Hard Rock names new president for expanding Florida resort; $1.5B renovation to open in October

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Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, which is expected to unveil its $1.5 billion expansion this fall, named a new president of the company’s flagship resort last week.

Bo Guidry has been named president of the resort near Fort Lauderdale by Hard Rock International, which is owned by the Seminole Indian Tribe.

Bo Guidry

Guidry is responsible for all operations and management of the integrated resort, which will debut its expansion on Oct. 24, including its 638-room guitar-shaped hotel tower.

He spent the past 10 years in Council Bluffs, Iowa, managing Horseshoe Council Bluffs and Harrah’s Council Bluffs for Caesars Entertainment. During that time, he also managed Mid-America Center for the City of Council Bluffs.  Mid-America Center is an arena and convention center complex.

When the expansion is completed, Seminole Hard Rock will have 1,271 rooms and a 120,000-square-foot casino with 3,100 slot machines, 193 table games and a 45-table poker room. Hard Rock is also constructing a lagoon with private cabanas; a 42,000 square-foot spa, a 13.5-acre recreational water experience for swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding; 19 restaurants, and 20 bars and lounges.

The resort will house 120,000 square feet of convention space and a 26,000 square-foot retail promenade.

“The guitar tower will attract casino players and other visitors from throughout the country and around the world,” Hard Rock International Chairman and Seminole Gaming CEO Jim Allen said in a statement earlier this year. “It will put South Florida on the map as a world-class gaming destination, and it will have a huge economic impact on Florida. The gaming industry will never be the same.”

Guidry replaces Auggie Cipollini, who has been promoted to the position of president of Seminole Hard Rock Support Services. He previously was assistant general manager for a Harrah’s near St. Louis and he has experience in food and beverage operations at casinos in Atlantic City, Lake Tahoe, and the Hard Rock Las Vegas. He began his career in food and beverage at the Hilton New Orleans.

Guidry is a native of Louisiana.

The Seminole Tribe is also spending $700 million to expand its Hard Rock Tampa resort, which includes a 14-story, 562-room hotel tower, a new pool deck, an events center, and an extensive increase of its casino space.

Hard Rock Tampa is already Florida’s largest casino and will have a total of 245,000 square feet of gaming space after the expansion, which includes 5,000 slot machines, 179 table games, and a 46-table poker room.

The Seminole’s own and operate six of Florida’s seven casinos and acquired ownership of Hard Rock International for just under $1 billion in 2007. A $500 million renovation a year ago transformed the Trump Taj Mahal into Hard Rock Atlantic City, the tribe’s 11th casino.

The Seminoles are also working with the Enterprise Rancheria Indian Tribe in Northern California to open the $440 million Hard Rock Sacramento at Fire Mountain, which is roughly 30 miles north of the capital city. The project is expected to open this fall.

Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at hstutz@cdcgamingreports.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.

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