Unique Concept Hard Rock Rocksino Has Grand Opening In Deadwood

Written By J.R. Duren on August 11, 2023
Buildings In Deadwood, South Dakota and Rocksino by Hard Rock Deadwood logo

Bigger isn’t always better in Deadwood, South Dakota.

The tiny town with a rich history played host this week for the grand opening of Rocksino by Hard Rock Deadwood, a concept property that’s a scaled-down version of the typical Hard Rock hotel and casino.

It’s the only one of its kind in the Hard Rock International portfolio and a fitting choice for Deadwood’s small-town vibe. Hard Rock International Chief Operating Officer Jon Luca 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 grand opening for the South Dakota casino featured Hard Rock’s trademark guitar smash, along with statements from Gov. Kristi Noem, the Seminole Tribe of Florida (Hard Rock International’s owners), and tribes from the South Dakota Sioux.

Rocksino is a fitting concept for a unique town

Deadwood, while home to only around 1,200 residents, is a popular tourist site because of its ties to Wild West history. It’s also a favorite spot for bikers attending the nearby Sturgis Bike Rally. Therefore, the town has millions of visitors come through it every year.

Additionally, it is designated as a National History Landmark District and is included in the South Dakota State Register of Historic Sites.

As such, the town has strict guidelines for building construction. For example, commercial properties should be no taller than four stories, and new buildings can be bigger than neighboring businesses but cannot be so big they look out of place.

Because of this unique environment, Hard Rock could not build its typical grandiose property like the ones it has in Hollywood and Tampa, Florida.

Enter the Rocksino concept. The building is only three stories tall and takes up less than half a block on Deadwood’s main drag. Its architecture fits in with the surrounding area, too.

Inside, the property has:

  • 86 slot machines
  • A full-service restaurant and bar
  • Music Memorabilia
  • Luxury guest rooms

“For years, historic Deadwood and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally have given countless individuals the opportunity to vacation and to enjoy the state of South Dakota,” Noem said in a PR Newswire press release at the property’s grand opening.

“This new Rocksino by Hard Rock Deadwood will make those opportunities even better for years to come.” Additionally, Noem proclaimed the property’s Aug. 8 grand opening as ‘Hard Rock Day’ across the state.

Hotel will open by the end of the year

While the Rocksino’s casino and restaurant are open, its hotel remains closed for construction. Hard Rock noted that the rooms are slated to open later this year.

Hard Rock’s first Rocksino became an MGM hotel

While Deadwood’s Rocksino is the only one of its kind in Hard Rock’s portfolio, it’s not the first Rocksino to open in the US.

That designation belongs to Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park, an Ohio property that opened in 2013 and was bought out by MGM Resorts in 2018.

Photo by PlayUSA
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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.

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