Friday, January 18, 2013

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday January 18, 2013

Hard Rock to be partner in Mercanti casino

The company behind the popular Hard Rock Cafe is partnering with the Mercanti family to develop a casino in Hamilton’s downtown.

The Hamilton Spectator has learned Orlando-based Hard Rock International will be part of the well-known family’s project to be formally unveiled Feb. 6 to city councillors.

While well-known for its rock and roll café establishments, the company is also in the hotel and casino business. It announced Jan. 13 a Hard Rock Hotel and Casino redevelopment project on the site of the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Mass.

It operates casinos in Biloxi, Mississippi; Hollywood, Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Macau, China; Tamp, Florida; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Singapore.

P.J. Mercanti, the face of the casino project, could not be reached for comment Wednesday night. A spokesperson for Hard Rock could also not be reached.

Patriarch Peter Mercanti declined comment when approached by a Spectator reporter at a casino town hall meeting in Waterdown Wednesday night.

The Mercanti family operates the Carmen’s Banquet Centre and hotel on the east Mountain. They are set to takeover operation of the Hamilton Convention Centre this spring. reported Wednesday the project calls for a 700,000-square-foot, $250 million complex. It said the casino would have up to 1,200 slot machines and table games and could generate up to $200 million in revenue each year. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)