Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa Reopening Thursday, Long Lines Likely

Posted on: May 19, 2020, 02:09h. 

Last updated on: May 21, 2020, 11:01h.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa will reopen its doors Thursday at 7 p.m. The resort, the largest of the tribe’s six casinos in Florida, has been closed since March 20.

Hard Rock Tampa Florida casinos
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa will be the Seminole Tribe’s first casino to reopen. (Image: Hard Rock International)

The Seminole Tribe of Florida says the integrated resort will reopen its doors under stringent health and safety guidelines and increased cleaning measures. Hard Rock has partnered with Ecolab to develop its “Safe and Sound” program, which will be deployed across all six Seminole-owned casinos in the Sunshine State.

Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming have made a tremendous commitment to sanitary protocols and a safety-first mentality for both guests and team members,” said Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming and Chairman of Hard Rock International. “We are making sure our resorts are safe and sound, so our guests and team members have peace of mind when they return.”

Hard Rock Tampa, one of the largest casinos in the United States, has a gaming floor measuring 245,000 square feet, featuring nearly 5,000 slot machines and 170 table games, plus a 46-table poker room. The hotel offers 800 guestrooms.

No reopening dates were announced for the tribe’s other casinos. They are: Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood, Hollywood Seminole Gaming, Seminole Bingo Casino in Brighton, Seminole Casino Immokalee, and Coconut Creek Casino.

Limited Reopening

Returning guests to Seminole Hard Rock Tampa will find an entirely new experience. All guests and employees will be given a temperature check prior to entry, and those exceeding CDC guidelines will be denied access.

All guests will be required to wear masks, which will be provided to those who do not have one. Thousands of slot machines will remain disabled to promote social distancing, and Plexiglas barriers will separate players at table games and poker tables.

The casino floor will be held to a maximum 50 percent occupancy, hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the casino and resort, and the air will be more frequently circulated through the property’s bipolar ionization system that is designed to eliminate virus particles.

Finally, more than 100 team members have been assigned to the new “Safe and Sound Clean Team.” Those workers will be focused on cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, with a special emphasis on high-touch areas.

Restaurants opening Thursday include the Hard Rock Café and Rise Kitchen & Deli. Both will open in reduced capacities.

Lines Likely

American gamblers are itching to test their luck again. Large crowds have been seen at the first casinos to open in Washington, California, and Arkansas. Allen expects the same in Florida.

We’re anticipating very large crowds,” Allen said recently on Fox Business. “We saw some openings in other states, and frankly, volumes are tremendous. We will be prepared for that, as our max capacity that we’re going to allocate is about 50 percent.”

“We’re more concerned with the third quarter, fourth quarter, first quarter of next year,” Allen continued. “I think after the initial pent-up demand is behind us, then the question is, ‘What’s the frequency and available discretionary income to come to an entertainment facility such as an integrated resort?'”