Hard Rock International Takes No Responsibility for New Orleans Construction Accident

Posted on: October 14, 2019, 09:42h. 

Last updated on: October 14, 2019, 12:23h.

Casino operator Hard Rock International says it was not involved in the deadly hotel construction accident in New Orleans that will bear its name once complete.

Hard Rock New Orleans casino
The Hard Rock New Orleans construction site was where two workers lost their lives. (Image: New Orleans Advocate)

On Saturday, several floors of the planned 18-floor building collapsed, killing two and injuring more than 30. One construction worker remains missing.

Hard Rock International is the gaming and hospitality company owned by the Seminole Tribe in Florida. It operates casinos in its home state, as well as in New Jersey, Mississippi, Nevada, Iowa, Oklahoma, British Columbia, and Punta Cana.

Hard Rock has had no involvement in the construction of the project. We want to extend our deepest sympathies to victims of this tragic accident and to their loved ones and friends,” a company release explained.

“Citadel Builders LLC was contracted by Kailas Companies, owner of the project, to build the Hard Rock Hotel New Orleans based on a brand licensing agreement with Hard Rock International, the future manager of the hotel,” the statement concluded.

Hard Rock New Orleans is being constructed at 1031 Canal Street on the French Quarter’s west end. It’s planned to have 350 hotel rooms, plus 62 residential condos and retail shopping.

Big Concerns

Numerous questions remain as to how the building collapsed. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell (D) said, “After search and rescue, it will shift into a full investigative mode, and we will be relentless in those efforts moving forward.”

The stability of the structure is making the search effort tedious.

“Safety is the number one thing. The last thing you want to do when you are trying to rescue somebody is lose someone else,” New Orleans Fire Chief Tim McConnell said Sunday.

A 220,000-pound crane arrived in the city to help remove the large amount of fallen debris. Project contractor Citadell Builders flew in engineers from Germany to assist in the effort.

Big Easy Construction

Hard Rock isn’t the only gaming industry power player invested in NOLA. Caesars Entertainment reached a 30-year licensing extension in May for its Harrah’s New Orleans casino.

The deal requires Caesars – which is in the process of being acquired by Eldorado Resorts – to invest a minimum of $325 million in property upgrades during the three-decade agreement. Caesars also guarantees the state at least $60 million in annual tax revenue, the City of New Orleans $19.5 million over the next three years, and will donate $9.4 million annually to state education and support services.

Caesars says part of its $325 million licensing extension mandate will include a new 340-room hotel tower equipped with restaurants and entertainment space. The casino giant says the project will create 600 construction jobs, and 500 subsequent full-time permanent positions.

The development will allow Harrah’s New Orleans guests to stay at the casino instead of nearby hotels. Caesars says it currently purchases around 27,000 room nights each year for its guests at other area hotels.