Hard Rock Announces Plans for Massive Resort Near Barcelona
Hard Rock International this week announced plans to build a massive new casino resort in Catalonia, Spain. The resort will be called Hard Rock Entertainment World, and it has already gotten the green light to begin construction. The $2 billion casino resort will be in Vila-seca in the Tarragona province of Catalonia. That is located about 70 miles up the coast from Barcelona.
The new Hard Rock facility will be located next to the PortAventura theme park and will have “a unique combination of hotels and convention areas, with world-class entertainment, dining and shopping.” There will additionally be a brand-new concert venue that will seat about 15,000 people.
This news isn’t exactly coming out of nowhere. Back in 2012, local officials in the area launched a project that was initially called “Barcelona World.” However, they were forced to change the name to “BCN World” after Barcelona’s city council objected to the original name.
Previous Adelson Idea
The idea was initially cracked by Las Vegas casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, who had the rather ambitious plan to build six casinos and 12 hotel towers in one area near Madrid. He called the idea “EuroVegas,” but the plans were quickly put on the backburner after it became clear that Madrid would not budge on certain issues. The Spanish government declined to offer Adelson a few concessions, including lower tax rates on gambling and exemption from anti-smoking laws.
The initial idea for “Barcelona World” also included six casinos, but opposition again forced planners to scale things back. In 2016, Oriol Junqueras, the Catalan Vice President and Minister for Economy, announced that the “Barcelona World” project was officially “dead and buried.”
The new scaled-back plans limited the number of casinos to just two, and the entire surface area for the resort would be cut from 3,200,000 square feet to 2,400,000 square feet. Height of the buildings would also be restricted.
Three corporations showed interest in the plans, but Melco International and Genting both bowed-out of the bidding process, likely in light of the scaled-back plans. So, Hard Rock remained as the lone bidder and won.
Now, there will only be one casino on the property. However, it will be one of the largest gambling facilities on the European continent. The Hard Rock resort will feature 1,200 slot machines and about 100 table games. Hard Rock says the accompanying hotel will have 600 rooms along with a 20,000 square-foot pool and lounging deck area.
Before plans for the Catalan property were announced, Hard Rock previously pulled out of a joint venture with Melco that would have built the largest European casino in Southern Cyprus. The prevailing thought is that Hard Rock wanted to focus all of its efforts on the Spanish project.
A press release from Hard Rock gave no timetable for the beginning of construction or when the resort will open to the public.
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