Year in Review: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino nears completion

By Billy Jean Louis  –  Reporter, South Florida Business Journal

One year after the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino kicked off construction of its $1.5 billion guitar-shaped hotel, the project has been a boon to the local economy, creating about 2,000 construction jobs.

Thousands of permanent part-time and full-time positions will be added once the billion-dollar expansion project is completed by fall 2019. The new hotel is 450 feet high and will have 638 rooms, all no larger than 525 feet.

Built 14 years ago, the existing hotel has 469 rooms and suites; a 41,000-square-foot spa; plus 60,000-square feet of retail, restaurants and nightclubs.

The Hard Rock hotel is the second-largest hotel in the tri-county area, with a total of 1,107 rooms. (The Fontainebleau Miami Beach is No. 1, with 1,504 guest rooma.) It will also feature 141,000 square feet of meeting space, 3,267 slot machines and 178 table games.

In November, the hotel held a grand opening of the 250-seat Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood. The 10,000-square-foot eatery relocated to the new restaurant and retail area of the expansion property. It features a triangular-shaped island bar and central stage within view of all dining tables. The cafe and the adjacent casino are the first areas to complete construction.

“Everything is moving toward the grand opening,” said Seminole Gaming spokesman Gary Bitner, adding that no individual events have been planned yet.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida currently employs more than 20,000 people.