Construction Begins on Canada's First Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

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Construction on the first-ever Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Canada has begun, on track to open its doors in spring 2025. This new investment is proposed to boast a wide range of gaming opportunities, as well as boost the wider economy in Ottawa.

The history of Hard Rock's expansion into casinos

Nowadays, everyone can play casino games online, trying their hand at classic games like roulette, blackjack, poker, and slot games. These traditional games can even be played live from any device with internet connectivity, without having to leave your home.

However, when the successful Hard Rock Cafe brand decided to expand into hotels and casinos in the 90s, this wasn't the case. Instead, players had to head to their nearest bricks-and-mortar casino to place their bets, or even make the trip into a vacation, which led to a rise in multi-purpose hotel-cum-casino resorts - a trend that the Hard Rock Cafe took advantage of. 

By this time, the Hard Rock brand had come a long way since its establishment, first opening its doors in 1971 at its first cafe in Mayfair, London. In 1978, a second Hard Rock Cafe was opened in Toronto - and, by 1982 there were locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, New York, Dallas, Washington DC, Orlando, Boston, Paris, and Berlin.

As the franchise continued to grow, Hard Rock branched out, opening the first Hard Rock Hotel close to the Las Vegas Strip in 1995 (now Virgin Hotels Las Vegas). It was so popular, the hotel saw a huge renovation just 4 years later to double its capacity. 


Today, there are 165 restaurants, 24 hotels, and 12 casinos using the Hard Rock name. These casino resorts include:

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Biloxi, Mississippi

Cincinnati, Ohio

Lake Tahoe, Nevada

The Mirage Las Vegas

Northern Indiana

Rockford, Illinois

Sacramento, California

Sioux City, Iowa

Tampa, Florida

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Vancouver, British Columbia

Hollywood, Florida

In addition, Hard Rock Casinos also will add three new casinos to their roster in the near future: Bristol, Virginia; Deadwood, South Dakota; and, of course, Ottawa, Ontario.


Introducing the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Ottawa

Despite already having a casino near Vancouver, BC, and a cafe in Niagara Falls, ON, the new location in Ottawa marks the first-ever Hard Rock Hotel & Casino property in Canada. The new casino and hotel complex will stand in the place of the Rideau Carleton Casino and is expected to open in spring 2025. 

The planned resort will boast a hotel with 150 rooms and 22 suites, 10 restaurants and bars, a theater with space for crowds of 4,000, memorabilia and merchandise shops, and a casino packed with 1,500 slot machines, 40 tables for poker, roulette, and blackjack, sports betting opportunities, and a sleek purpose-built Baccarat room.

As the first of its kind, Hard Rock is certainly not holding back, pulling out all the stops for this flagship resort, which might constitute the foundation for further expansion into Canada. 

If it all goes to plan, this resort may even skyrocket Ottawa to become the casino destination of Canada. The resort is said to be one of the most extensive private investment developments in the area, which is predicted to create 1,900 jobs (plus construction jobs, too), as well as improve gaming opportunities and increase tourism to the area, ultimately giving the local economy a much-needed boost. 

- B.E. Delmer,

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