Step inside the $400 million Hard Rock Hotel New York, and you'll be immersed in the music history of the city.
The midtown Manhattan-based establishment was one of the first brand new hotels to open in the Big Apple since the pandemic. Sound waves were the inspiration for the floors and headboards, while memorabilia from Les Paul, Bob Dylan, and more decorate the lobby. And, it's a perfect location to visit and enjoy New York.
"What makes New York City so special for hundreds of years is it's just so exciting for people to come and see," said Jim Allen, Hard Rock International chairman. "It has the history. It is the financial capital of the world. So much innovation happens in New York City. And, certainly having the Hard Rock brand as part of it from a hotel standpoint is something that we're very honored to be a part of."
The hotel had been in the works since 2015 and opened officially on May 12 just in time to welcome travelers eager to pick up where they left off since the pandemic put the world on pause. According to a survey from TripIt, 82 percent of Americans have traveled this summer. What's more 98 percent of people plan to travel this year, including people who have already taken trips.
"The demand is increasing," said Karin Kopano, Hard Rock managing director. "And we want to be the catalyst here in this location to welcome our guests, and what definitely we see is that it's heading in the positive direction."
On top of luxury hotel rooms that start at $475 a night, Hard Rock Hotel New York hopes to attract tourists and locals alike with its restaurant NYY steak and rooftop bar RT 60. The space is also home to subterranean The Venue on Music Row, a concert venue that can host intimate performances of up to 400 people.
"I've been to a lot of the rooftop locations in the city of New York, and frankly, globally," said Jim Allen, Hard Rock International chairman. "And I haven't seen one nicer than this."
Allen is cautiously optimistic that the majority of COVID-19-related issues are in the past. Either way the hotel is investing in New York for the long run, and the chain is looking at expanding investments in other locations now that people are willing to spend money on experiences again.
"We are looking at different sites when the state offers the opportunity for an integrated resort, which, you know, there will be three licenses awarded," he explained. "We anticipate that would happen sometime in the year 2023."
And with New York tourism expected to reach 56.7 million people in 2022, and grow to 63.7 million visitors in 2023 according to NYC & Company, Allen believes it's the place to be.
"It's New York, the most significant international gateway city in the world," Allen said.