American casino operator Hard Rock International held a special event yesterday to officially inaugurate an alliance with Greek construction conglomerate GEK Terna that is to eventually result in the opening of its Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Athens development.
The firm owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida used an official press release to detail that the coming five-star venue is being built on the site of the former Ellinikon International Airport under a 30-year license granted by the Hellenic Gaming Commission and is scheduled to open in 2026 featuring a 1,000-room hotel as well as the highest outdoor rooftop terrace in Athens.
Hard Rock International initially lost out to fellow American tribal concern Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment for the right to bring a Las Vegas-style casino resort to Greece but had its plans saved in November when this rival pulled out citing ‘the new backdrop created by the coronavirus pandemic’. The Florida-based operator then began negotiating a contract with GEK Terna that is to give it a commanding 51% stake in the coming Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Athens.
Jim Allen serves as the Chairman for Hard Rock International and he used the press release to explain that current plans call for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Athens to also feature a rooftop spa, pool, bar and fitness center alongside an almost 161,400 sq ft casino replete with a selection of some 2,000 slots and 200 gaming tables. The experienced executive moreover declared that construction of this ‘unique destination’ is set to start early next year to eventually create a venue offering visitors ‘an exciting mix of entertainment, food and beverage and accommodation that embraces the Mediterranean climate and provides special outdoor spaces.’
Read a statement from Allen…
“We are thrilled to announce the partnership with GEK Terna and further expand our reach across the globe in the great city of Athens. This development will bring over 3,000 jobs to the people of Greece and we look forward to bringing our unique brand of entertainment to provide an unparalleled experience for guests of all ages.”
For his part and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for GEK Terna, George Peristeris, used the press release to disclose that the rooftop terrace atop Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Athens’ single tower is to provide guests with views across Athens to the iconic Parthenon. He went on to pronounce that the development for ‘the Athens Riviera’ will additionally encompass a 10,500-seat indoor/outdoor theater, a 247,570 sq ft exhibition center and ‘an outdoor village’ hosting a plethora of restaurants, retail establishments and ‘bar and lounge spaces.’
A statement from Peristeris read…
“This development will create a premium tourism spot that is expected to offer employment to thousands of people, yield significant revenues to the public sector and add value to Greece’s brand. Along with Hard Rock International, we are realizing a private investment of over €1 billion and reaffirming our trust in Greece’s prospects and potential.”