HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) – Hard Rock has kicked off festivities to celebrate the grand opening of its long-awaited Guitar Hotel.
The first-of-its-kind hotel, which opened Thursday night, is part of a $1.5-billion renovation project that includes many changes to the inside as well as the outside.
“We look at this as an adult-integrated resort,” Hard Rock International CEO Jim Allen said. “It is truly a destination that’s not just a casino. We’re really excited the facility is done on time, on budget, just like we said it would be.”
7News received a sneak peek ahead of the grand opening that was attended by several A-list celebrities.
The 450-foot guitar-shaped building opened with a ceremonial guitar smashing ceremony rather than a ribbon-cutting.
“I think it’s beautiful. I mean, it’s surreal,” actor Johnny Depp said.
Morgan Freeman and boxing legend Evander Holyfield were among the celebrities that attended the opening.
The building was constructed with 13,000 tons of steel, 36,000 cubic yards of concrete and over 10 million man hours. There are 638 hotel rooms inside of the guitar-shaped hotel, and according to staff, all of the rooms were booked.
Guests attending the opening were treated to a light show that encompassed the building.
“There are three tractor-trailers for the Savoy crystal that’s coming in,” Allen said.
Guests explained what they were most excited to see at the opening.
“The smashing guitar,” said a guest, “and the mermaid that’s in the pool. Oh, my God. It’s fantastic.”
“I just moved back here from Ohio. I live not too far, and this is fantastic. The event is nice,” said a guest. “The hotel is probably one of the best I’ve seen in terms of the shape of the guitar. Whoever was the engineer on that, they get kudos.”
Hard Rock Live is now a large theater that can hold 7,000 people at once. With its clam-shell seating, there’s no bad seat in the house.
‘“If you look around the room, you look at the distance, and the furthest distance of any seat to what we call ‘center mic’ is 168 feet,” Allen added. “In fact, there’s nothing like it in the United States.”
The new theater can be home to concerts, Broadway musicals, boxing and live TV shows.
“There’s no echo in this room whatsoever. There is absolutely none,” said Allen. “Every ceiling, every wall is all treated. You can see all the acoustical panels. They are not just decorations. They are specifically designed for the highest quality of sound.”
Visitors will get to see at one of the many new entrances a fountain that’s equipped with lasers. It will have a show about every 40 minutes.
The fountain is the brainchild of the designers who helped bring the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas to life.
“We go outside, and you look at these amazing pools and waterfalls,” said Allen.
Allen said people can walk around for hours in all the brand new architecture and state-of-the-art design. Council Oak, the hotel’s signature steakhouse now brings the outside in.
The hotel is a hot destination for tourists and locals.
Outside of the Guitar Hotel is a seven-story, 168-guest room Oasis Tower that overlooks a lagoon.
The spa, casino gaming floor and retail space have also been reimagined.
“This has taken the business and the tribe, and frankly, the Hard Rock brand to a level that rivals anything in the world,” said Allen.
Guests who booked rooms for the opening began checking in at 2 p.m.
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