CASINO

Hard Rock International unveil Spanish resort casino plans

TAGs: hard rock international, spain

hard-rock-spain-casino-projectCasino operator Hard Rock International (HRI) has unveiled the first details of its proposed integrated resort project near Barcelona, Spain.

HRI recently found itself the sole remaining bidder for a casino license in Spain’s Catalan region after its former joint venture partner Melco International Development bowed out and a rival bid from Malaysian operator Genting was withdrawn ahead of the June 30 deadline for submissions.

On Monday, HRI revealed the first details of the project it’s calling Hard Rock Entertainment World. The project, which carries an estimated price tag of €2b (counting land costs and infrastructure upgrades), hopes to occupy a maximum of 745k-square-meters in the Vila-seca and Salou (Tarragona) areas that the Catalan government has designated as its Center for Recreation and Tourism (CRT).

The project’s first phase will be known as Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tarragona. The €600m project will include a 500-room “family-oriented” hotel in collaboration with the adjacent PortAventura World theme park. A collaboration with Value Retail will see the rise of a 10k-square-meter retail space encompassing over 75 shops. The property will also host a 6k-square-meter pool and deck, plus a 15k-seat Hard Rock Live performance venue.

As for gaming options, the Hard Rock Entertainment World plans to offer 1,200 electronic gaming machines and 100 gaming tables, making the casino “among the largest in Europe.” By comparison, the Republic of Cyprus casino project that Melco is proceeding with (sans HRI) is required to offer a minimum of 1k slots and 100 gaming tables.

The local government has long been itching to make progress on its proposed CRT and HRI chairman/CEO Jim Allen said his group was “honored to work with the Catalan government on the creation of Hard Rock Entertainment World and look forward to bringing first-class entertainment and hospitality experiences to the region.”

A little closer to home, the Florida-based HRI announced last week that it had appointed Matt Harkness as the new president of the company’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. Harkness is a 15-year AC veteran, including stints at the Trump Taj Mahal, which HRI acquired in March and is currently remodeling to fit its core brand’s music-themed identity.

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