Hard Rock International appoints three new executives

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Biloxi, Miss.
Dale Hipsh, now SVP of
Hard Rock International

Hard Rock International appointed three new executives.

As the brand’s current EVP of hotel & operations, Jon Lucas will now serve as COO for Hard Rock International, overseeing Hard Rock International's operations, as well as key company departments. Lucas will report directly to chairman and CEO Jim Allen.

Dale Hipsh, current VP of hotel operations development, has been promoted to SVP, overseeing the entire hotel portfolio for Hard Rock International and reporting to Jon Lucas.

Sean Caffery, a new face to the brand and an industry veteran, joined the team as SVP casino development for Hard Rock International, and will report to Jeff Hook, SVP of casino development.

“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,” Jim Allen said in a release.

Jon Lucas, now COO for
Hard Rock International

Under Lucas’ leadership, the brand acquired the Hard Rock casino and hotel-rights in the western U.S., as well as key international markets, spearheaded casino entry into Canada and entered the hotel management sector. With these accomplishments under his belt, his new role will involve the oversight of operations, marketing, legal, finance, design and construction.

Lucas originally joined Hard Rock in 2013 as the president of the Hard Rock Rocksino in Northfield Park (Ohio), where he managed everything from site design and construction to the hiring and onboarding of executives. During his tenure at the Rocksino, Lucas’ efforts led to the venue quickly becoming a market share leader in Ohio. Prior to joining Hard Rock, Lucas was the president and general manager of the IP Casino in Biloxi, Miss., for six years.

As VP of hotel operations development for Hard Rock International, Hipsh opened 12 properties from conceptualization to completion 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, Fla. Hipsh’s hospitality career began with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, and included assignments with companies such as Sun International and its Atlantis casino and resort complex in The Bahamas. He has also held various positions with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.

Caffery joins the Hard Rock as a seasoned executive with years of industry experience. He will play a 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,, 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.