ORLANDO, FL—Hard Rock International has appointed three executives. As the brand’s current EVP of hotel & operations, Jon Lucas will now serve as COO, overseeing Hard Rock operations, as well as key company departments. Lucas will report directly to chairman and CEO Jim Allen. Dale Hipsh, presently VP of hotel operations development, has been promoted to SVP, overseeing the entire hotel portfolio and reporting to Jon Lucas. Sean Caffery, a new face to the brand and industry veteran, has joined the team as SVP, casino development and will report to SVP of Casino Development Jeff Hook.
“As we continue to grow the Hard Rock brand beyond our existing footprint, we look to Lucas, Hipsh and Caffery to lead the expansion process with exciting, new projects in the Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos pipeline, such as Atlantic City, New York City, Shenzhen and London,” Allen said.
Lucas originally joined Hard Rock in 2013 as the president of the Hard Rock Rocksino in Northfield Park, where he managed everything from site design and construction to the hiring and onboarding of key executives. During his tenure at the Rocksino, Lucas’ efforts led to the venue quickly becoming a dominating market share leader in Ohio. Prior to joining Hard Rock, Lucas was the president and GM of the IP Casino in Biloxi, MS, for six years.
As VP of hotel operations development for Hard Rock, Hipsh opened 12 properties from conceptualization to completion in diverse areas across the world. His new role will include oversight of hotel operations, including managed and franchised properties. Hipsh first joined the Hard Rock brand to lead operations for the opening of both Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, FL. Hipsh’s hospitality career began with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts and has included assignments with many industry leaders, including Sun International and its Atlantis casino and resort complex in the Bahamas. He has also held various positions with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
Sean Caffery joins the Hard Rock as a seasoned executive with years of industry experience. He will play a vital role in finding new development locations, countries and partners for the casino business, focused on North and South America. Prior to Hard Rock, Caffery was the CEO and board member of Seneca Commission for Economic Development LLC, where he served for three years managing the Seneca Nation of Indian’s Development Corporation and Sovereign Wealth Fund. Caffery also spent four years at M&T Bank Corporation and two years at Osborne & Partners LLP.