Hard Rock eyes “entertainment-centric” IR in Gold Coast

U.S. casino operator Hard Rock International has emerged as a major contender to the race for Gold Coast’s second casino license, Gold Coast Bulletin reports.

In an email to the State Government, city council and Gold Coast tourism leaders, Hard Rock reportedly flagged its plan for an “entertainment-centric” integrated resort, promising to be different from the “mould”.

“We believe Queensland has a strong market potential for a new product paradigm, one that is more entertainment-centric, not merely in physical amenities themselves but how they are delivered to customers,” wrote Edward Tracy, CEO for Asia Pacific of Hard Rock International.

“People flock to the Hard Rock because of the lifestyle element the brand exudes. The casino is but one among a plethora of entertainment options.”

Speaking to the Bulletin, Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the government had not changed its position as to the kind of operator it was looking for.

“When we go to market on the Gold Coast, we’re making it clear that the focus should be on big-name entertainment, bringing the likes of Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Jennifer Lopez to the Coast to perform,’’ she said.

“This is the model that Hard Rock is currently building in Spain and that (US gaming giant) Caesars has at destinations all over the world,” she added. 

“We believe (with) the proposed locations in Queensland, each offers its own individual charm and opportunity and I can envisage a Hard Rock product for each setting,” said Tracy. 

Daniel Cheng, senior vice-president for development Asia said the company will continue to follow developments in QLD very closely.

“I would like to express our company’s utmost interest and support to the very exciting Global Tourism Hub vision which we strongly believe will complement Queensland’s existing world-class tourism assets and vault the state’s tourism industry to greater heights,” said Cheng.

“We look forward to participating and contributing on this journey with Queensland. We have been very busy but would like to reassure you the Queensland GTH vision continues to rank high in our attention.”