Hard Rock prepared to open new hotel in 2 weeks

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Work is continuing at a feverish pace, both inside the tower and outside as well. Marble has to be cut and floors need to be cleaned. When the 154 room tower opens, all the hard work will be worth it.

"We think this is going to set us up well for the future," said Hard Rock Chief Financial Officer Todd Raziano.

"We think it's going to be good for the coast, our customers, our employees, everyone involved is very excited."

Also exciting are the amenities, like custom tubs imported from Australia, spacious rooms as well as a view of the coast that can't be beat.

Project Manager Stephen Koenenn said building this hotel presented a unique challenge.

"This particular site is a small site. We have a very narrow vertical building. Our main focus is to stay on forward progress, keep moving forward and overcome any challenges and obstacles that come our way," said Koenenn.

This hotel signifies a huge commitment to the coast's gaming industry according to Raziano.

"I think it speaks very highly of the casino market, it's a great environment, it's a great market. The regulatory environment is wonderful, the tax structure is wonderful. I think that's why you're seeing all the investment that's occurring in the market today," said Raziano.

When this Platinum Tower opens in two weeks, obviously guests are going to be more than thrilled at all the amenities they'll be treated with. According to Hard Rock Facilities Director Al Weaver, the employees are in for an extra treat themselves.

"We'll actually do a soft opening and we're inviting employees to come in and stay 40 or 50 at a time for two or three nights to actually experience the new rooms and do a punch list for us," Weaver said.

"We're going to check our services and make sure everything is ready for the actual hard opening."

That hard opening can't come soon enough at the Hard Rock.

Casino officials say about 90 additional people will have to be hired to help operate the new tower, bringing total employment at the Hard Rock to more than 1,100.

The tower will officially open on January 29 at 5 p.m., with the signature guitar smashing, a tradition that Hard Rock is known for.

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