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Hard Rock no more: Coquitlam casino rebrands with Great Canadian company name

Move is timed with the opening of new Gordon Ramsay Burger restaurant
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Signs outside Hard Rock Casino Vancouver in Coquitlam on Oct. 13, 2023. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

** This story was updated on Nov. 20

Coquitlam’s casino is Hard Rock no more, but live music will continue there.

Great Canadian Entertainment’s property will be fully rebranded Great Canadian Casino Vancouver by Friday, Dec. 1, a few days before a new Gordon Ramsay Burger restaurant is set to open at 2080 United Blvd., on Dec. 4, according to Chuck Keeling, executive vice-president of skateholder engagement for Great Canadian.

Ten years ago on the Coquitlam site, in 2013, Boulevard Casino was rebranded as Hard Rock Casino Vancouver.

The Great Canadian company, founded in 1982, counts the casino among its “flagship properties, exemplifying the highest standards of gaming, entertainment and service,” trumpets a news release on greatcanadian.com.

“The refreshed casino will offer a diverse selection of games, from classic table games to the latest in cutting-edge slots in addition to a host of all-new high-limit private gaming rooms for discriminating enthusiasts.”

Keeling said the music memorabilia not belonging to Great Canadian Entertainment has been removed from the property, and remaining memorabilia will be featured in the casino theatre going forward.

Some have suggested that the theatre should again be known as Red Robinson Show Theatre, a name scrubbed in 2013 when the casino was renamed the Hard Rock, but that won’t be the case.

“We were honoured to recognize Red Robinson by naming the property’s theatre after him up until 2013, and then further honouring him by featuring his memorabilia in the property thereafter,” Keeling wrote in an email. “The Theatre at Great Canadian Casino Vancouver will be the name of the venue going forward.”

• MUSIC NOTES: At Hard Rock, Heart’s Ann Wilson says ‘Magic Man’ was written on King George Highway trips.

The casino’s Asylum lounge is popular with people who like to dance to music of live bands, and the nearby theatre is now booked by Live Nation Canada in a Canada-wide deal with Great Canadian announced in June.

The Theatre at Great Canadian Casino Vancouver will host “a series of unforgettable performances, showcasing a diverse range of talents and providing guests with exceptional live entertainment experiences,” Great Canadian says.

Coming concerts and shows include A Christmas Rock Story: Holiday Circus Spectacular (Dec. 2), Take it To the Limit tribute to The Eagles (Dec. 31), hard rock bands Great White with Slaughter (Jan. 20) and Thunder From Down Under male strippers (Feb. 16), among other events found on hardrockcasinovancouver.com/events-concerts-list.

Great Canadian-operated casinos in B.C. include the Hard Rock in Coquitlam, River Rock in Richmond and also Elements Casino Surrey.

Great Canadian Entertainment has evolved beyond casinos and gaming.

“The company rebranded last year to Great Canadian Entertainment,” Gavin Whiteley, the company’s chief marketing officer, told Black Press Media in June.

“I will underline that a big part of the rebranding is to highlight our company’s focus on entertainment more broadly, not simply gaming, but also lean into exactly what we’re talking about today, which is live entertainment, live stage entertainment, music, concerts, sports, etcetera, all under one umbrella, one company. We’re not strictly a gaming company.”

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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