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Terri’s Best Bets– Opening Day at the “Guitar Hotel” (Video)

Covering the “opening” of the Guitar Hotel was exciting and hours long.

During the span of my professional career, I have met dozens of celebrities, rock stars and VIPs. I’ve been lucky enough to attend some extraordinary parties and special events that I will never forget.

On October 24, Mark Young and myself were invited to attend the opening celebration of “The Guitar Hotel” in Hollywood, Florida. We had watched it being built and attended news conferences along the way during its span from an idea to a mind-boggling, “no place like it in the world” hotel, dining, resort, casino and entertainment complex. Alot has been written about this hotel and there are more stories to come.

People who know me know that I am enthusiastic about experiencing new things. For days after the Grand Opening people were calling me, non-stop.  How was it? Is it really great? Did you have a good time?

I am going to answer all of these questions. First, I have to come out and say it was a thrill to be at the Hard Rock for this truly unprecedented event. Secondly, we were not there to “party” but rather report on the events and people around us. The bottom line, we worked!

Matthew, a great team member!

Mark and I got to the hotel at 1:30 p and set up shop with dozens of other news outlets and reporters from around the globe. The Hard Rock treated us exceptionally well with snacks, wraps, fresh fruit and refreshments throughout the day. We were especially impressed with Matthew, a food and beverage server from Columbus MS, who made sure everyone was taken care of at the media suite. Matthew was attentive and caring throughout the long day.

When I asked him how long he had been working at the hotel he told me he was a new hire. He was one of those people who actually attended a job fair and was offered a position on the spot! It was great knowing that the many job fairs we wrote about did result in solid jobs for thousands of people.

The media was given a detailed list of events that started in the late afternoon and ended at night. I walked out of the media room and into the casino absorbing everything I was seeing and hearing.

Jim Allen, CEO Seminole Gaming and Chairman of Hard Rock International, was just finishing up one of many interviews and looked like he was on Cloud 9. (he actually was on Cloud 9) He was happy to talk with me.

Watch the interview here

Next, we made a dash to the Red Carpet to secure a good spot to catch all of the celebs and VIPS. This lasted from 5 p-7 p. Let me tell you, it’s a lot of work and you have to be on your toes! You don’t want to miss anything. Look over there, it’s Andy Cohen. Holy Moses, Morgan Freeman just walked past me. So did Jeremy Piven from Entourage fame.

Mark was calling out their names to me and I made sure that no matter what I was getting their photo. I saw Hollywood glitterati up close and personal. Even they were caught up in the excitement.

Immediately following the Red Carpet, we relocated straight to the pool for the evening festivities, the Guitar Smash at the pool lagoon area and the Guitar facade light show. It was my 3rd guitar smash but I have never experienced anything like the light show. Forget anything you’ve ever seen at Disney. This light show was a spectacle with music, lights, blue beams of light that went up into the heavens and culminating with fireworks.

My arms were hurting from holding my camera steady for such a long time. Throughout the entire day (and night) were there for YOU! Our goal was to experience the night and capture it for you! We never got to browse, explore or even sit. There wasn’t enough time.

Finally, at 9 pm the official festivities ended. Members of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, people who worked on the construction, Seminole Gaming and Hard Rock team members and invited guests were smiling from ear to ear. There were alot of high fives, hugs and even tears. All of the hard work paid off.

It was a remarkable night. Can’t wait to go back to spend a few days and try every bar and restaurant.

The bottom line, if I could live there for the rest of my life I would. Just give me one of those private thatched bungalows or a suite with a 24-hour butler who will cater to my every whim. Talk about Rock ‘n  Roll Heaven!


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