The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has selected a partnership of Hard Rock International and Rideau Carleton Raceway, who will spend more than $320 million to convert the Rideau Carleton Raceway and Slots to a full service casino.
The Hard Rock Casino Ottawa partnership consists of HR LP Investor Inc. (owned by Hard Rock International based in Orlando, Florida) and RCR Investor Inc. (owned by Rideau Carleton Raceway Holdings Limited). Pending required approvals, Hard Rock International and RCR plan to potentially invest the funds “during a multi-phase construction process to ultimately create an electrifying, integrated entertainment destination incorporating thrilling nightlife, world-class gaming, decadent cuisine and the heart of the Hard Rock brand, music,” Hard Rock says in a news release
“We’re thrilled to have been chosen by OLG to create Hard Rock Casino Ottawa,” Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International, said in a statement “This is a crucial first step towards a larger strategic vision of our world-class brand’s expansion efforts in Ontario and throughout Canada. We are honored to partner with RCR, a reputable and longstanding member of the Ottawa community, and look forward to working with both the RCR and OLG team members through the transition and beyond.”
Together, Hard Rock International and RCR will transform the existing property with a complete remodel, rebrand and significant expansion, leading to an economic development boost. The multi-phase project is expected to potentially create 1,900 construction-related jobs and 2,000 direct and indirect ongoing jobs.
“We are delighted to bring the iconic Hard Rock International casino operator to Ottawa,” said Andrew Wright, director of Rideau Carleton Raceway. “Rideau Carleton Raceway has partnered with Hard Rock to build a major tourist destination that will offer multi-level entertainment, energized horse racing, a broader market and substantial economic benefits for all of our employees, patrons, and the Ottawa community.”
The anticipated first phase of the capital investment project for Hard Rock Casino Ottawa is expected to be completed within the first year of operations, pending required approvals.
“It will encompass a dramatic renovation, including a redesign of the gaming floors. Additionally, phase one will include updates to the arrival experience, porte cochère, signage, racetrack and grandstand,” the announcement said.
Pending required approvals, the subsequent expansion program will bring the addition of a Hard Rock Hotel, Hard Rock Live entertainment venue, a Hard Rock Cafe & Center Bar, a Rock Shop where fans can purchase the brand’s iconic merchandise, innovative music displays and memorabilia from the brand’s curated collection, as well as more than 13,000 square meters of gaming space with additional slot machines and table games.