Hard Rock Lake Tahoe Opens
On Wednesday the 28th January, the latest addition to the Hard Rock line opened with the launch of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Lake Tahoe. The $60 million, 6-month project is part of the transformation of the old Horizon Casino Resort, which closed in April 2014.
In usual Hard Rock form, the new owners of the casino kicked off the grand opening rock ‘n’ roll style by smashing an ice sculpture of a guitar instead of simply cutting a ribbon.
The old casino, most recently operated as the Horizon after a rebrand in 1990, has been open for nearly 50 years and has hosted performances by Elvis Pressley more than 100 times in its heyday.
The new casino, which is set to focus less on gambling, has been completely remodeled and will open with 500 hotel rooms and a 25 000 square-foot casino floor. Owners of the casino have said that they will employ roughly 500 people with a large majority hailing from local towns in the Lake Tahoe region.
“We knew the south Tahoe market needed something good to happen,” says Jon Park, whose family operated the Horizon before it closed last year. They are hoping that the Hard Rock will help the Heavenly Mountain ski resort and other similar resorts in the area attract new people in an effort to compete with the bigger resorts in Colorado and Utah.
“We kicked a lot of tires. The Hard Rock brand is internationally known, and it fits the Tahoe vibe. That’s our ace in the hole: Lake Tahoe,” Park explained to the Reno Gazette-Journal just before thousands of visitors got their first look at Lake Tahoe’s latest addition.
The casino-hotel features hundreds of pieces of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, from Michael Jackson’s gloves, to a guitar used by Green Day and even clothes worn by Ronnie Wood, guitarist for the Rolling Stones.
Other features of the hotel include miniature guitars for door handles and employees will list their favorite band on their nametags. The elevators feature lyrics from Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven, which are located on the back of the railings.
Don Marradino, Senior Vice-President of Operations for Warner, the company in charge of Hard Rock at Tahoe, has said it will be a big step for “an area that hasn’t reinvented itself.”
“This is a world-class destination. Hard Rock is saying to the world, ‘Come to Tahoe.’ Now, when we compete against Vail and Utah, it gives us a little bit of an advantage.”
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