Officials: Daytona Hard Rock on track for February opening

DAYTONA BEACH — The World’s Most Famous Beach could be jumping to the sounds of the long-awaited Hard Rock Hotel as soon as this coming Valentine’s Day.

That is the tentative target opening date for the new oceanfront resort under construction on the site of the former Desert Inn at 918 N. Atlantic Ave.

While the exterior still looks unfinished to passersby along S.R. A1A, hotel officials who recently met with The Daytona Beach News-Journal’s Editorial Board, said the inside of the planned 200-room hotel is “very close” to being finished.

The hotel has already begun accepting reservations on its website, although March 1 is the first day rooms are currently available for booking.

“We can’t share a specific opening date right now … but it could be as early as Feb. 14,” said Kevin Hines, the hotel’s general manager. He added that the opening will definitely be in “early 2018.”


Hines and Susan Keaveney, the hotel’s director of marketing, said the rock music-themed hotel, when it finally opens, will be unlike anything the Daytona Beach area has ever seen.

“It’s spectacular. It is going to be a four-diamond hotel,” said Keaveney, formerly director of marketing for The Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach Shores, the area’s only AAA Auto Club’s four-diamond-rated hotel.

In keeping with the Hard Rock’s other locations, the Daytona Beach hotel, which will be just the 25th internationally and fourth in Florida, will be chock full of luxury amenities, all with a twist that incorporates music, both in its decor as well as in its offering of live music several days a week throughout the year.

“The brand is all about music,” said Keaveney, who along with Hines, wore a guitar-shaped pin bearing the words “Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach.” Hard Rock pins are collectible items only available for purchase on-site at the hotels.

“People travel all over the world just to get a pin — it’s not available online,” Hines said.

The hotel will also have displays of rock music memorabilia, some possibly with a local connection, said Hines and Keaveney.

“It will literally be an on-site music museum,” Hines said. “That’s one of the draws of the Hard Rock.”

When asked if the memorabila could be related to the Allman Brothers, the legendary Southern rock band whose founding leaders were from Daytona Beach, or other Florida rockers such as Lynrd Skynrd or Tom Petty, Hines said, “We like to keep it as a surprise (but) they would seem like obvious choices.”

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