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Hard Rock International breaks ground on Greece Hotel Resort Casino

Hard Rock International will soon be opening a luxury resort and casino in Athens, Greece. The hospitality company teamed up with GEK TERNA Group for the ground breaking of the property at the decommissioned Hellinikon Airport.

The 30-year concession is a partnership between Hard Rock International (51%) and GEK TERNA Group (49%), with the latter being also responsible for the entire construction of the project, which is expected to begin within the first months of 2023 and last close to 3 years, setting the opening of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Athens in 2026.

When it opens in 2027 in Athens Riviera, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Athens will be the first integrated resort of its kind in Europe. The property is expected to boost economy for the entertainment and tourism sectors in the city.

Image: Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen with Greek political dignitaries, key members from development partner Gek Terna and local dignitaries break ground in Athens for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Athens, scheduled to open in 2027.

The property will comprise of an upscale hotel, world-class gaming area, meeting and convention space, entertainment area, F&B venues, a luxury spa and pool complex and high-end retail space.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Athens will have 180 tables, 1,500 gaming machines and a tower comprising 1,100 guest rooms and 15 dining options. The property is also expected to include a 3,000-seat Hard Rock Live theater with standing room for around 4,000 persons along with a spa and fitness center.

The €1.5 billion ($1.65 billion) project is expected to generate 3,000 construction jobs and 3,000 permanent jobs.

Image: Rendering of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Athens.

While announcing its partnership with GEK TERNA for the project in 2022, Hard Rock said in a statement that the project will have the highest outdoor rooftop terrace in Athens with a rooftop pool deck.

The design of the property is inspired from basic Greek elements, such as the sea, arts and ancient mythology. The central tower will be built on three levels and have different orientations corresponding to the reference points located in the imaginary triangle formed around the project — the Acropolis, sea and Mount Hymettus.

“Today is a very special day as we celebrate this momentous occasion to bring our unique brand of world class entertainment to Athens,” said Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International. “We are grateful to all the political leaders, our partners at GEK TERNA and the people of Athens for supporting us and this project.”

The property will grow Hard Rock’s existing presence in Europe. The company currently has 300 locations — including owned/licensed or manages hotels, casinos, Rock Shops, Live Performance Venues and cafes — across 70 countries.

The project is part of the Greek government and Lamda Development’s vision to transform the historic Hellinikon Airport into Athens Riviera, a redevelopment which will enhance the tourism industry of Athens and Greece.

“We are realizing an investment much higher than its already significant nominal value, offering Greece a development project that will be a reference point for our country’s tourism product internationally, will offer employment to thousands of people and yield significant revenues to the national budget. A project with high domestic added value, as all our investments have always intended,” said George Peristeris, chairman and CEO of GEK TERNA Group.

“The Integrated Resort Complex in Hellinikon is no longer a promise, vision or a plan. It is a project that is already being built, proving in practice that we implement our commitments,” Peristeris said.

With investment worth €8 billion ($8.82 billion), the regenerated airport will also feature beachfront villas and shopping centers.

Image: When it opens in 2027, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Athens will feature an upscale hotel, a gaming floor and multiple F&B venues

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Athens is the newest addition to Hard Rock International’s extensive portfolio with venues in over 70 countries spanning 265 locations that include owned/licensed or managed Hotels, Casinos, Rock Shops®, Live Performance Venues and Cafes.

About Hard Rock®:

Hard Rock International (HRI)  is one of the most globally recognized companies with venues in over 70 countries spanning 265 locations that include owned/licensed or managed Rock Shops®, Live Performance Venues and Cafes. HRI also launched a joint venture named Hard Rock Digital in 2020, an online sportsbook, retail sportsbook and internet gaming platform. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s largest and most valuable collection of authentic music memorabilia at more than 86,000 pieces, which are displayed at its locations around the globe. In 2022, Hard Rock was honored as one of Forbes Magazine’s Best Employers for Diversity and a Top Large Employer in the Travel & Leisure, Gaming, and Entertainment Industry. Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal also designated Hard Rock as a U.S. Best Managed Company for the second year in a row in 2022. In 2021, Hard Rock was ranked top performing hotel brand in J.D. Power’s North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study for the third consecutive year and named Forbes Magazine’s Top Employers for Women. The brand is owned by HRI parent entity The Seminole Tribe of Florida. For more information on Hard Rock International, visit www.hardrock.com or shop.hardrock.com. 

About GEK TERNA Group:
GEK TERNA Group is one of the leading and most extrovert Greek business Groups, with a significant presence abroad. With 3,500 employees worldwide, and total investments of more than €2.3 bn during the recent years, GEK TERNA actively supports the Greek economy, continuing its growth path with the same commitment and creativity. The Group has a leading position in the fields of infrastructure, energy production, supply and trade from thermal sources and RES, concessions, waste management and real estate development & management. GEK TERNA Group has a significant construction backlog, which along with the projects to be signed amounts to 4.9 billion euros, while the total investments implemented by the Group or in which the Group participates, currently exceeding 6.5 billion Euros. GEK TERNA (www.gekterna.com) is listed in the Athens Stock Exchange (FTSE / Athex Large Cap).