Hundreds of Seminole Tribe members and construction workers cheered as the final piece of steel was placed on top of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino's new guitar-shaped building Monday in Hollywood.
At 450 feet tall, the new building will be a 638-room hotel on the existing casino's property on the Seminole reservation. One of two lakes on site were filled in to create space for the massive guitar next to an existing casino.
It's all part of the company's $1.5 billion expansion, which includes thousands more square footage for casinos, gaming, restaraunts, shops, pools and even a convention center - designed in the hopes that the complex will become more of a destination resort.
“Oh it’s cool - I mean it’s a cool job,” said Robert Harrell, one of the construction workers watching as the beam was hoisted up with flags. He’s been working as a carpenter foreman on the building for almost two years, installing safety features like handrails."It is, you know, it’s a landmark of course.”
Thomas Wuerzer, a professor for Nova Southeastern University’s Real Estate Development program, said the building is a landmark comparable to others like the L.A. Opera House or the Guggenheim museum in Spain.
“They are also curved buildings, but different curves,” Wuerzer said. “The kind of massiveness of this superstructure guitar, I think is impressive."
Hard Rock International Chairman and CEO of Seminole Gaming James Allen said he believes the structure will bring more people to the region.
“We truly think this becomes a reason to come to South Florida, not just for the purpose of gaming, but to see the world’s only two-scale shaped guitar hotel,” he said. “Our plan is to do three more of them in other cities, on a worldwide basis, but this is the first one.”
The Seminole Tribe's Hollywood councilman, Christopher Osceola, agreed. He told the crowd: "It's gonna put us on the map."
Despite President Trump's trade war, the Hard Rock Hollywood guitar’s windows were imported recently from China. They still need to be popped into place before the hotel can open.
The hotel does still need interior work, and is on schedule to open in Fall 2019.