To Top

Hard Rock Announces Opening Date For South Dakota Rocksino

Written By J.R. Duren on May 15, 2023
New South Dakota casino coming to Deadwood via Hard Rock

Mark your calendars, South Dakota. Hard Rock International has announced that Deadwood’s The Rocksino by Hard Rock will have its grand opening on Aug. 8.

Local civic leaders and community members, along with Hard Rock execs, will attend the opening. Hard Rock International Chief Operation Officer Jon Lucas said in a statement:

“Hard Rock prides itself on being able to provide authentic and memorable experiences for our guests embodied by music and rich cultural history. We are thrilled to become a part of one of the most celebrated historic places in the US and provide an economic stimulus to the city of Deadwood.”

The casino and hotel will be located in the former Hickok’s Hotel & Suites. The Rocksino concept isn’t a new one. Hard Rock operated one in Ohio that was eventually bought out by MGM Resorts.

Deadwood casino will be a small version of the Hard Rock concept

Hard Rock casinos tend to be massive properties with thousands of slot machines and dozens of table games. But Deadwood’s Rocksino will be a scaled-down iteration of the typical Hard Rock grandeur. The property will have:

  • 86 slot machines
  • A full-service restaurant
  • A Hard Rock retail shop
  • A hotel with renovated luxury guest rooms

Deadwood Mayor David Ruth said the hotel will add to the town’s mystique. Deadwood is famous for, among other things, being the site where the famed Will Bill Hickok was gunned down during a poker game.

“Our rich, old West history combined with the Hard Rock brand will enhance the Deadwood experience that we are known for,” Ruth said in a Cision PR Newswire press release. “The Rocksino by Hard Rock is sure to be an additional gem luring visitors to our amazing community.”

Hard Rock to partner with Oglala Sioux

Hard Rock noted that it will partner with first-responder charity Tunnel to Towers to provide relief to the Oglala Sioux Tribal Veterans Program (OSTVP).

Among the services that the OSTVP offers is Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH). The program provides homes to veterans, provided they can meet certain requirements.

VASH is a federal program, so Hard Rock will likely provide relief in other areas. It will provide more details about what their Tunnel to Towers project will entail at the grand opening, the company said.

How will Hard Rock Rocksino impact Deadwood’s casino industry?

Hard Rock’s Rocksino will be the 21st South Dakota casino in the Deadwood area. For a town of around 1,200 people, that’s an unusually high number of gambling facilities.

However, it’s Deadwood’s tourism industry that makes the town’s slew of casinos possible.

Roughly 2.5 million people visit Deadwood each year, according to The Municipal. That influx of visitors means more gambling dollars than usual for a town of Deadwood’s size.

Hard Rock should instantly have the upper hand over its competitors. Its brand recognition is incredible, so it’s sure to draw crowds as soon as it opens its doors this summer. Within a few months, it’s likely to be among the top Deadwood casinos for revenue.

Photo by Hard Rock International
J.R. Duren Avatar
Written by
J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

View all posts by J.R. Duren
Privacy Policy