Last Call – A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
While you were busy watching, waiting or preparing for a hurricane, the Seminole Tribe of Florida was laying plans for world domination.
Well, at least in terms of lodging, gaming and entertainment.
The Tribe, which owns the Hard Rock brand, on Wednesday said it was opening a Hard Rock hotel next year in Madrid, Spain.
“Working in collaboration with European real estate specialists ActivumSG Capital Management Ltd., Hard Rock will bring its signature vibe to this historic metropolitan city with the development of a new 159-room music-centric hotel,” a press release said.
It will be located opposite the historic Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in the Atocha district of the city, and “will boast a number of brand-signature Hard Rock amenities.”
They include “a Body Rock fitness center, the exclusive Rock Om in-room yoga program, The Sound of Your Stay music amenity program and the Rock Shop.”
The project, on the site of a former municipal office building, is projected to cost 25 million euros.
The tribe in late 2016 consolidated its control over the Hard Rock brand, buying out remaining rights from the owner-operator of Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Since then, Hard Rock has been on a roll. It announced the addition of a 200-room Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach. Hard Rock-themed properties are now in Tampa, Hollywood (both include casinos) and Orlando.
The company has bought and re-opened the former Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, and has 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.
And the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood this summer notched a milestone in its $1.5 billion expansion with a “topping out” of its 450-foot high guitar-shaped tower.
“A supercharged Hurricane Michael makes landfall in Florida Panhandle” via Jay Reeves and Brendan Farrington of the Associated Press
“Donald Trump: Hurricane Michael grew ‘into a monster’” via Rebecca Morin with Matthew Choi of POLITICO
“How Hurricane Michael got so strong, so quickly” via Andrew Freedman of Axios
“He wrote his name on his arm before Hurricane Michael in case they can’t identify his body” via David Ovalle of the Miami Herald
“Tallahassee: ‘A city that loves trees’ will be tested by Hurricane Michael, barrage of wind” via Ashley White of the Tallahassee Democrat
“Weather Channel crew tries to flee as Hurricane Michael nears” via Andrew Freedman of Axios
“Breaking taboo, negative ads fly during Florida hurricane” via Marc Caputo of POLITICO Florida
“Craig Fugate rebukes political attacks after Ron DeSantis runs Andrew Gillum during monster storm” via Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times
“Storm offers exposure, wish to Democrat in Governor’s race” via Gary Fineout of the Associated Press
“No ‘rah-rah campaign rally’ for DeSantis in Jacksonville” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics
“Gillum wants to pay starting teachers $50,000. Could that ever happen in Florida?” via Jeff Solochek of the Tampa Bay Times
“As Senate race wears on, Bill Nelson and Rick Scott are getting more and more unpopular” via Kirby Wilson of the Tampa Bay Times
“More than dozen Republicans interested in filling Dorothy Hukill’s place on the Senate ballot” via Dave Berman of Florida Today
“Second lawsuit filed seeking to extend voter registration” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics
“New mobile app for reporting “suspicious activity” raises more questions than answers for schools and families” via Diane Rado of Florida Phoenix
“Did Pensacola mayoral hopeful Grover Robinson entice an endorsement with job offer?” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics
Quote of the Day
“I’m not going anywhere. I don’t run from nothing.” — Fyderrick Bush, a Bay County resident, quoted in the Panama City News Herald.
Bill Day’s Latest
Wake Up Early?
Because of the hurricane, check with organizers of events before you go to make sure they have not been canceled or postponed.
House Minority Leader Janet Cruz is sponsoring a hurricane relief supply drop-off at her local legislative office. That’s from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 2221 N. Himes Ave., Suite B, Tampa.
The Florida Department of Transportation will hold a workshop about the 2019-2020 federal transit grant application process. That’s at 10 a.m., FDOT Jacksonville Urban Training Center, 2198 Edison Ave., Jacksonville.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will release its first monthly forecast for Florida’s 2018-2019 citrus growing season at noon.
The Florida Department of Citrus Scientific Research Advisory Committee will discuss research plans for the current fiscal year. That’s at 2 p.m., Florida Department of Citrus, 605 East Main St., Bartow.
The Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission will meet by phone to consider and select applicants for interviews to fill three positions upon the mandatory retirement of Justices Barbara Pariente, R. Fred Lewis, and Peggy A. Quince. That’s at 5:30 p.m. The call-in number is 866-388-7725, then use PIN 290730.
Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu will speak during a 40th-anniversary event of the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club. That’s at 6 p.m., University of South Florida St. Petersburg, University Student Center, 200 Sixth Ave. South, St. Petersburg.
Republican U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan is slated to speak during a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Sarasota County. That’s at 7 p.m., Carlisle Inn, 3727 Bahia Vista South, Sarasota.