The Seminole Tribe Of Florida has started construction on an expansion to its Seminole Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Tampa that will see the facility add 30,000 sq ft of gaming space along with a 50-table poker room, new restaurant, 750-space parking garage and other amenities.
According to a report from the Tampa Bay Times, this is the third such expansion of the Florida venue with the most recent coming in 2012 at a cost of $75 million.
“This expansion project will create over 100 new permanent jobs at the casino and keep hundreds of Tampa Bay area construction workers busy for the next year,” said John Fontana, President for Seminole Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Tampa. “These new additions to the property will clearly enhance the guest experience and attract more tourists from around the country.”
However, the newspaper revealed that the Seminole Tribe Of Florida has shelved plans that would have seen it invest around $1.8 billion to completely redevelop its properties in Tampa and Hollywood. February saw the operator unveil designs for a second hotel tower that would have taken the total number of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Tampa rooms to 744 while additionally adding a 1,500-seat music venue, restaurant, banquet and meeting facilities and lobby bar while remodeling the venue’s existing Hard Rock Cafe.
In addition to this $650 million expansion, the operator wanted to add a 36-story hotel shaped like a guitar to its Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood that would have boosted the property’s total rooms offering to 1,273.
But these plans have now been dropped after a new class-three gaming compact covering the next 20 years died in the southern state’s legislature in March. The tribe had earlier revealed that a previously arranged deal, which it had agreed with Governor Rick Scott, would have brought in at least $3 billion in taxes over its first seven years before switching to a sliding revenue percentage scale.
The existing 2010 gaming compact between the state and the tribe expired last summer and the pair is now suing each other although table games such as blackjack remain available at the operator’s properties in Florida despite not being specifically authorized.
“The tribe is optimistic at the potential for a finalized agreement with the state at some point in the future,” Gary Bitner from the Seminole Tribe Of Florida told the newspaper.