Hard Rock to Compliment Cincinnati Property With $70M Hotel

Hard Rock Atlantic City

In an effort to attract the regional crowd, Hard Rock International says that it will invest $70M to build a hotel at its downtown Cincinnati property.

Said Jon Lucas, chief operating officer for Hard Rock International:

“It’s critical to the continued success of this property as we grow the entertainment lineup. People can regionally come here, enjoy a show, gamble a little bit, eat some dinner. And then they don’t have to drive back home. They can spend the night.”

A Quick Timeline

The hotel plans include 300 rooms, a spa, fitness center, and luxury suites for high-rollers. According to Lucas, the hotel will be built either on the casino’s front lawn along Eggleston Avenue or north of the casino’s parking garage in what is now a surface lot.

Hard Rock says that they have already finished doing the feasibility study on the hotel project and they have already met with their partners regarding its timeline. According to Lucas, he expects the project to be finished “pretty” quick.

Increased Competition in the Local Gambling Market

Hard Rock’s $70M hotel plan is an indication of increased competition in the local gambling market. Churchill Downs recently announced that it is investing $148M to for the expansion of Turfway Park. The extension is intended to house 1,500 “historical racing machines” which are played like slot machines but which comply to Kentucky’s gambling laws.

Aside from the planned hotel, Hard Rock International also spent $40M to upgrade the dining facilities and concert venue facilities of the Cincinnati casino. The company also put up a sportsbook in the casino in anticipation of the legalization of sports betting in Ohio.

Hard Rock Cincinnati Grand Opening Will Be on Friday, October 29th

Hard Rock Atlantic City

Hard Rock International will celebrate the grand opening of Hard Rock Cincinnati this coming Friday with ex-Cincinnati Reds player and manager Pete Rose playing a big role in the festivities.

Rose, who is the Major League Baseball record holder for most career hits with 4,256,  will be placing the inaugural table bet while also taking part in the casino’s traditional  guitar smash. Grammy Award winning band Earth, Wind, and Fire will also perform live during the opening ceremony which will begin at 11 a.m. on October 29th.

Said Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati President George Goldhoff in a statement:

“We know our grand opening will be a big hit with the Hit King Pete Rose and Earth, Wind and Fire here to celebrate with our guests. The Hard Rock Casino brand is globally recognized as a leader in gaming and entertainment. We know our guests will be delighted with our new restaurant, retail, and gaming experiences.”

The Guitar Smash

Instead of the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony, Hard Rock International opens its new casinos with a “guitar smash” activity which will be participated by Hard Rock officials, leaders of the Seminole Tribe, local officials, and celebrities. Aside from Rose and Earth, Wind, and Fire, other celebrity guests include former Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart, 98 Degrees member Drew Lachey, and Cincinnati Jazz singer Kathy Wade, among others.

Rose however, will be the main guest as he will not only place the first bet and take part in the guitar smash, he will also autograph a specially made guitar for the Hard Rock Casino memorabilia collection. Earth, Wind, and Fire meanwhile, will perform live in the casino’s Events Center.

Gradual Opening

The festivities culminate a gradual opening that is two years in the making. The Seminole Tribe teamed up with VICI Properties bought the former JACK Cincinnati Casino from JACK Entertainment for $745M in 2019. The transition from JACK to Hard Rock didn’t come right away. Instead, it was well-planned and phased.

Hard Rock addd 250 slot machines to the Ohio casino’s existing offerings. It now has over 1,600 slots and 84 table games housed in 108,800 square feet of gaming area. Last April, the owners opened the Rock Shop in the Casino. Meanwhile, the Hard Rock Cafe was launched last July. Just this Monday, the Council Oaks Steaks and Seafoods opened its doors to the public.