Hard Rock took initiative at the Hokkaido IR Showcase on Wednesday with a presentation of their master plan for Hokkaido. Chairman Jim Allen presented a building model of their proposed property, making sure to namedrop Japanese electronics heavyweight NEC for their facial recognition technology and luxury hospitality brand Four Seasons for their high-end hotels.
According to Allen’s presentation, the property will offer over 1,500 rooms and 200,000 square feet of retail, a cultural exhibit for the Ainu people, a Broadway Show experience hall, a Hard Rock Live concert arena seating 10,000 in attendance, a music Hall of Fame honoring international and Japanese artists, a Yankees Baseball area, cherry-blossom parks, winter wonderland entertainment areas, an international wellness center, and a direct train route to the resort.
The Seminole-owned resort, casino, and restaurant operator has been aggressive in their pursuit of an IR license in Hokkaido. Last November, they became a top partner of the J1 Football League team Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo. This was soon followed by an official sponsorship for an ice sculpture exhibit at the popular Sapporo Snow Festival slated for early February.
While it seems the Hokkaido IR license race is in full swing, a heavy cloud hangs over proceedings in the form of the gubernatorial elections this April. Current governor Harumi Takahashi’s successor will hold the key as to whether or not the northernmost prefecture of Japan will in fact be one of the first IR license locations. (AGB Nippon)