Hooters and Las Vegas. You cant help but
wonder what took the two paragons of vice so long to get together.
According to Richard Langlois, senior vice president of marketing
at the new Hooters Casino Hotel, the mating dance had been going on
for some time.
Our group had
been shopping the Strip for five years, looking for the right
property, said Langlois. It took that long for us to find
property turned out to be the former Hotel San Remo, a 700-room,
budget hotel-casino on Tropicana Avenue, just east of the Strip,
that had been fraying around the edges for quite a
A recent weekend
inspection demonstrated what a difference a top-to-bottom
renovation -- and 200 Hooters Girls -- can make.
marketing strategy has been built around buxom waitresses, beer and
chicken wings, all delivered in large quantities.
management has expanded that formula at their casino-hotel in Las
Vegas by targeting a broader demographic than their core,
management here goes out of its way to appeal to couples with what
most thought would be a niche product for single men.
restaurant, a spa/salon combo, a martini bar and an upgraded pool
area are designed to make the product appealing to women, said
middle American fanny-packer, a typical Hooters restaurant
customer, will be counted on to drive the propertys midweek
In many locales,
the Hooters Girls push the envelope with their short-shorts and
tight tank tops. But in Las Vegas, their positively clean-cut,
cheerleader look seems tame compared with the standard cocktail
waitress profile, not to mention that of the average Strip
For that midweek
customer, then, Hooters Casino Hotel is a familiar and relatively
wholesome experience in decadent Sin City, and therein lies its
On the other
hand, the typical weekend guests -- party-hearty, Gen-X bachelors
-- will find the boisterous atmosphere to their liking.
A roundup review
of service, accommodations, dining options, public spaces and
overall ambience follows:
Service: The makeover of the property demonstrates
Hooters ability to deliver a friendly, relaxed and inexpensive
hospitality product in the land of the giants.
Total staff has
more than doubled since the San Remo conversion -- to 1,300, up
from 550 -- thereby ratcheting up the service level.
While moving up
their learning curve, staff exhibit a can-do attitude along with a
generous helping of genuine care, a rare combination in todays Las
Accommodations: Standard rooms in the 696-room
tower are furnished in an island-casual theme, which means
floral-print bedding and cedar trim.
385-square-foot space isnt much of a challenge, with either a
king-size or two queen-size beds facing a desk and a small,
high-top table (just big enough to hold a six-pack) with three
The bath is
unremarkable but functional, supplied with the usual
Dining/Bars: With nine fine-to-funky restaurants
and bars, the property sports a range of affordable eating and
Starting at the
high end, Dan Marinos Fine Food and Spirits is the ex-football
stars eponymous ode to Big Food for Big Boys, a.k.a. seafood, meat
and potatoes. The kitchen does a commendable job on the basics,
with most entrees in the $15 to $25 range.
Shortys Book and Bar, meanwhile, offers drinks and burgers in a
small-town tavern atmosphere, along with the worlds most compact
Hooters restaurant doesnt disappoint, with scores of perky Hooters
Girls and its familiar bar menu featuring chicken wings and
A welcome, and
surprising, addition is 13, a retro martini lounge featuring
near-continuous live entertainment.
The Bait Shoppe
offers poolside sushi, and the Dam Restaurant serves a coffee-shop
menu around the clock, augmented by a buffet during traditional
Party central can
be found at Porch Dogs, a Caribbean-style, indoor/outdoor club
featuring dueling guitars and pianos.
spaces: Blindly faithful to the restaurant chains decor,
the motif throughout the resort property is cedar, cedar and more
cedar. A woodpeckers dream and a firemans nightmare, the overuse of
cedar is a bit tiresome.
Featuring a new
line of cardio and strength-training equipment, SASS is the resorts
compact but complete Spa and Salon Services facility.
The revamped pool
area includes a swim-up bar.
30,000 square feet, the casino feels cramped and is
burdened by excessively loud music and overhead monitors displaying
sporting events. A Hooters Girl Party Pit is the casino highlight,
where you-know-who deals the cards.
distinctiveness of this new property stems not just from the
attractive Hooters Girls but the refreshingly irreverent attitude
evident in everything from the self-mocking signage to the official
corporate tag line: Delightfully tacky, yet unrefined.
concisely sums up this hotel. Definitely not for everyone, the
Hooters Casino Hotel is designed, built and run for those who can
appreciate its charms.
Where else, after
all, but at Hooters Casino Hotel would one encounter a sign at the
front desk that says Guaranteed same-day check-in?
the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to [email protected].