Hundreds of people flocked to the opening of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Friday.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
It's been a long, drawn out process, but the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is finally open.
And with it, hundreds of casino-goers flocked to the grand opening Friday evening in downtown Sioux City.
The opening of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino was certainly a spectacle this evening, as MRHD president Mark Monson called it the biggest thing to happen to Sioux City ever.
But there was no ribbon cutting. Instead, it was only fitting that the Hard Rock was opened in a more "musical" way.
A guitar smashing formally opened the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
The lines were mighty long for the opening of Sioux City's newest casino, which features 25 table games, 835 slot machines, three restaurants and four bars.
Aaron Lewis, the lead singer of the band Staind, was also on hand to issue the first dice roll in the new casino.
Getting this operation underway is something that Sioux City Entertainment president Bill Warner has looked forward to.
"I could see it immediately that we could fit in to this community and the Hard Rock brand with a resort experience, entertainment experience like hopefully, you'll agree, you'll see in a few minutes here, that can meet your expectations" said Warner. "Really create a great place for you to come for years and years and years."
And Warner isn't the only one excited - with people coming in to check out the casino from all over Siouxland, gamblers of all ages are ready to welcome the casino to Sioux City.
"I think it's kind of exciting for Sioux City, to have something new, something different," said Dave Sandvick. "I'm glad that Sioux City did something and we're trying to move forward."
"I am excited," said Marcella Gothier. "We like seeing the places and we're excited about seeing what's inside."
A lot of excitement as people walked through the doors the first time, and not just from the customers.
General manager Todd Moyer says that this day is something he's been waiting for for a long time.
And, now that that day is finally here, the Hard Rock is ready to rock.
KTIV's Kayah Gausman also contributed to this story.
350 days, 128 and a half million dollars, and 100,000 square feet.
That's what it took to create the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in downtown Sioux City.
"This team behind me is rocked and ready. They're excited, and we can't wait to open the doors to the public," Moyer said.
The facility didn't come to be this customer-ready without a little chaotic back stage effort, according to Warwick Stone, the memorabilia curator for all Hard Rock locations.
"You're seeing it all nice and clean. It's been a construction zone for the last week. I've been fearing for the health of my exhibits," Stone said.
While chaos certainly made an appearance during the fast-paced remodel of Sioux City's historic Battery Building, General Manager Todd Moyer said he was never worried about getting it done on time.
"Never a doubt. We started this project 350 days ago with this deadline in mind. We knew we were going to make it. We kept our heads down, we kept working fast and furious, and straight ahead," Moyer said.
The team of curators started the day there was a blueprint, saying that they tailored their memorabilia selections to the taste of the Midwest, so that they made sure everybody could find their favorite artist.
"We've got a wide range of things, from punk to soul, and rock to roll, I tell you," Stone said.
"We're going to rotate the cases in and out, and we're going to get some great things. We'll find your favorite artist, don't worry," Moyer said.
The memorabilia lines the halls, winding between the gaming floor and into the three restaurants.
Main + Abbey, World Tour, and Fuel all feature musician-specific foods and decor.
Even Anthem, the indoor entertainment venue, has that Hard Rock feel that's expected with the brand, and it all came together in time.
"Everything clears up at the last minute, and here we are. We're sparkling, and looking lovely," Stone said.
Moyer says the big names behind the project never could have gotten it done without the dedication and effort of Siouxland's finest.
"The key to our success has been the great construction team members, right here in Sioux City, and all the community people that came together to build this place," Moyer said.
A place, Moyer says, he hopes will call downtown Sioux City home, for years to come.
Sioux City's newest entertainment venue opens Friday at 8 p.m.
There's still a lot of activity inside as the finishing touches are put on the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
But the facility is basically complete, and it's absolutely beautiful inside.
The casino floor is covered with slot machines, card tables, and Hard Rock style musician memorabilia.The memorabilia comes from a rotating collection worth almost $100-million.
Warwick Stone, the memorabilia curator for all Hard Rock locations has been in Sioux City for the last week, and said the deadline got tight as today neared.
"You're seeing it all nice and clean. It's been a construction zone for the last week. I've been fearing for the health of my exhibits," Warwick Stone, the Memorabilia Curator said.
However, general manager of the Sioux City Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Todd Moyer, said there was never any doubt in his mind that they'd complete the project on time, because of the enthusiasm and dedication of the team.
"We've been excited since the day we broke ground, since the day we won the gaming license here in Woodbury County. Our prize is right behind us. We've just been focused on getting here and getting to this very special day. That's been my mission, and I'm proud to say, mission accomplished," Todd Moyer, the general manager said.
That mission wasn't accomplished without some hard work, however.
The $128.5-million facility went up in just 350 days.
KTIV's Kayah Gausman toured the Hard Rock and will have more from the inside on News 4 starting at 5 p.m. ?