Dominican Republic tourist deaths: Find out why so many visitors are dying

June 25, 2019

by Kevin Lucas

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana n Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Photo courtesy of Hard Rock International)

The number of tourists suddenly dying in the Dominican Republic has hit alarming numbers. As of this writing, 11 U.S. tourists have died in the Dominican Republic from June 2018 to June 2019. Almost all of the deaths were reported as sudden. The people who died of ailments were those who had failure of internal organs, such as their heart or lungs. A few of the deaths were violent murders, while some passed away from car accidents. What all these tourists have in common is that they stayed at resorts in the Dominican Republic. The State Department has not released official information on U.S. citizens who died of natural causes in the Dominican Republic.

According to Business Insider, there has been a massive increase in complaints of tourists saying that they felt that they had been unintentionally poisoned while in the Bahamas. The website has received 1,600 complaints so far in 2019, compared to 10 in 2018. More than 700 complaints were traced back to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana.

Several of the people who suspected that they had been poisoned after consuming alcohol from their room’s minibars or by eating food served buffet style at these resorts.

A Hard Rock Hotel and Casino spokesperson told Business Insider: “The Ministry of Public Health in the Dominican Republic has released further information on the American tourists who passed away in 2019, including autopsy findings that reveal these deaths were unrelated and from natural causes and pre-existing conditions. We are deeply saddened by these unfortunate incidents, and extend our sincerest sympathy to the families of those affected. We will continue to respect the privacy of our guests and their families.”

According to CNN, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana has now removed alcoholic beverages from its minibars and started dispensing hand sanitizer for guests and face masks for staff members.

Hard Rock Hotel to open in Daytona Beach in 2017

June 13, 2017

Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach
Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach (Rendering courtesy of Hard Rock International)

The following is a press release from Hard Rock International:

 Hard Rock International announces plans to open its fourth property in Florida, bringing the brand’s iconic vibe to Daytona Beach in late 2017. The 200-key property will bring unparalleled music offerings and amenities to one of Florida’s most well known vacation destinations. The beachfront property is in collaboration with Summit Hospitality Management Group and managed by Hard Rock International.

“From the gorgeous beaches to the NASCAR races that draw in hundreds of thousands of people each year, we’re thrilled to bring our product to visitors and locals alike in Daytona Beach,” said Marco Roca, executive vice president of global hotel development at Hard Rock International.

“We look forward to collaborating with Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos, a brand that fits perfectly in Daytona Beach and leads the way in the lifestyle hospitality space,” said Abbas Abdulhussein, owner, Humphrey Realty.

True to the Hard Rock brand, the property will feature brand exclusive offerings including a Body Rock workout facility, and a Rock Spa complete with the music-infused Rhythm & Motion spa menu, six treatment rooms, a manicure/pedicure station and poolside cabanas with spa services. In the lobby, the world famous Rock Shop will feature Hard Rock’s iconic merchandise. Keeping families in mind, young rockers can hang out in the brand’s signature hotspot, the Hard Rock Roxity Kids Club. Additionally, the property will boast The Sound of Your Stay music amenity program, allowing guests to unleash their inner rock star—whether setting the mood with complimentary vinyl player and records or nailing power chords on a Fender guitar during an in-room jam session.

Catering to the unique needs of business and leisure travelers, Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach will provide 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, including bright meeting rooms with views of the Atlantic Ocean and an open-air terrace suitable for any meeting or special event needs.

Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach will offer an array of amenities where guests will enjoy all-day dining, 24-hour in-room dining, a grab-and-go coffee shop and a poolside bar and grill. The beachfront property will include an expansive swimming pool and deck, offering guests panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to the hotel’s beachfront activities, guests will enjoy nearby outdoor experiences, ranging from paddle boarding on the Halifax River to deep-sea fishing out of the Ponce de Leon Inlet.

Through music appreciation and an imaginative environment, Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos delivers products for the varied aspects of life—work, play and personal sanctuary. For more information or to book a stay at any of the Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos, please visit

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City has grand opening for $6.2 million expansion, launches 2017 Battery Park Concert Series

June 9, 2017

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City
(Rendering courtesy of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City)

The following is a press release from Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City:

This weekend was a celebration of American icons for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City as it held a grand opening ceremony and guitar smash for its $6.2 million expansion and welcomed Willie Nelson, along with thousands of fans, as the opening act for the 2017 Battery Park Concert Series.

