OTTAWA, Ontario – February 15, 2018 – As customers of the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino continue to enjoy a newly-renovated gaming room featuring popular games such as Blackjack, Baccarat, Pai Gow and Poker, Hard Rock International and the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino moved forward with plans for phases 2 and 3 of its joint venture, “Hard Rock Ottawa”; a unique and dynamic entertainment destination planned for the Nation’s Capital.
Pending approval of the Zoning By-law Amendment Application filed with the City of Ottawa, Hard Rock Ottawa plans to invest more than $318 million over the course of six-years on a multi-phased project which is expected to create close to 4,000 direct and indirect jobs, as well as provide significant economic development in rural Ottawa and beyond. The project is funded entirely by the private sector and is expected to generate $206 million dollars in tax revenue for the Province of Ontario, the Federal Government and the City of Ottawa, after phase 3 - including over $12.8 million in annual revenue for the City of Ottawa, which will double current revenues, once fully operational. Over the first ten years of operations, the expansion and additional gaming tables are expected to generate $43 million in new revenues for the City of Ottawa.
The Zoning By-law Amendment Application seeks permission from the City of Ottawa for only four items related to the expansion:
1. The addition of a hotel.
2. An increase to the permitted building height, in order to accommodate a hotel.
3. The addition of a “theatre” as a permitted use, for 2,500 seat Hard Rock Live venue.
4. The addition of 20 live gaming tables, which would bring the number of tables that could be phased-in over time to a total of 55.
The project was awarded to Hard Rock International and Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino by the Government of Ontario, through the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) in 2017. The OLG has been working on a modernization plan for the casino operations at the raceway location since 2012, and in 2013, City Council pronounced the Albion Road site as the only acceptable location for an expanded gaming operation in Ottawa. Gaming has taken place at the site since 1962, and slots were installed in 2000 in order to provide a boost to the harness horse racing industry and the rural economy.
“We are excited to have this opportunity to create a vibrant entertainment destination for not only residents of Ottawa, but for the millions of tourists that visit the Nation’s Capital each year,” said Jim Allen, Chairman of Hard Rock International. “Our commitment is to develop a world-class facility while ensuring the highest standards of customer service and responsible gaming practices.”
“Our application for rezoning puts us that much closer to breaking ground on a project that we are confident will re-energize the Ottawa entertainment scene and give our local economy and horse racing industry a significant boost,” said Andrew Wright, Director of the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino. “With over 225 venues in 75 countries worldwide, Hard Rock has a proven track record of success; we are thrilled to partner with this exciting organization.”
The development of a high-quality gaming and entertainment destination in Ottawa is expected to recapture much of the estimated $60 million that Ottawa-area residents and tourists are spending annually across the river in Quebec on their gaming entertainment.
The modernization at the current site is also an opportunity to create an entertainment-driven destination for the City’s changing demographics, with the latest and newest amenities, while at the same time enhancing the horse racing programming and gaming features Ottawa residents have enjoyed for more than 55 years.
At the end of the construction phases, the Hard Rock Ottawa project will see the current Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino facility completely rebranded and redesigned to include: some of the world’s greatest music memorabilia; four new restaurants including the Hard Rock Café; The Rock Shop, with collectible fashion and merchandise; and Hard Rock Live performance venue, featuring talents and musicians such as Mary J. Blige, Rod Stewart and Jerry Seinfeld.
As part of its application process with the City of Ottawa, Hard Rock Ottawa will be participating in a formal public consultation, details for which can be found at www.hardrockottawa.com.
For more information, please contact:
Chris Froggatt, NATIONAL Public Relations
In March 2012, following the direction of the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) announced its modernization plan to build a new model for lottery and gaming in Ontario by expanding private sector involvement, capitalizing on private sector innovation and expertise.
In May 2017, the OLG selected HR Ottawa, LP (known as "Hard Rock Ottawa") as the service provider for the Ottawa Area Gaming Bundle 1, following a competitive procurement process. The Hard Rock Casino Ottawa partnership consists of HR LP Investor Inc. (owned by Hard Rock International) and RCR Investor Inc. (owned by Rideau Carleton Raceway Holdings Limited). As part of the service agreement, the Hard Rock International took over the day-to-day operations of the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino in September 2017.
The OLG will continue to maintain regulatory control and accountability while the capital costs of expansion of gaming facilities will be taken on by the private sector.
Hard Rock International and the Rideau Carleton Raceway plan to invest more than $318 million over a multi-phase construction process that will develop a uniquely integrated entertainment destination in Ottawa. This project is expected to create 1,900 direct and indirect construction jobs and 2,000 direct and indirect on-going jobs. After phase 3, the number of direct on-site jobs is projected to increase from 400 today to more than 880.
The three phases of the development are anticipated to increase the annual tax revenue generated by the casino and raceway for the City of Ottawa, the Province of Ontario and the Federal Government. The total annual economic impacts after phase 3 of the development is projected to be more than $927 million dollars from incremental, direct, indirect and induced economic impacts.
Today the city receives annual revenues of $6 million from the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino. Following the phase 1 expansion, which includes the opening of 35 tables, annual revenues will increase by $1.5 million to a total of $7.5 million, and up to $12.8 million following the expansion. The expansion and additional tables are expected to generate $43 million in additional revenues for the City of Ottawa over the first ten years of operations.
Phase 1 (Starting in 2018)
Internal renovations to existing casino and redesign of parking area
• Construction Cost – $44,000,000
• Number of slot machines to remain the same (1250)
• Addition of 35 gaming tables
• Close to 500 full time jobs
Phase 2 (2019 – 2023)
Expansion of casino facility – including addition of our famous Steakhouse Restaurants, Hard Rock Live music venue, Hard Rock Café, Velvet Lounge and additional gaming tables and slot machines
• Construction Cost – $205,000,000
• 150,783 ft2 (14,008 m2) addition to the casino
• Addition of 750 slot machines (total = 2,000)
• Addition of 20 gaming tables (total = 55)
• Steakhouse Restaurant with 150 seats
• Hard Rock Live – 2,500 seats with 80 shows/year
• Hard Rock Café with 200 seats
• Buffet to remain the same
• Velvet Lounge to include 40 seats
• Close to 820 full time jobs
Phase 3 (2023 - 2024)
• Construction Cost – $80,000,000
• Construction of hotel with 200 rooms, 8 breakout/meeting rooms included in the hotel
• 8 stories on top of a 1.5 storey podium – request 40 metres maximum permitted building
• Construction of a parking garage
• Additional 20 gaming tables phased in over 20 years
• Over 880 full time jobs