California’s Hard Rock Opens with a Smash
With the ritual smashing of a guitar, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento opened the largest, most competitive casino resort in Northern California.
The $450 million Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain lived up to its name last week, opening October 30 with a guitar smash (the Hard Rock version of a ribbon-cutting) and kicking off a celebration that was planned to last through the weekend with a concert by Def Leppard at Toyota Amphitheater, which is about a mile from the casino.
Fire Mountain is the 12th Hard Rock-branded property owned by the company and the first in the Golden State. The project broke ground in 2016. It employs 1,300 permanent employees, 70 percent of them from the Yuba-Sutter area.
The resort in Wheatland is a joint venture of the Estom Yumeka Maidu Tribe of the Enterprise Rancheria of Northern California and Hard Rock International. The former has been waiting since 2002 for a casino; that’s the year it applied to the Department of the Interior to put land into trust.
The resort includes a casino with 1,587 slots and 57 gaming tables, high-limit gaming rooms, 169 hotel rooms and suites, the Kumi Event Center, convention space and a ballroom, outdoor pool and deck area. The hotel rooms offer Crosley turntables and Fender guitars that can be reserved to play in the room (with headphones.)
Dining includes six restaurants total: two Asian restaurants, Council Oak Steaks and Seafood, a Fresh Harvest buffet, and of course, the iconic Hard Rock Café.
Jon Lucas, chief operating officer of Hard Rock International, hailed the debut, saying, “We are extremely excited that Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain is able to open its doors to locals, travelers, and lovers of the Hard Rock brand. The development of the property has been such an amazing endeavor, and we could not have done it without the incredible partnership between the Enterprise Rancheria Tribe and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.”
Tribal Chairwoman Glenda Nelson declared, “This project is the first of its kind, with two tribes joining together to bring this integrated resort to life. We are proud of our partnership with Hard Rock and the Seminole Tribe, and we are enthusiastic to continue collaborating to provide guests with an unparalleled entertainment destination experience.”
Mark Birtha, president of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain, added, “Guests are welcomed with our unique brand of Hard Rock hospitality; it’s a combination of the vibe of our beautifully designed building blended with the passion for service from our team members.”
Hard Rock’s signature collection of hundreds of pieces of music memorabilia were highlighted by a Harley-Davidson motorcycle once owned by Eddie Van Halen. “It’s almost like we’re creating a Vegas-style experience right here in Northern California,” Birtha said.
The opening festivities included a $100,000 donation from the Hard Rock Heals Foundation and the casino to the Enterprise Community Foundation, the charity operated by the Enterprise Rancheria Tribe.