Deadwood: Hard Rock debuts first boutique casino hotel in portfolio with grand opening event

Hard Rock International held the grand opening of its new property in the historic city of Deadwood, South Dakota on Tuesday. The Rocksino by Hard Rock Deadwood is the first “boutique” style property in Hard Rock’s portfolio, operating on a smaller scale than the company’s other venues.

The casino’s opening ceremony included a proclamation from South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, remarks from leaders of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and South Dakota Sioux tribes, a Guitar Smash featuring members of the Harley-Davidson family, music stars, and assorted dignitaries.

Rocksino by Hard Rock Deadwood is a first-of-its-kind in the Hard Rock International portfolio. It is billed as a boutique hotel and casino experience, which includes most of what patrons of the Hard Rock brand have come to know, but on a smaller scale than its famous integrated resorts in gateway international cities. The general contractor for the project was SRK Development, with architects Worth Group and Chamberlin Architects, and interior design by Tandem.

The property, located in the heart of the Black Hills National Forest, features a casino including 86 new slot machines, a full-service restaurant and bar with craft cocktails, a new menu, and music memorabilia. The on-site Rock Shop will also sport custom Rocksino by Hard Rock Deadwood apparel. Renovated luxury guest rooms are scheduled to open later this year.

“For years, historic Deadwood and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally have given countless individuals the opportunity to vacation and to enjoy the state of South Dakota,” Gov. Noem stated in her proclamation, which she read to a crowd of several thousand who gathered for the grand opening.

This new Rocksino by Hard Rock Deadwood will make those opportunities even better for years to come. In fact, as Governor of South Dakota, I am proclaiming today `Hard Rock Day’ across the entire state of South Dakota.”

“Hard Rock prides itself on being able to provide authentic and memorable experiences for our guests embodied by music and rich cultural history,” said Jon Lucas, Chief Operating Officer at Hard Rock International. “We are thrilled to become a part of one of the most celebrated historic places in the U.S. and provide an economic stimulus to the city of Deadwood.”

Deadwood Mayor David Ruth lauded Rocksino partners Steve Slowey and Marc Oswald for bringing the Hard Rock brand to what is one of the most celebrated Wild West towns in the U.S.

“As a community famous for entertaining guests since 1876, Deadwood is excited to welcome Rocksino by Hard Rock Deadwood as our newest, can’t-miss property,” said Mayor Ruth. “Our rich, Old West history combined with the Hard Rock brand will enhance the Deadwood experience for which we are known for. The Rocksino by Hard Rock Deadwood is sure to be an additional gem luring visitors to this amazing town.”

In partnership with the Hard Rock Heals Foundation, Karen and Bill Davidson, the great-grandchildren of one of the founders of the Harley-Davidson Motor Co., and the children of Harley-Davidson patriarch Willie G. Davidson, took the stage for a donation. The Davisons and Hard Rock International’s COO Jon Lucas presented a check totaling $40,000 to the Oglala Sioux Tribe Veterans Shelter.

Following gift exchanges between Seminole and Sioux tribal leaders, the Rocksino by Hard Rock Deadwood celebrated the grand opening with Hard Rock’s traditional Guitar Smash, featuring 22 individuals smashing guitars on stage. “These were not real guitars, but Hollywood prop guitars. In fact, Hard Rock donates thousands of real guitars to music students around the world“, Big Kenny of country music duo Big & Rich noted at the ceremony.