Religiously observant Jewish tourists heading to Hollywood, Fla. are expected to soon have two kosher diet hotels located near a well-known tribal gaming property: the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
One kosher hotel is to be opened next October, across the street from the gaming venue. The Wyndham Dolce Kosher House is to include 100 guest rooms. It will also have a kosher rooftop restaurant. Room service will be offered via a robot.
Construction on the Wyndham Dolce started in June by BSD Capital LLC of Boca Raton. The hotel will meet the needs of kosher tourists who want to visit the casino year-round, Sharon Sharaby, a co-developer, told The Real Deal, a Florida real estate news site.
“There are people who look at casinos like the ocean,” Sharaby said. “They want to wake up in front of a casino.”
The property will also feature an elevator that complies with Jewish religious rules for use of electricity from Friday night to Saturday night. The Sabbath elevator will stop on every floor of the hotel automatically. Visitors will not be required to press buttons.
The firm also is expecting to begin construction on a second kosher hotel next year located nearby. It is to be part of the Wyndham Grand brand. When complete in 2024, it will provide 200 rooms, as well as 64 condos that can be rented. As planned, the Wyndham Grand is to be included in a mixed-use development.
Many Observant Jews in Hollywood
When asked about the project, Jewish Theological Seminary historian Jack Wertheimer told Casino.org the Seminole casino is near a large Orthodox Jewish enclave in Hollywood, Florida.
“That means there is an infrastructure of Jewish institutions nearby, such as synagogues, kosher restaurants, and take-out food places, as well as places to spend some time studying Jewish texts,” Wertheimer explained. But gambling has traditionally been frowned upon by some Jewish religious authorities, so he is doubtful similar kosher developments will be built in multiple US gambling meccas.
I’m dubious that Las Vegas would offer the same attraction for Orthodox Jews–or Atlantic City,” Wertheimer said. But other types of travel destinations could lure kosher travelers.
“There is a growing affluent Orthodox sector that will be/is interested in other types of leisure sites,” he said.
Nora L. Rubel, chair of the University of Rochester’s Department of Religion & Classics, and who operates a kosher-style vegetarian restaurant in Rochester, N.Y. with her husband, told Casino.org there is a growing market for kosher hotels in all sorts of settings. She added there are limited travel options for them outside of organized tours.
“Jews who keep kosher — in non-kosher settings — often choose to adhere to a vegetarian diet in order to avoid dietary transgressions. But there are many Orthodox Jews who won’t even do that, so hotels that are actually under kosher supervision will be attractive to that demographic,” Rubel said.
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