A 36-storey electric guitar-shaped hotel in Florida opened last night with a star-studded event to celebrate the extraordinary $1.5billion project.
Boasting a 7,000-seat casino floor, 1,200 hotel rooms and more than 3,000 slot machines and gaming tables, the soaring blue glass venue is a major investment for the pioneering and wealthy Native American Seminole tribe.
The Guitar Hotel had its grand opening on the tribe’s land in Hollywood, once only a trailer park and some smoke shops. It’s the latest step in the Seminole Hard Rock empire, which includes naming rights on the Miami-area stadium where the 2020 Super Bowl will be played.
Khloé Kardashian, Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman and Sofia Richie were among the famous faces to grace the grand opening last night.
The Guitar Hotel opened last night in Florida with a star-studded event to celebrate the extraordinary $1.5billion project
Among the stars gracing the red carpet at the glamorous launch party last night were Johnny Depp and Khloé Kardashian
The new hotel boasts a 7,000-seat casino floor, 1,200 hotel rooms and more than 3,000 slot machines and gaming tables
It is the latest step in the Seminole Hard Rock empire, which includes naming rights on the Miami-area stadium where the 2020 Super Bowl will be played
Sofia Richie and Bella Thorne were among the many famous faces at the star-studded launch party at the Florida hotel last night
The Seminole, which consists of about 4,200 people living in reservations spread throughout south Florida, were the first tribe to enter the gaming industry when opening a high-stakes bingo hall in 1979.
Marcellus Osceola, council chairman of the Seminole in Florida, said: ‘We’re very thankful and we’re blessed to be in a position that we can provide the general welfare and the help and assistance that tribe members need.
‘The dollars that we make here will make life a little bit easier for our members when they have health care issues or when they are trying to buy a car to transport themselves with their families.’
It’s a unique addition to South Florida’s tourist landscape and no hotel is like it in the world and at night, beams of light will mimic the strings of the guitar.
The pool and lounge area of the sprawling complex which has more than 1,200 rooms and is like no other hotel in the world
The Guitar Hotel had its grand opening on the tribe’s land in Hollywood (pictured), once only a trailer park and some smoke shops
Johnny Depp looked in high spirits as he rocked out to the star-studded crowd at at the opening of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
The hotel also has a refurbished venue for concerts and other events, starting with Maroon 5 on Friday and continuing with artists such as Sting and Billy Joel
People walk through a retail area at the $1.5billion venue where no expense has been spared by the wealthy Seminole Tribe
The hotel boasts a concert hall and a massive stage where world-famous artists will perform in the southern Florida venue
The hotel also has a refurbished venue for concerts and other events, starting with Maroon 5 on Friday and continuing with artists such as Sting and Billy Joel. It has a giant pool and lagoon, retail shops, restaurants, and of course gambling.
At the wild launch party last night, Johnny Depp played guitar while the likes of Khloé Kardashian, Sofia Richie and Bella Thorne, danced around him.
Though they didn’t walk the red carpet together, Sofia was joined at the Hard Rock by her boyfriend Scott Disick.
In a series of judicial rulings, the Seminole and other tribes won the right to maintain casinos in the United States in 1988.
Today the Seminole have become one of the most successful tribes in terms of business, pulling in big money.
7th Tribal Council Chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida Marcellus William Osceola Jr. stands inside the stunning new creation
Fiery: Fifth Harmony’s Ally Brooke arrived in a short red and orange dress for the lavish launch event last night
The Seminole, which consists of about 4,200 people living in reservations spread throughout south Florida, were the first tribe to enter the gaming industry when opening a high-stakes bingo hall in 1979 (pictured: a poker hall at the new hotel)
Contemporary musicians Alex Pall and Drew Taggart of The Chainsmokers pose outside the guitar-shaped hotel
Daniel Tommie, of the Seminole Tribe’s Bird Clan, holds his gun at the traditional Hunting Camp at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum
It’s a unique addition to South Florida’s tourist landscape and no hotel is like it in the world with beams of light imitating guitar strings
Everyone who has at least 25 per cent of Seminole blood receives a portion of the profits.
The tribe is reluctant to discuss exact sums, but Forbes magazine in 2016 calculated each member gets $128,000 annually from birth and are already millionaires when they turn 18.
The tribe brought the Hard Rock International company for $965million 12 years ago, and operates dozens of cafes, hotels and casinos under the renowned brand worldwide.
Just this month, it opened another Hard Rock hotel and casino in the city of Tampa, on the west coast of Florida.
‘The overall Hard Rock business on a global basis does in excess of $6billion in revenue in 75 countries around the world,’ Jim Allen, Hard Rock International chairman and Seminole gaming CEO, told AFP.
But the flood of money that is represented by the ambitious new ‘guitar’ hotel brings mixed emotions from some Seminole.
Morgan Freeman and Scott Disick, the boyfriend of Sofia Richie who was also in attendance, graced the red carpet at the glamorous launch party
Today the Seminole, pictured dancing on stage during the opening last night, have become one of the most successful tribes in terms of business, pulling in big money from their ventures
People stand near ‘The Oculus’ as they attend the Grand Opening of the Guitar Hotel expansion
‘Gaming was instrumental getting us off of our backs and onto our feet and now I think … we need to slow down, catch our breath and say “Wow, hold on here. Where are we, what’s happening here?”‘ said Daniel Tommie, 57, a Seminole tribe member.
Tommie works in the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki museum, 60 miles west of Hollywood, in the Big Cypress Indian reservation in the Everglades wetlands.
‘Financially there are some tribes that wanted to stay away from gaming because they saw the negative effects … There is too much crime coming to the reservation, too many elders spending all their money,’ he said.
‘So I think the important thing is to enjoy that success, but to remember how we got here. Because if you lose your way I’m not sure what will happen.’
Jim Allen, CEO of Hard Rock International, said the brand already is filled with guitars, so why not a hotel?
‘Wouldn’t it be really cool if we could design a hotel shaped like a guitar?’ Allen remembers saying. ‘Before, we were more of a locals facility. Now, we have the ability to market this internationally.’
As for the guitar shape, Allen said it’s meant to be generic and not necessarily the Gibson Les Paul made famous by Page and others. But he added that Hard Rock has relationships with both Gibson and Page, and the hotel and casino features many Led Zeppelin artifacts.
‘When we present the Hard Rock brand on a global basis, it literally starts with Jimmy Page saying, “It was a cool idea then and it’s a cool idea now,”‘ Allen said.