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'It's Gonna Put Us On The Map': Seminole Hard Rock Tops Off Giant Guitar-Shaped Hotel In Hollywood

The final steel beam of the hotel's main structure was placed at the top of the guitar Monday, with the Seminole Tribe flag, American flag and Florida flag.
Caitie Switalski
The final steel beam of the hotel's main structure was placed at the top of the guitar Monday, with the Seminole Tribe flag, American flag and Florida flag.

Hundreds of Seminole Tribe members and construction workers cheered as the final piece of steel was placed on top of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino's new guitar-shaped building Monday in Hollywood.

At 450 feet tall, the new building will be a 638-room hotel on the existing casino's property on the Seminole reservation. One of two lakes on site were filled in to create space for the massive guitar next to an existing casino.

It's all part of the company's $1.5 billion expansion, which includes thousands more square footage for casinos, gaming, restaraunts, shops, pools and even a convention center - designed in the hopes that the complex will become more of a destination resort. 

“Oh it’s cool - I mean it’s a cool job,” said Robert Harrell, one of the construction workers watching as the beam was hoisted up with flags. He’s been working as a carpenter foreman on the building for almost two years, installing safety features like handrails."It is, you know, it’s a landmark of course.”

Thomas Wuerzer, a professor for Nova Southeastern University’s Real Estate Development program, said the building is a landmark comparable to others like the L.A. Opera House or the Guggenheim museum in Spain. 

“They are also curved buildings, but different curves,” Wuerzer said. “The kind of massiveness of this superstructure guitar, I think is impressive."

Read More: A New Casino With Jai Alai Approved By The State To Be Built In Downtown Miami

Hard Rock International Chairman and CEO of Seminole Gaming James Allen said he believes the structure will bring more people to the region.

“We truly think this becomes a reason to come to South Florida, not just for the purpose of gaming, but to see the world’s only two-scale shaped guitar hotel,” he said. “Our plan is to do three more of them in other cities, on a worldwide basis, but this is the first one.”

The Seminole Tribe's Hollywood councilman, Christopher Osceola, agreed. He told the crowd: "It's gonna put us on the map."

Despite President Trump's trade war, the Hard Rock Hollywood guitar’s windows were imported recently from China. They still need to be popped into place before the hotel can open.

The hotel does still need interior work, and is on schedule to open in Fall 2019.

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Caitie Switalski is a rising senior at the University of Florida. She's worked for WFSU-FM in Tallahassee as an intern and reporter. When she's in Gainesville for school, Caitie is an anchor and producer for local Morning Edition content at WUFT-FM, as well as a digital editor for the station's website. Her favorite stories are politically driven, about how politicians, laws and policies effect local communities. Once she graduates with a dual degree in Journalism and English,Caitiehopes to make a career continuing to report and produce for NPR stations in the sunshine state. When she's not following what's happening with changing laws, you can catchCaitielounging in local coffee shops, at the beach, or watching Love Actually for the hundredth time.
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