At the launch for developer Bart Blatstein's Provence in October, Blatstein—who's proposing a casino/entertainment complex on North Broad in the old Inquirer building—he spoke warmly of Hard Rock Cafe International's involvement, which came after looking at many other candidates. Hard Rock International's CEO Jim Allen was at the event, and spoke rather giddily of the partnership as well; it was clear both parties were excited about working together. Hard Rock has a successful location in Philadelphia and a longstanding interest in an area casino. Plans were in the works for a casino-hotel in AC, but last year Hard Rock International reversed position and said the casino wouldn't happen after all.
Regarding Blatstein and Hard Rock, the wedding's off. Not a matter of tomato-tomahto, it seems, but of speed: Blatstein says Hard Rock's owner, the Seminole Tribe, isn't moving fast enough to get the necessary work done for the licensing process. Enter Isle of Capri, which runs casinos in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi and in Fayette County, Pa. The current casinos they operate have a sort of goofy aesthetic, but then, casinos that are pretty and sleek don't necessarily do good business (hello, Revel!).
· Developer Bart Blatstein has a new operator for his proposed North Broad Street casino [Inquirer]