Hard Rock to develop BCN World mega-project on the Catalan Costa Dorada as Hard Rock Entertainment World

Hard Rock Entertainment World

The mega-project of hotels and casinos formerly know as BCN World will be developed by Hard Rock International, with a new name that leaves no room for doubt who’s behind the project.

After five years of twists and turns and no small amount of controversy the mega-development formerly known as BCN World will finally be developed by Hard Rock International, owner of the Hard Rock Cafe brand, under the name of Hard Rock Entertainment World.

US-based Hard Rock won the tender process to develop the project by default last week as the only company to submit a proposal and financial deposit after other bidders like Melco Crown pulled out.

Hard Rock say they will invest €2 billion in the leisure and tourism development located in Vila-Seca and Salou, next door to the Port Aventura theme park in Tarragona province, on the Catalan Costa Dorada, about an hour and a half south of Barcelona.

The BCN World project was original conceived to take the place of the failed attempt to attract a Eurovegas project backed by US casino magnate Sheldon Adelson in the same area. Adelson wanted a Vegas style project that proved impossible to approve in Spain.

Another controversial figure – Enrique Bañuelos, the poster-child of Spain’s speculative property boom – then became involved as the new promoter, but pulled out when the project ran into political opposition.

Hard Rock Entertainment World it is

Hard Rock’s goal is to make the resort “one of the biggest tourist destinations in Europe”. The projects emblematic building will be a Hard Rock hotel with 600 rooms in the shape of a guitar. They also plan to build one of the biggest casinos in Europe, with 1,200 one-armed bandits and 100 gaming tables.

The regional government of Catalonia has expressed support for the project that is expected to create more than ten thousands of jobs and boost the local economy, but a protest group called Stop BCN World is trying to block the urban plan.

Assuming it goes ahead, Hard Rock will break ground at the end of this year or the start of 2018. The current plan envisages a “ “unique combination of hotels and convention areas, with world-class entertainment, dining and shopping” plus a concert venue with a 15,000 person capacity. Outlet shopping destination operator Value Retail will manage a site of 10,000 m2 featuring more than 75 shops.

There is no mention of residential homes for sale in the current proposal as reported in the Spanish press, though it was a part of the original BCN World project. That may come later. But it’s a fair assumption that, if it does go ahead, this project will have an impact on the value of property in the area.

About Mark Stücklin

Mark Stücklin is a Barcelona-based Spanish property market analyst, and author of the 'Spanish Property Doctor' column in the Sunday Times (2005 - 2008). He can be reached by email on ms@spanishpropertyinsight.com. All articles published in good faith as a general guide but no substitute for professional advice. Please read the SPI disclaimer

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