Hard Rock Casino coming to Metro Vancouver

A Hard Rock Casino is coming to Vancouver.

Great Canadian Gaming Corporation will announce Wednesday the Boulevard Casino in Coquitlam will be renovated and rebranded as the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver after securing a license for the international casino franchise.

The multi-million dollar facelift will include the existing casino space and theatre, and add seven dining areas and restaurants, three additional live music and entertainment space and rock and roll memorabilia highlighting Canadian musicians.

Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCGC) had already secured approval from the City of Coquitlam to add a hotel and conference hall to the casino last year.

“It’s the most major facelift of that property we’ve ever done,” said Howard Blank, vice president of GCGC. “We toured the Hard Rock Casinos around the world and each is designed with its own feel. Ours will still be Hard Rock and hip and cool, but very subtle. We really want to focus on Canadian music and celebrate the local indie scene, too.”

Indie music and casinos don’t traditionally mix, but Blank thinks it can work.

“A lot of acts stay away from casinos and the fact is casinos didn’t want them either, it’s more about the meat and potato acts,” he said. “We’re trying to be as diverse as possible.”

Blank says the Boulevard, and Richmond’s RiverRock, has done a good job attracting big name entertainers who don’t typically tour casinos and the Hard Rock moniker will help them further expand that line-up.

While other groups have tried, and failed, building so-called “destination” casinos in the Vancouver area, GCGC says it’s focused on catering to locals as a one-stop entertainment venue.

The Hard Rock Casino Vancouver is schedule to open winter 2013.

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