Hard Rock Estimates a Year-Long Recovery

Although many hotels, restaurants and casinos around the world remain unsure of when they reopen again due to the coronavirus pandemic, many owners and employees are hopeful that recovery will be quick.

However, the CEO of the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s gaming company and chairman of Hard Rock International, Jim Allen, told CNBC that he does not expect business to be as busy as it had been prior to the outbreak.

“There’s going to be a real challenge, especially here in the United States, as far as ramping the business back up. We’re planning on that taking a year,” he said.

According to Allen, the presence of Hard Rock properties around the world has given the company insight into the progression of the coronavirus.

When China, the origin of the COVID-19 strain, began to reopen businesses after a steady decrease in reported coronavirus cases, Hard Rock reopened its Chinese properties. However, Allen noted that the properties did not see the amount of business that they were hoping for.

“We reopened the Shenzhen Hotel, obviously [in] a global city in China. Beautiful property. Occupancy is right now at 12%. We’ve been reopen for a good 3 1/2, almost four weeks,” said Allen.

Many Hard Rock establishments, such as Hard Rock Hotel Shenzhen, rely almost exclusively on tourism. As Allen tells CNBC, “If you look at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square [in New York City], a restaurant that does $50 million in actual sales, that’s all tourism. … London is tourism.”

Locations that rely on regional clientele are also at risk as summer draws near with no promises that self-quarantine and social distancing policies will be lifted.

Allen even expresses concern for Hard Rock’s properties in Florida, which are some of the brand’s most profitable businesses. While Florida’s properties are “more of a regional business” and the Florida government is beginning to relax its stay-at-home policies, Allen does not believe the surge in business will last long.

“While we see a ramp up, when we see the beaches in Jacksonville as crowded as they were, that seems like that’s kind of exciting,” he said. “But I think that’s just the initial get-out-of-the-house [push].”

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