all over the world to check out this upscale property and its unique vibe, and our local residents are already booking their stay-cations. This unique property has so much to offer. [I] can’t wait to watch it thrive.”

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

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