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About 1,000 turn out for opening of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in downtown Sioux City


SIOUX CITY, Iowa — About 1,000 people turned out for the opening of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in downtown Sioux City.

Hard Rock executives, Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott and others who had a hand in the project christened the new casino by smashing gleaming electric guitars on the concrete outside the casinos doors, the Sioux City Journal reported ( ).

The casino opened after a bruising legal fight at the hands of the owners of the nearby Argosy riverboat casino, whose parent company lost its bid to the Hard Rock operators last year for a land-based casino in Sioux City. The casino took its last bets last week.

The 30,000-square-foot Hard Rock casino floor boasts 839 slot machines and 25 table games, including blackjack, craps and roulette. An oversized guitar, with wood and metal accents, flashes over the floor, which is also illuminated with decorative light fixtures bearing purple drum sticks. The hotel has 54 hotel rooms constructed from the renovated Battery Building, a four-story warehouse built in 1906.

Millions of dollars in artifacts from rock and roll history — ranging from the Beatles to Kid Rock — are displayed in glass cases throughout the property.

Ryan Groetken, of Le Mars, was the first in line to get in to the new casino.

"I just wanted to come down early and see everything as close as I could," he said.

The Argosy took its last bets Wednesday after the Iowa Supreme Court rejected its request that it be allowed to remain open while its owners pursued court action. The casino's parent, Penn National Gaming Co., wanted to remain open while appealing an April ruling by the gaming commission that ordered the casino to close because it doesn't meet license requirements.

Information from: Sioux City Journal,

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