Hard Rock Deadwood officially opened its doors on August 8, 2023, making it the first of its kind in the prestigious Hard Rock International portfolio.
The grand opening ceremony was attended by various notable figures, including South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, representatives from the Seminole Tribe of Florida and South Dakota Sioux tribes, members of the Harley-Davidson family, music stars, and other notable personalities.
During the ceremony, Governor Noem emphasized the rich history and tourist appeal of the historic Deadwood town and the renowned Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. She expressed her belief that Rocksino by Hard Rock Deadwood would enhance the vacation experiences for countless individuals visiting South Dakota in the years to come.
She declared the day of the grand opening "Hard Rock Day" across the entire state. Rocksino by Hard Rock Deadwood presents a distinctive boutique hotel and casino experience. While it incorporates many elements that fans of the Hard Rock brand are familiar with, the property is designed on a smaller scale compared to their famous integrated resorts found in international cities.
The casino features 86 state-of-the-art slot machines, a full-service restaurant and bar offering craft cocktails and a delectable new menu, as well as an impressive collection of music memorabilia. Fans of the brand can also explore the on-site Rock Shop, which will showcase custom Rocksino by Hard Rock Deadwood apparel. Additionally, the property is set to unveil beautifully renovated luxury guest rooms later this year.
Jon Lucas, Chief Operating Officer at Hard Rock International, expressed the company's commitment to delivering authentic and memorable experiences for their guests, encompassing a fusion of music and cultural history. Lucas expressed his excitement at the Deadwood property coming to one of the most celebrated historical destinations in the country and their intention to contribute to the economic growth of Deadwood.
The opening of Rocksino by Hard Rock Deadwood received praise from Deadwood Mayor David Ruth, who acknowledged the efforts of Rocksino partners Steve Slowey and Marc Oswald in bringing the iconic Hard Rock brand to one of the most esteemed Wild West towns in the country. Mayor Ruth expressed his belief that the combination of Deadwood's rich Old West legacy and the Hard Rock experience will create an irresistible allure for visitors, solidifying the property as a must-visit attraction.
Further adding to the grand opening celebrations, Karen and Bill Davidson, descendants of one of the founders of the Harley-Davidson Motor Co., took to the Outlaw Square stage to honor the first Willie G. Invitational Deadwood Golf Tournament. In collaboration with the Hard Rock Heals Foundation, the Davidson family and Jon Lucas presented a generous donation of $40,000 to the Oglala Sioux Tribe Veterans Shelter, showcasing the commitment of the Rocksino brand to support local communities.
Highlighting the traditional Guitar Smash, a signature event synonymous with Hard Rock openings, 22 individuals participated in smashing guitars on stage. Interestingly enough though, these were Hollywood prop guitars, Big Kenny from the country music duo Big & Rich clarified. Hard Rock International actively donates thousands of real guitars to music students worldwide, reinforcing their dedication to supporting musical education.
To commence the festivities, the Wakinyan Luta Drum Circle from Pine Ridge, South Dakota, delivered a captivating performance, followed by an outdoor concert headlined by the chart-topping band Sublime with Rome. Despite their busy touring schedule, the band chose to grace the Black Hills of South Dakota with their presence, culminating in a memorable performance after the guitar smash.