The City of Deadwood gives a hard no to a mandolin statue

After the city declined to allow the brand's iconic guitar logo at the new boutique hotel, Rocksino by Hard Rock, saying it contrasted with the town's history.
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 8:06 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The eye-catching and well-known guitar gracing Hard Rock hotels across the world will not be part of the outside of the new boutique ‘Rocksino’ set to open in Deadwood later this summer.

The iconic Hard Rock Hotel’s insignia won’t be gracing the streets of South Dakota’s Wild West town after the city declined to allow the brand’s iconic guitar logo at the new boutique hotel, Rocksino by Hard Rock. Saying it contrasted with the town’s historic nature of Deadwood’s Main Street. The Hard Rock company offered a compromise: A bronze mandolin statue on city property. However, the Deadwood City Commission also denied that.

“Proximity to an intersection as far as if it would be so busy that people were taking photos, would that become dangerous or for traffic and make it increasingly harder to cross that intersection? But some voiced concern because Deadwood has public art commission that is currently trying to develop plans to have statues out of our historic characters,” said Deadwood Mayor Dave Ruth.

Downtown Deadwood main st.
Downtown Deadwood main st.(KOTA/KEVN)

City Commissioner Sharon Martinisko says both the guitar logo and the proposed Mandolin statue would be outside of Deadwood’s historical branding, but the city is working with the Hard Rock to find another way to show off its brand.

“So they’re taking a different angle and approach to it. You will see smaller logos on the awnings, and then the windows, and there’ll be certainly more of a Deadwood feel of the history inside the casino itself represented,” said Ruth.

The Rocksino plans to be up and running by Aug.8 marking the moment with a guitar smash ribbon cutting.

“We have to respect our history, our directions, and our vision,” said Deadwood City Commissioner Sharon Martinisko.

While the mandolin was denied a $100,000 life-sized bronze statue was announced that would highlight the wild west feel of Deadwood.

“We have an art committee that has researched our historical figure. In fact; we have Calamity Jane already commissioned, and she will be sitting on a bench and ready to have customers sit next to her,” said Martinisko.