Hard Rock: Designing The Casino


The Hard Rock brand is stretching its arms from Atlantic City to Japan. It’s main inspiration? Music. Most of their designs are based on rhythms and structures of sound by interpreting them into physical forms and materials. Designing for Hard Rock means adding the music inspiration through cafe’s to hotels and casinos.

Hard Rock International and Rivals

Hard Rock International from Atlantic City is one of the fine examples of adding the sound structures of Hard Rock brand. Before the building passed to Hard Rock, it once belonged to Trump. The failing building used to be called Trump Taj Mahal. Hard Rock was able to change the whole structure of the building, giving an aspect of guitar chords. The commitment from Hard Rock was so big that they redone the property from minarets on the roof to the plumbing in the hotel rooms. Jim Allen, CEO of Hard Rock International mentioned that when people arrive at the property, they will notice that there are no ties that lead to the previous owner.

Now, Hard Rock International is fitted out with traditional Hard Rock musical souvenirs and the venue is organising live entertainment almost every night. The casino is also making a presence with its slots and table games. Jim Allen also added that Hard Rock International is the second largest gaming zone from the U.S. He also added that the new Gov. Phil Murphy and the new Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam were a pleasure to work with, as well as with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and the former Gov. Chris Christie.

On the Boardwalk, Hard Rock’s rival is Ocean Resort, which opened around the same time like Hard Rock. However, Ocean Resorts doesn’t have the spectacular performance like the music-themed casino. In addition, Ocean Resort is another property that demonstrates how important it is to impressively design a property. Ocean Resort is a revamped building from the former Revel Casino Hotel. The main design aspect of Ocean Resort seems to be one of the seas, the venue is covered in full glass that reflects the blue sky.

In addition, both megaresorts affects the viability of the Atlantic City area, although Hard Rock may be considered one of the strongest approvals in gaming. The company stays firmly as an entertainment firm. Thus, Hard Rock International had in its first year over 300 events, all of them achieving everyone’s taste. Jim Allen said that the venue had over 28 million, of social media impressions. The hotel was packed with entertaining events like Kelly Clarkson concert, country acts, rock ‘n roll acts, Sugar Factory, and of course, the world-famous Hard Rock Cafe.

Even though the CEO of Hard Rock International praises the hotel, it is unlike to surpass the MGM Resorts International Borgata. Borgata is not only known because of MGM’s name. The casino was heavily involved in art exhibitions, like Pop-Up art gallery, Contemporary Glass Art and others.

Today, the hotel has a music venue, which can be converted in Borgata Ballroom, a special event for diners, training or business presentation. The hotel also has a Festival Park, used during summer, a music box which can also be Borgata Theatre, designed for meetings and presentations. At Borgata Theatre, the comedian Lewis Black performed his ninth stand-up comedy in 2013. The remaining artistic event that the hotel continues is based on martial arts.

The design of the hotel consists of a main tower, which is the third tallest building in Atlantic City, visible from many miles due to its facade of reflective gold glass. The architectural firms, Marnell Corrao Associates of Las Vegas, Philadelphia’s Bower Lewis and Thrower Architects (BLT) worked on the project. The main tower stands 431 ft. tall and contains up to almost 2000 guest rooms and suites.

MGM Resorts International Borgata is twice as Hard Rock and Tropicana. Hard Rock is a newcomer and is sitting pretty on the charts, while the Ocean Resort has slipped into last place. Jim Allen explains that Hard Rock tries to position itself as an entertainment destination and that has certainly worked very well for them.

Hard Rock Hollywood

Together with the power of Hard Rock, Florida’s Seminole Tribe has been drastically redoing two of its Hard Rock properties in the Sunshine State. Hard Rock Hollywood is one of the properties that has a massive expansion. The property is already iconic with its 638 hotel rooms tower, which is in a shape of a guitar body.

The Hard Rock locations are known on a global level, for their guitar element, whatever it’s a part of a facade or the design itself. The desired design theme is still going strong after 40 years.

Hard Rock Hollywood is expanding the gambling capacity, with 3000 slot machines, 192 table games and a poker room with 46 seats. In addition, 30 new additional restaurants, bars, and lounges are added, together with a new entertainment venue, a full-service spa and a three pool aquacade.

The top beam of the hotel is the signature of the Seminole tribe from Brighton, Immokalee, Big Cypress and Hollywood. The new convention space will also characterize the revamped casino. The dramatically refashioned look will debut in autumn 2019.

Hard Rock Tampa

Another project that doesn’t have to be overlooked is the Hard Rock Tampa. Hard Rock Tampa is a massive casino overhaul. It has 5000 slot machines and 200 table games. The tribe behind this casino pride themselves with the idea that Tampa is for economic investment and during and after its development, it will offer around 6000 jobs.

In other terms, Hard Rock Tampa will have a 15-story tower added. The tower will handle 564 hotel rooms with private elevators for rock-star suites. Like at Hard Rock Hollywood, Tampa will also have three ultra-lavish pools, the area is the size of a football terrain which will be covered and will also feature a dedicated restaurant. The existing spa will be replaced by a more extravagante one, the restaurants will be refreshed, and a new Italian one will be added.

The cherry on the top will be a 30.000 square foot concert venue on the second floor. The inspiration is Las Vegas, so Hard Rock has hired the Las Vegas based firm, Klai Juba Wald Architects to design both the exterior and some of the interiors.

Hard Rock Expanding

Another eye catching Hard Rock venue is Hard Rock Rocksino, which is sold to MGM Growth Properties. Hard Rock Rocksino is the most popular casino from the State of Ohio, despite having a complete absence of table games. Even though the casino was sold to MGM, its brand will remain the same.

Jim Allen was able to show a Hard Rock presence in Cyprus. In addition, a partnership was made with Melco International Development. The partnership will create EU’s largest casino. Jim Allen noted that if the partnership would have not taken place, another one would be made in Japan. Many casino operators are choosing the Land of the Rising Sun and Hard Rock is no exception. However, because Cyprus is available, Japan will come later.


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BDC 317 : Jun 2024