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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Seminole Tribe offers up Hard Rock expansion to entice support for compact



Scott and Tribe 2Gov. Rick Scott and the Seminole Tribe of Florida are betting the Florida Legislature will approve a compact between the state and the tribe, and they’re betting big — $1.8 billion guitar-shaped hotel big.

The tribe outlined the details of the development at its Hollywood headquarters Monday to Scott, who was welcomed by the cheers of hundreds of Hard Rock employees. The $1.8 billion expansion plan was originally announced last spring, when the tribe began negotiations over the compact with the governor, and it continues to be touted as an economic reward for giving the tribe a statewide monopoly for certain casino games.

At the center of the proposal is the 800-room, 36-floor silver hotel, shaped like the body of a guitar rising from the Hollywood complex. The expansion also calls for five new restaurants, including a new Hard Rock Cafe, a buffet, dessert shop, nightclub and Swamp bar. If completed, as promoted, the tribe estimates the plan would create 19,452 jobs, including 4,867 full-time positions and 14,585 construction jobs, said Seminole Gaming CEO James Allen.

“We have created something that is, I think, an international tourist destination and an integrated resort that’s not just about gaming,” Allen said. “This will rival not just anything here in the state of Florida, but Atlantis [Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas] and anything in the world. Story here. 

Photo: Gov. Rick Scott takes his seat at the table while visiting the Seminole Tribe headquarters, where he received an overview of Seminole Gaming’s expansion plan and heard from tribe members and employees regarding the importance of passage of his new compact between the state and the Tribe on Monday, Feb. 2, 2016.CARL JUSTE

[Last modified: Monday, February 1, 2016 5:28pm]


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