One of the most ambitious resort building projects in the country continues to rise between Interstate 95 and the Florida Turnpike. Known as the “Guitar Tower," the pale blue structure is the centerpiece of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood and promises to not only change the physical landscape of South Florida but also the area’s tourism landscape.
“There is no question the integrated resort and Guitar Tower will be a draw for tourists far and wide as well as local residents," Auggie Cipollini, president of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, said in an exclusive interview.
Designed to resemble back-to-back guitars, faces, necks and brightly lit guitar strings reach 450 feet into the sky on each side. Construction of the $1.5 billion Guitar Tower and integrated resort began in 2017. The Guitar Tower hotel is the vision of James F. Allen, long-time CEO of Seminole Gaming and Chairman of Hard Rock International.
Scheduled to be completed in the Fall of 2019, the “new" Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood will consist of three hotels, a revamped casino and restaurants, a 6,500-seat Hard Rock Live concert venue, 13.5 acres of pools and water-oriented activities, a Rock Spa and new retail outlets.
The expansion includes 806 additional guestrooms and suites with 638 in the iconic guitar hotel tower. An additional 168 guestrooms and suites will be located in a seven-story Pool Tower that will flank the pool complex. It will bring the total number of guestrooms and suites at the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood to more than 1,300.
“It will truly be a destination unto itself and will enhance the appeal of our area as a tourism destination for years to come," Cipollini said.
“There is a tremendous amount of excitement being generated from the surrounding communities and from individuals who see the project first-hand. The Guitar Tower will define the skyline of South Florida for decades to come. It definitely has a ‘wow’ factor," he added.
That ‘wow’ factor now is on display with the new Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood and adjacent casino expansion, each of which opened this past November. The Café – 10,000 square feet and with a seating capacity of 250 – is being touted as a “model" for the brand’s re-design and modern kitchen offerings.
The Café features an open-kitchen concept, as well as a seven-foot artisanal brick pizza oven, along with a meat grind room and new Rock Shop design. As is the Hard Rock culture, the new Hard Rock Café Hollywood is adorned with music memorabilia.
“Hard Rock is one of the most globally recognized hospitality, entertainment, retail and dining brands, in fact, we currently have cafes, hotels and/or casinos in 75 countries," Cipollini said.
“Everything associated with the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood – great food, outstanding entertainment, service excellence – will no doubt play a big part in attracting new customers to the property as well as guests who will visit again and again to be part of the ‘Hard Rock’ experience."
In addition to the major expansion in Hollywood, a $700 million expansion project is underway at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, which is also slated for completion in 2019. Each property is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
The Fall 2019 opening time frame for the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood coincides with the 2019 NFL season and the 2020 Super Bowl, which will be held at nearby Hard Rock Stadium. The 2020 Super Bowl will mark the start of the NFL’s 100th anniversary.Many of the associated parties and events will take place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood.
Cipollini couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to show off the new expanded resort in front of the world.
“We are looking forward to Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium in 2020 and all the excitement it will bring to the area, as well as all the new people that will be introduced to the iconic Guitar Tower," Cipollini said.
Details of the plans and activities regarding Super Bowl LIV, Cipollini said, will be forthcoming.
“Right now we want to focus on opening the Guitar Tower and all the amenities associated with the expanded, integrated resort," he said.