News: Hard Rock Café chain mulls hotel, casino in RP -
27 Oct 2007
Hard Rock International, the company behind the global café chain, is considering an expansion in its Philippine operations to include hotel and casino ventures, its top executives said.
In a press briefing yesterday, Hard Rock president and chief executive officer Hamish Dodds said they are contemplating on putting up a hotel, a casino and two more cafes in the country by next year. The additional structures would entail investments of at least $160 million, he said.
Dodds, along with Seminole Gaming chief executive Jim Allen, arrived in the country to scout for new business opportunities and oversee the upgrading of the existing Hard Rock Café in Makati’s Glorietta complex. Their visit is part of an exploratory swing in Asia by the international food and entertainment chain.
The Makati outlet will be upgraded to a more cosmopolitan look as part of the group’s global activities after Florida-based Seminole Tribe acquired Hard Rock for $965 million in December last year.
The acquisition included the Hard Rock brand, the world’s largest collection of authentic music memorabilia, the 68 company-owned Hard Rock café restaurants and retail stores, including 44 in the US, three in Canada, 17 throughout Europe and three in Australia.
It likewise includes licensing or franchise agreements for another 56 restaurants and five hotels, plus Hard Rock live performance venues.
“There are a lot of upsides in increasing investments in the Philippines. It (government) must implement more responsible economic, political and investment policies to create a better environment,” Dodds said. He said they are seriously looking at Cebu as a site for another café, as well as “one more in one of the big cities.”
He also said they are not discounting the possibility of entering into a joint venture with local or foreign players in expanding operations in the Philippines.
In fact, Dodds said they are indeed looking at various modes of business partnerships that could benefit their expansion plans in the Asia Pacific region.