Hooters to Open First Hotel and Casino

Ed Palomar
LAS VEGAS — Hooters is venturing into the hotel and casino field. The restaurant chain known for its sexually suggestive name and attractive young waitresses clad in skimpy, tight-fitting outfits has inked a deal to manage the Hotel San Remo.

The 711-room, Japanese-owned property is located about two blocks east of the Strip. The San Remo is going to be entirely refurbished and rebranded with the chain’s owl logo and orange coloring. It will reopen as the Hooters Casino Hotel in 2005.

“The Hooters Beach Club will include the traditional Hooters restaurant and will expand out into the swimming pool area,” San Remo General Manager Mike Hessling told XBiz. “The club will feature reggae steel drum music during the day. At night, there will be dueling pianos, and Jimmy Buffett-like music."

Ironically, the Hooters Girls renowned for their scanty costumes may be overdressed poolside, beside bikini and thong-clad bathers.

"Some of the cocktail waitresses in the casino will be Hooters Girls," Hessling said. "The hotel’s décor and ambiance will have a Florida casual theme and Caribbean style.”

The Hooters Management Corps is headquartered in Clearwater, Fla. The restaurant chain has 375 eateries, and this is the first time the Hooters brand will be used in connection to either a hotel or a casino. There are currently two Hooters restaurants in Las Vegas.

Hessling, however, stressed that in addition to Hooters, the new joint venture that will operate what is now the Hotel San Remo is actually offering three new food and entertainment concepts. They include Dan Marino’s Fine Food and Spirits, a fine dining restaurant owned by the former Miami Dolphins quarterback.

Dan Marino’s is a Florida-based restaurant chain that currently has five outlets. Hessling told XBiz that its location at Hooters Hotel Casino is its first venture outside of the Sunshine State.

A martini bar will be adjacent to the Dan Marino’s in the Hooters Hotel Casino. “It will be competitive with Vegas’ cocktail scene, such as the V Bar at the Venetian,” Hessling said.

Publicist Wayne Bernath told XBiz that the addition of a Hooters hotel and casino is another example of Las Vegas returning to its Sin City roots as an adult getaway. In recent years, Vegas had become more family oriented.

“But children don’t gamble. And parents watching children don’t gamble, which is Las Vegas’ bread and butter,” said Bernath. He promotes adult-themed shows, including the Riviera’s "Crazy Girls" revue, a transsexual beauty pageant, and “The Fashionistas” musical, which is based on a porn movie.