On July 12th, John Fontana was joined by over 300 close friends, family and coworkers as he celebrated his retirement from the Seminole Tribe of Florida after 38 years at Hard Rock Cafe Tampa.
Upon graduation from Florida State University with a degree in Finance in 1980, Fontana began his career with the Seminole Tribe of Florida as a Staff Accountant and Bingo Master.
In 1981, he transferred to Seminole Casino Tampa as Assistant to the Managing Partners and his acute business sense and dedication led to being named General Manager in 1987 and thereafter as President of Seminole Hard Rock Support Services.
Under Fontana’s leadership, the award-winning Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa grew to be one of the largest and most profitable casinos in the United States. Currently, it is the largest casino in Florida that contributes greatly to the economic success of the Tampa Bay area. A $700 million site expansion and enhancement are underway.
Fontana established numerous charitable and philanthropic initiatives and partnerships resulting in millions of dollars benefitting over 100 local charities including The Angelus Group Home, the De Bartolo Family Foundation, Julie Weintraub’s Hands Across the Bay, the Bill Edwards Foundation, Metropolitan Ministries and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is also the title sponsor of both the annual “Pinktober” benefitting Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and the Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates.
He has served on the board of various organizations such as the Florida Council for Compulsive Gambling, the Tampa Bay Partnership, the Brandon Foundation, Visit Tampa Bay and Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation.
In honor of his service Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn proclaimed July 12th as “John Fontana Day.”
About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is the premier entertainment destination of Central Florida. Owned and operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the property is one of the most successful and largest casinos in the world. Located off I-4 at North Orient Road and Hillsborough Avenue, about 10 minutes east of downtown Tampa, the casino features high stakes table games, thousands of the hottest slot machines as well as a new smoke free slots area offering more than 850 popular games. Additionally, there is a state-of-the-art Poker Room featuring 46 tables and an art deco-inspired Mezzanine Level Casino with more than 500 premium and high limit slots. The hotel is AAA Four Diamond rated and the property proudly offers seven award-winning Zagat-rated restaurants, including the upscale dining venues Council Oak Steaks & Seafood and The Rez Grill. The only place to rock one’s body and soul, Rock Spa® & Salon, is also available along with a plethora of VIP services. For more information, please call 866-502-PLAY or visit us online and via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
About Hard Rock International
With venues in 75 countries, including 182 cafes, 24 hotels and 11 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website. HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands. The company owns, operates and franchises Cafes in iconic cities including London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Dubai. HRI also owns, licenses and/or manages hotel/casino properties worldwide. Destinations include the company’s two most successful Hotel and Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, FL., both owned and operated by HRI parent company The Seminole Tribe of Florida, as well as other exciting locations including Bali, Cancun, Ibiza, Las Vegas, and San Diego. Upcoming new Hard Rock Cafe locations include St. Petersburg, Fortaleza, Casablanca and Chengdu. New Hard Rock hotel, casino or hotel-casino projects include Atlanta, Atlantic City, Berlin, Budapest, London, Los Cabos, Maldives, New York City, Ottawa, Dalian and Haikou in China. For more information on Hard Rock International, visit www.hardrock.com.