Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Proposed for Pope County

Warner Gaming, a hospitality and entertainment company operating resort properties throughout the western and midwestern United States, announced Tuesday that it has teamed up with the iconic Hard Rock brand to propose a new fully-integrated resort with casino gaming for Pope County, Arkansas.

In addition to state-of-the-art casino gaming, the resort planned for Arkansas River Valley will include a best-in-class hotel; a variety of dining options from casual to upscale; conference facilities; indoor and outdoor venues for live entertainment; and other amenities. “We aim to deliver to Pope County a facility that will attract visitors throughout the region and beyond,” said Bill Warner, owner and CEO of Warner Gaming. “With its truly global reach, the Hard Rock brand will help us do that.”

Having a presence in 75 countries — including 185 Hard Rock Cafes, 27 hotels and 11 casinos – the Hard Rock brand is one of the most recognizable in the world. “We are pleased with the opportunity to bring the Hard Rock brand to Arkansas and continue our relationship with the Warner Gaming team,” said Jon Lucas, chief operating officer of Hard Rock International.

The Warner Gaming team has a long history of success with the Hard Rock brand. Since 2011, Warner Gaming has managed the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2014, Warner Gaming opened the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City, Iowa after being awarded the gaming license in a competitive application process. The property has delivered a variety of economic and community benefits to Sioux City, a community with about 80,000 residents. “It’s great to have a community-minded partner that really understands that it’s not just about their corporate success but the success of our whole community,” said Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott. “Warner has delivered, and they continue to deliver

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City features a 4-diamond hotel, various restaurants that have become local favorites, a retail store, an indoor venue for live music and comedy, and Battery Park – an outdoor concert venue featuring world-class entertainment such as Chris Stapleton, Willie Nelson, Boston, Journey, the Counting Crows and Collective Soul. In less than five years, this venue has staged 563 shows and sold almost 300,000 tickets, with ticket purchases tracked from all 50 states in the U.S., six Canadian provinces, and a variety of countries throughout the world.

In 2015, the Iowa Tourism Office named the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City as the “Outstanding Attraction” for the entire state. In 2018, the Global Gaming Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada named the Battery Park venue as the “Outstanding Casino Arena/Amphitheater.”

“We feel that the accolades and recognition received by our Sioux City property have provided a tremendous tourism draw to the area,” said Warner. “We look forward to replicating this success in Arkansas.”

In November of 2018, Arkansas voters approved a constitutional amendment authorizing the issuance of four casino gaming licenses, including one for a location in Pope County, Arkansas. Warner Gaming will file its application with the Arkansas Racing Commission in May, which will include a proposal describing further details of the project.

“Arkansans have decided to keep the jobs and tax revenues associated with casino gaming within the state, and we are excited for the opportunity to be a part of that,” said Warner. “In the coming weeks, we will continue our discussions with Pope County residents so that we can get a feel for what the community would like to see in a project like this. Our past experience has taught us that community input and involvement is critical to our success.”

About Warner Gaming

Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, Warner Gaming is a hotel/casino development and management company operating in communities throughout the United States, including Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico and Washington. Warner Gaming was founded in 2008 by casino veteran Bill Warner, who owns the company and serves as its chief executive officer. Warner Gaming and Bill Warner have held 38 gaming licenses or suitability determinations to operate casinos in a total of 28 jurisdictions in the United States, Canada and Europe.

About Hard Rock International

With venues in 75 countries, including 185 cafes, 27 hotels and 11 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s most valuable collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise available in Rock Shops and online at https://shop.hardrock.com. HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands including Hard Rock Live performance venues. The company owns, operates and franchises Cafes in iconic cities including London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Dubai. HRI also owns, licenses and/or manages hotel/casino properties worldwide. Destinations include the company’s two most successful Hotel and Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, FL., both owned and operated by HRI parent entity The Seminole Tribe of Florida, as well as other exciting locations including Atlantic City, Bali, Cancun, Daytona Beach, Desaru Coast, Ibiza, Orlando, Shenzhen and San Diego. Upcoming new Hard Rock Cafe locations include Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street in the United Kingdom, Kathmandu, Nepal, Kyoto, Japan and Chandigarh, India. New Hard Rock Hotel, Casino or Hotel & Casino projects include Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Dublin, London, Los Cabos, Madrid, Maldives, New York City, Ottawa, Sacramento, Dalian and Haikou in China. In 2018, Hard Rock International was recognized as a Forbes Magazine Top Employer for Women and Land Operator of the Year at the Global Gaming Awards. In 2019, Hard Rock International was honored as one of Forbes America’s Best Large Employers. For more information on Hard Rock International visit www.hardrock.com.