On June 9, in lieu of a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City hosted a grand opening guitar smash for its $6.2 million, nearly 8,000 square feet expansion. The expansion includes 60 new slot machines, two blackjack tables, a private lounge and a feature bar called the Wine Bar, offering 125 different labels and 20 wines by the glass.

“Every time I walk into this new space I’m amazed by how beautiful it is,” said Todd Moyer, general manager of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City. “I am proud that we were able to use local contractors and craftsman to build such a great space. The feedback from our guests has been extraordinary.”

Lining the walls of the newest addition are icons of American music. The entrance to the new space is highlighted by full ensembles from Tom Petty and Jon Bon Jovi. Memorabilia from other American legends, including Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, SLASH and Willie Nelson, are prominently displayed on the walls of the newest gaming space.

Unique to the property’s memorabilia collection is custom artwork from artists Jay Bonadio and Adam Orr. Jay Bonadio is an Orlando-based artist who specializes in “Neo-Mosaic pop art” or what some may simple describe as shattered glass art. His most recent work, a portrayal of Bruce Springsteen, is now housed at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City. San Diego artist Adam Orr’s work displays deep saturated colors with a very glossy, highly textured surface. Three of Adam’s original art pieces now reside at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City, including a portrait of Willie Nelson.

“When looking for the quintessential artist to perform at our grand opening, Willie Nelson immediately came to mind.  His performance this weekend to celebrate this new space and to kick off the 2017 Battery Park Concert Series is truly a dream realized,” said Moyer. “We are all very excited to have Willie and other American musical icons identify this new space. Their music so often focused on the celebration of American pride and continues to inspire generations. They uniquely give the room its special vibe.”

Just over 4,000 fans are expected to attend the June 10 Willie Nelson & Family concert, the official kickoff to the 2017 Battery Park Concert Series. Additional shows for the outdoor summer concert series include Journey with Asia (June 30), Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City’s Country Music Festival with Billy Currington, Chase Rice, Whiskey Myers, Michael Tyler & Filmore (July 22), Bret Michaels with Great White & Slaughter (July 28), Alanis Morissette (August 26) and Five Finger Death Punch (September 1).

Channing Tatum and other stars turn out for opening night of ‘Magic Mike Live’ in Las Vegas

April 22, 2017

Channing Tatum at the opening night of "Magic Mike Live" at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on April 21, 2017.
Channing Tatum at the opening night of “Magic Mike Live” at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on April 21, 2017. (Photo by Erik Kabik Photography/

“Magic Mike” star Channing Tatum was among the celebrities who attended the opening night of “Magic Mike Live” at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on April 21, 2017. The 2012 hit movie “Magic Mike” was based loosely on Tatum’s short-lived stint as a male stripper before he was famous. “Magic Mike XXL,” the sequel to “Magic Mike,” was released in 2015. Tatum is one of the producers of the “Magic Mike” Las Vegas show, which also features the cast members singing and playing musical instruments. He’s also producing a musical based on “Magic Mike” that is aiming to be on Broadway on a date to be determined.

Other stars who were at the “Magic Mike Live” opening event included Jenna Dewan-Tatum (Tatum’s wife), Joseph Gordon-Levitt,  actor Nick Zano, actress Emmanuell Chriqui, actress Jillian Bell and “Magic Mike” actress Cody Horn, who played Tatum’s love interest in the movie.

The opening night cast featured performers Anton Engel, Brandon Foster, Chelsea Phillips-Reid, David Terry, Jackson Williams, JD Rainey, Jeremy Denzel, Jesse Morales, Kyo Dominick, Liinda Garisto, Luke Broadlick, Lyndsay Hailey, Manwé Sauls-Addison, Ryan Carlson, Ryan Pires and Sebastian Gonzalez. Creative team members in attendance included co-director and choreographer Alison Faulk, associate director and choreographer Teresa Espinosa and choreographer and featured performer, Luke Broadlick, production designer Rachel O’Toole, scenic designers Rob Bissinger and Anita La Scala, composer Jack Rayner, sound designer Nick Kourtides, costume designer Marina Toybina, aerial choreographer Dreya Weber and pleasure director Lila Darville among others.

“Magic Mike Live” will have an open-ended run at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino’s Club Domina. The show is on Wednesdays through Sundays at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Ticket prices start at $49 and are available by phone at 800-745-3000, or online at or A $45 VIP Meet & Greet add-on is available with any ticket purchase and includes a meet and greet with the cast and a souvenir photo. For groups of 10 or more, please call 866-633-0195 or e-mail