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.