Casino's guitar-shaped hotel is a rock star. Here's what's coming for the debut.

South Florida Sun Sentinel |

--The Seminole Hard Rock & Casino's audacious, $1.5 billion expansion is commanding the attention of commuters on highways, passengers aboard planes and residents near and far who've watched it rise the past two years.

The Hard Rock for the first time Thursday gave a sneak peek inside this behemoth, whose construction began two years ago and is now finally nearing completion. "What we're doing is we're putting the line in the sand: Hell or high water, we're going to open," Jim Allen, CEO of Hard Rock International, said Thursday at the sprawling Hollywood resort.

Here's a look at what you'll see when it opens on .

Big expansion

What has now become an integrated resort will be home to three hotel towers, including the 35-floor guitar structure, which contains 638 luxury guestrooms.

There is an adjacent "Oasis Tower" with 168 rooms overlooking a pool lagoon area dubbed "Bora Bora."

Chickee-cabanas will dot the banks of the pool, which also will include beach club dining and activities such as paddle boats and canoes.

Hotel rooms

All of the hotel rooms will be 515 square feet, which is well in excess of an industry standard of roughly 400 square feet.

Guests checking into the new hotel space will be greeted by "The Oculus," a continuous show of light, sound and waterfalls choreographed by computer programs.

From the Oasis Tower, guests can take in an overview of the lagoon with the guitar hotel looming above it.

Show venue

Whether visitors choose to just stay at the hotel, or gamble, shop, attend a conference, or do all of the above, the new $125 million Hard Rock Live venue promises to be a major cultural and entertainment attraction.

Approximately 100 concerts a year will be produced in the clam shell-shaped venue, which can seat up to 6,500 people. Configurations can be arranged for boxing, theatrical entertainment and award shows.

A view like no other

The Hard Rock in Hollywood also is unveiling an expanded casino gambling floor, a new Rock Spa, 13.5 acres of recreational waterscape, thousands of square feet in additional meeting and convention space, and a retail shopping area covered by a glass roof.

Allen noted "there has never been a building in the world shaped like a guitar."

But possibly the best line Thursday came from Cheyenne Kippenberger, who was recently anointed Miss Indian World 2019-20 in Albuquerque, N.M. , during an annual "Gathering of Nations" cultural event for Native Americans.

Kippenberger, 23, who grew up in Hollywood, told the audience how she watched the Seminole tribe's business grow exponentially "from bingo money, to cigarette money and now Hard Rock money."

The popular Los Angeles-based rock group Maroon 5 will deliver an inaugural performance at the Hollywood property on . The new hotel will start accepting bookings on .

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(c)2019 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

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