Spain – Not over yet for Mega Resort in Vila-Seca and SalouBy James - 27 October 2022
The mayor of Vila-Seca Pere Segura has stated that while the Hard Rock Entertainment complex in Vila-Seca and Salou was given an unfavourable report from the Department of Climate Action last week it is by no means the end of the road for the large scale resort and casino in Catalonia.
The project for the Hard Rock Entertainment complex in Vila-Seca and Salou received an unfavourable report from the Department of Climate Action which announced that it would prevent its approval for now. The news was confirmed in the digital edition of the newspaper Ara, which also reported that the latest changes to the urban master plan did not comply with environmental requirements.
However while this is a serious setback, according to the major of Vila-Seca, by making the appropriate modifications, the project can still go ahead as differences between departments are logical given the planned scope of the project.
Segura expressed his regret that that after 10 years it still hasn’t been possible to complete all the administrative processing of a project that he stated was “very important” for the future of Camp de Tarragona region – one of the seven functional territorial sections of Catalonia.
According to Segura the Climate Action report was “an internal working document” and that “there are some reports that may be unfavourable” but that later these “visions that the technicians provide” have to be included in the final document. Therefore, in his opinion, it was one more step in the definitive approval of the urban master plan, which he stated could take place towards the end of the year.
“It is a project loved by the territory, with precautions and sensitivity, but there will come a point when investors will go crazy,” exclaimed Segura, who expressed his concern over the administrative slowness. “It is not normal that we spend ten years processing, discussing and discerning certain issues,” he pointed out.
Activist groups opposed to the new leisure zone on Catalonia’s southern coast have demanded that the project be abandoned.
In May 2018 the Government of Catalonia declared via its Official Gazette that it had given Hard Rock Entertainment World permission to build a casino and leisure complex in Vila-Seca and Salou. A large scale project in the area has been in the pipeline for years but has been fraught with difficulties. In June 2015, the Veremonte Group, the investment company that had been leading the initiative to create Europe’s largest holiday resort in Europe (under the name BCN World) announced its decision to withdraw from the project.
When it was abandoned in order to guarantee the project’s continuation the Catalan Government reached an agreement with La Caixa Bank for the rights to buy the 500 hectares of land allocated for BCN World. In November 2019 the government of Catalonia assured lawmakers that the negotiations for Hard Rock to acquire the land in of Vila-seca and Salou were still open.
For years activist groups opposed to the new leisure zone on Catalonia’s southern coast have demanded that the licence for the Hard Rock Entertainment World be revoked. If it goes ahead the casino will be called Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tarragona, España. The Hard Rock Entertainment World complex would include two hotels with over a thousand rooms, a large shopping area, along with entertainment facilities, and the casino. The casino could have as many as 1,200 slot machines and 100 table games making it one of the largest casinos in Europe.