By: Amanda Gibney Weko
The Hard Rock brand is recognized around the globe – not only for its ubiquitous t-shirts and merchandise but also for its cafes, hotels, music venues, and vast collections of memorabilia. For its newest location in Atlantic City, N.J., the brand called upon an extensive team of design and construction professionals to transform the former Taj Mahal into the new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. Two AGI member glazing contractors figured prominently in the design and installation of glass throughout the 2,000-room hotel and its 15 food and beverage offerings.
GUTHRIE GLASS SCOPE
Guthrie Glass & Mirror, Inc. works regularly in Atlantic City, N.J. The woman-owned company has completed projects in every casino/ hotel and most major buildings in the city. Since its founding in 1986, Guthrie Glass has come to specialize in the unique application of glass and metal across a range of construction projects.
The Hard Rock Atlantic City project involved a complete gut renovation of the casino lobby and all public spaces. The extremely accelerated schedule meant there was little time for the traditional shop drawing process. Instead, many items were purchased before final design was complete, necessitating additional layers of complexity and making open and frequent communication among all teammates a priority.
Guthrie Glass mobilized on the project in early March 2018. The company’s scope included the dramatic glass staircase in the main lobby; replacing or repairing all of the exterior and interior vestibule doors and hardware, entrances, and curtain walls; glass railings, storefronts, and memorabilia display cases throughout the interior public areas; and fit-out of the spa, including mirrors, glass doors, and a complex and curved stainless railing system. As President Lynn Guthrie recalled, “Much of our interior work was finished work that had to be field measured and had long lead times. Unfortunately, the schedule did not allow for field measurements so much of the ordering was pretty risky.”
To accommodate the accelerated schedule, Guthrie relied on teamwork and communication with construction manager TN Ward and the other trades on site. Superintendent Tom Domanick and General Foreman Tommy Domanick managed the crew in the field. The father-and-son duo conducted daily conversations with the foremen for other trades, committing to get the project done through cooperation and coordination.
In many cases, multiple trades had to work simultaneously in small spaces to finish their scopes. In the Rock Spa® & Salon, 31 treatment rooms required a variety of specialty finishes and fixtures all installed at the very end of the project. The Guthrie crew, which worked six-to-seven-day weeks in the two months leading up to the grand opening, spent an intense 22 straight hours to complete the spa.
The dramatic glass staircase in the hotel lobby posed one of the largest construction challenges. The stairs were installed just a week and a half before the project’s grand opening. With a lead time of eight weeks for the stair components, installation had to be perfect. Unfortunately, one of the glass landings broke during installation. When Guthrie explained the situation to TN Ward, the CM’s response mandated a comparable replacement on-site and installed by opening day. The Guthrie team had to think fast.
“We made a frantic call to Paragon Architectural,” explained Guthrie. To its credit, Paragon completed the 1.5-inch laminated glass replacement landing in one week. But with opening only days away, Paragon’s west coast location still presented a transit problem. So, the Guthrie team arranged a dedicated delivery truck with tandem drivers who could take turns driving nonstop from coast-to-coast. The truck left Los Angeles Wednesday night and arrived with the glass in the early hours of Saturday morning. “The replacement glass was installed that morning and I was able to breathe a little easier,” Guthrie recalled.
Despite the rigid schedule and construction challenges, the Guthrie team prevailed through its commitment to communication and teamwork. The Hard Rock Atlantic City opened in June 2018.
Guthrie Glass & Mirror, Inc.
Egg Harbor Township, N.J.
Owner: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
GC: Exterior Scope: JINGOLI
GC: Interior Scope: TN Ward
Architect: SOSH Architects
Lobby stair; exterior glass, vestibule doors; interior railings, storefronts, memorabilia cases, mirrors