It seems Florida’s largest casino has only one goal in mind – to get bigger. Seminole Hard Rock Casino is all set to begin a massive, $700 million expansion, as announced in the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday, May 30th. The expansion will include an upgraded hotel and casino space with a 15-story hotel tower and square footage increased to 200,000 worth of gaming area, plus an increased selection of slots. As of now, the upgraded facility is scheduled for an estimated re-open sometime in mid-2019.
Talks of the expansion first began back in 2016, but an initial gaming compact failed to make it past legislature. The latest proposal, however, is nearly identical and has now been given the green light. It has also been given the go ahead to continue the operation of blackjack tables and other card games through 2030. Casino spokesman, Gary Bitner, commented “That gave the tribe stability for full-scale expansion. Though clearly, the details have evolved.”
This isn’t the first time the facility has put major redevelopment plans in motion. In fact, following the failure of its proposed gaming compact, it went ahead with a smaller, yet hefty, $100 million expansion which opened its doors in 2017, including a mezzanine casino complete with 15 new tables and the addition of 500 slots.
Once unveiled, the new space will feature a total of 5,000 gaming machines and close to 200 tables, while the hotel will gain 564 rooms & suites for a grand total of 888. Additionally, the hotel’s top floor will get decked out with a gaming parlor, private elevators and exclusive check-in options.
While that may sound like more than enough already, it doesn’t stop there. Visitors will see three new outdoor pools added on, along with a pool grill and bar to seat 120, a salon and spa, an Italian restaurant scheduled to open in the fall, a 30,000 square-foot event center, 17,000 square-foot ballroom and the eventual addition of four more retail shops to complement its existing two.
CEO of Seminole Gaming, Jim Allen, offered the following statement: “Major expansion of the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa is further evidence of the Seminole Tribe’s commitment to the people of Florida that it will continue to increase the economic impact of its Seminole Gaming facilities.”