For the past two years, Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood, inside and out, had been a maze of blocked-off construction zones, branded blockades, and a hodge-podge of scattered gaming offerings.
You couldn’t help but wonder “What’s over there?" and "What will this be?” as the figure of the 450-foot guitar began to rise and dominate the Hollywood landscape.
The grand opening answered any questions and paid off on the hype: The new Guitar Hotel is truly a masterpiece.
Celebrities made their way on the red carpet to the stage set up in the new Oculus. The three-way hub inside the grand porte cochere is essentially a 360-degree water multimedia show all its own, pulsing to the beat of whatever rock-n-roll plays in the ostentatious lobby.
After the celeb step-and-repeat, the party moved to the 13.5-acre pool lagoon, boasting a Bora Bora-style area featuring villas, waterfalls, palms for seemingly miles, stations stocked with tasty food, and live tunes. The lagoon was a true adult playground, with lit-up colorful mermaids and body-painted models mingling about as folks zoomed by on watercrafts and water jet packs.
From a peninsular stage, Seminole council leaders gave thanks. Through their 30-ish minutes of speeches, they made one thing crystal clear: This is more than a casino.
Afterward, no boring ribbon cutting here. Tribal leaders were joined by Hard Rock and Seminole execs and a slew of celebs for a group guitar smash. For a guitar-smashing MVP, let’s go with Piven for his clear confidence and technique.
To close the evening – and what folks will be able to enjoy on a daily basis at sunset – the gargantuan guitar lit up, a musical montage accompanying each flicker.
And the party at Hard Rock Hollywood is just starting.
Tonight, Maroon 5 opens Hard Rock Live, a state-of-the-art, acoustic masterpiece with 7,000 seats. Andrea Bocelli, Alicia Keys, Sting, and Gladys Knight are among the A-list acts slated to perform in the coming months.
Guitar Hotel, welcome to the neighborhood — we already love you.
Bring on the encore.