The Hard Rock Hotel has wanted to enter the New York City (NYC) market for a number of years but things never really worked out for the company to make its debut. Hard Rock International which is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida recently announced that it had finally managed to work out a deal in NYC that will result in the launch of a flagship Hard Rock Hotel by the spring of 2019.
This hotel will have a tower with 445 rooms and will be located on 48th street between Sixth and Seventh avenues and will be in the midst of a block of Times Square which was formerly known as “Music Row.” The site of the proposed hotel is owned by Extell Development Co, which belongs to Gary Barnett, one of the biggest developers in NYC.
Hard Rock International and Extell Development Co did not disclose the terms of their deal. The Hard Rock NYC hotel will have provision for an underground speakeasy and rooftop lounge that will host deejays and live music events and will not make use of the Hard Rock Café at 1501 Broadway, as the company plans to continue to use it as a separate entity.
The brand which has its headquarters in Orlando, Florida has a total of 164 Hard Rock cafe restaurants, 11 casinos and 23 hotels. The company has now decided to focus more on expanding its casinos and hotels. The Hard Rock brand has plans to further expand into the Northeast region of the country as Boston and Washington, D.C is currently on its radar. The company has also entered into a joint venture Jeff Gural, the owner of the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. If New Jersey voters decide in November to move casinos outside of Atlantic City, then the Hard Rock Cafe and Gural will move forward with their plans of building a casino-hotel in North Jersey.
In a statement, Hamish Dodds, chief executive officer at Hard Rock International said “We’re interested in iconic destinations, we want to focus on really great places. We’ve been trying to get into New York for a long, long time. If gaming comes in northern New Jersey than we’re in a good position to bring our brand in with a casino. If voters reject the casino bill, it’s unlikely they would go forth with just a hotel/casino in New Jersey”.
Dodds said that both the Hard Rock brand and Times Square were known for promoting pop culture and music and the new hotel will specially focus on contemporary artists who have made NYC their home. The hotel will also include iconic musicians and special moments in history that has helped to define NYC’s musical identity.