Seminole Indian Hard Rock Brand Set for Major Expansion

Since completing its purchase of the Hard Rock branded hotels and casinos, the Seminole Tribe of Florida has been making global expansion plans to include more hotels and casinos.

“The tribe plans to double the number of Hard Rock Cafes to about 250 and have about 90 hotels,” said Hamish Dodds, CEO of Hard Rock International at a news conference in London on Monday. “Restaurants will open at the rate of about eight a year, and hotels at about five a year.”

The Seminole tribe makes more than 90% of its money from gambling, opening its first bingo hall in South Florida in 1979, it now has seven casinos, including the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Upon purchasing the Hard Rock chain for $965 million last December, Seminole Gaming CEO James Allen said he “saw a tremendous opportunity to expand the chain by adding hotels.”

Max Osceola, a member of the Seminole Tribal Council on Monday said, “If gaming is allowed in a country, we’re going to look into it, but we’re not going to be the champion – we’ll go with the flow.”

Allen said the company would ‘proceed with caution’ in expanding in the United States.

Hard Rock has 120 restaurants circling the globe. The original Hard Rock Café opened in 1971 in London near Buckingham Palace and that site still contains the guitar donated by Eric Clapton, which started the chains collection of music mementos.

Regions where the Seminoles plan to expand include Eastern Europe, South America and Asia, particularly India and China. There are no plans for “material expansion in the United States,” said Dodds.

The biggest Hard Rock Casino is located near Tampa, Florida where it is undertaking a $120 million expansion.

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