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Hard Rock names three new top executives

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Hard Rock International, controlled by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Wednesday announced three new top executives.


Jon Lucas will be the company’s new chief operating officer and “will oversee key company departments, in addition to brand operations,” according to a press release. He will report directly to Chairman and CEO Jim Allen.

He was previously executive vice president of hotel operations, where “he helped acquire Hard Rock casino and hotel rights throughout the western part of the U.S. and major international markets, spearheaded casino entry into Canada and entered the hotel management sector.”

The company is opening a fourth location in Florida later this year with the addition of the 200-room Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach.

That follows Hard Rock’s recent purchase of the former Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, and a deal to open a Hard Rock Casino in Ottawa, Canada. The company also wants to build a $1 billion casino in northern New Jersey just outside New York City.


Also, Dale Hipsh was promoted to senior vice president, “overseeing the entire hotel portfolio for Hard Rock International,” the release said. He previously served as vice president for hotel operations development.

And Sean Caffery joins the company to locate “new development locations, countries and partners for the casino business throughout North and South America.”

The Tribe last year consolidated its control over the rock ‘n’ roll-themed Hard Rock hotel and casino brand, buying out remaining rights from the owner-operator of Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

In Florida, Hard Rock-themed properties are now in Tampa, Hollywood (both include casinos) and Orlando.

Updated 3 p.m. — The company later on Wednesday announced that Stephen K. Judge, a 30-year veteran of the restaurant industry, will serve as president of cafe operations.

He will “oversee daily operations for the brand’s 176 worldwide corporate and franchise cafe locations, and steer Hard Rock’s world-renowned branded retail merchandise, while strengthening the Hard Rock Cafe portfolio.”

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