Hard Rock International officially announced the company's participation in the Greek Government's RFP process to issue a license for an integrated resort and casino at the former Hellinikon Airport site in the historic city of Athens, Greece. During a local press conference at the company's Hard Rock Cafe in Athens, Chairman and CEO of Hard Rock International, Jim Allen shared the company's vision for Hellinikon.
"We have always believed Athens to be one of the world's great gateway cities and Hard Rock International envisions creating a must see destination that will help draw from the over 120m annual guests across 74 countries, driving year-round tourism and being an economic driver for Greece. This marks another step in the company's efforts to expand our world-class brand of entertainment and hospitality to Europe," said Allen. "This announcement continues to illustrate Hard Rock's commitment to Greece and the great city of Athens following our investment in the company owned Athens Cafe when no one else was investing during the financial crisis in 2014."
Allen surprised guests at the local press conference by unveiling a donation from renowned Greek songwriter and composer Mikis Thedorakis, who donated a handwritten orchestral score from the work "Refusal," which was versified in 1960 in the poetic work of Nobel Prize winning Greek singer and songwriter, Giorgos Seferis. The lyrics were then reworked into song for the first time in 1962 by Grigoris Bithikotsis. Allen then revealed a second donation - the beloved chaplet of Grigoris Bithikotsis. These pieces of memorabilia that pay homage to the country's musical heritage will be added to Hard Rock International's collection of music memorabilia.