Sioux City Entertainment defends Hard Rock brand for future casi - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Sioux City Entertainment defends Hard Rock brand for future casino

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

One of the proposals for a new casino in Sioux City is a Hard Rock Casino. It's a familiar name.

But one New Mexico Casino decided to drop the brand this week.

After less than three years, Isleta Pueblo is dumping the Hard Rock name.

That's even after spending millions to use the name and update the look of their facilities. 

"Isleta wants to go back to what they've been for the past 20 years previous to Hard Rock. And that's bring back the values of the tribe back into the property. The whole overtone of Hard Rock just didn't seem to fit right into this community," said Hard Rock Casino and Hotel CEO Pam Gallegos.

In an October Pueblo newsletter, Pueblo officials said the owner of the franchise did not live up to a contract agreement to provide marketing, management training and services.

The newsletter also said the Pueblo was trying to reduce a $1,000,000 Hard Rock franchise payment, due at the end of 2012.

Sioux City Entertainment, the company hoping to put a Hard Rock Casino in downtown Sioux City, is backing the Hard Rock brand.

It's teamed up with the current Woodbury County gaming license holder, Missouri River Historical Development, to submit a proposal to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

Sioux City Entertainment President Bill Warner calls Hard Rock Casino one of the most iconic and widely recognizable names and brands world wide, and a good fit for Sioux City.

Bill Warner, Sioux City Entertainment said, "The hard rock brand is a fantastic brand. It's a growing brand. There are 17 resorts from either hotels or casinos around the world. There's seven more being built right now."

Their proposal would transform the Battery Building near 3rd and Water streets in a casino destination.

While he says the Hard Rock brand may not have fit the New Mexico tribal Casino, he calls it a fit for Sioux City because of the music and concert connection this city has.

Bill Warner, Sioux City Entertainment said, "I'm confident we've put together a proposal that can generate more revenue for the city, more revenue for the state and more tourism for Sioux City."

Sioux City Entertainment is one of three groups trying to land the new gaming license. Penn National and Ho Chunk Inc. have also submitted proposals.

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