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Richard Langlois summed up the $130 million renovation that will turn the aging Hotel San Remo into the Hooters Casino Hotel by February with a comparison that could make a teenage boy chuckle.
"It's basically a Hooters on steroids," said Langlois, the property's executive vice president. "The Hooters restaurant we're adding to the property would be the second- largest Hooters in the company. But when you look at the overall scope of the project, it is absolutely the largest Hooters around."Advertisement
Hooters of America, an Atlanta-based restaurant operator, purchased the Hotel San Remo on Tropicana Avenue just east of the Strip last year and announced it would rebrand the 711-room hotel-casino with the privately held chain's recognizable theme.
The property, which has operated under several names and themes throughout its existence, will take on the Hooters persona.
"You will recognize the outline of the building, but the color and signage will completely change," Langlois said.
The casino will remain open through eight months of the nine-month construction process. The hotel rooms will be remodeled on a floor-by-floor basis.
The resort will be closed for at least four weeks to allow for interior design to the casino portion, which will include expanding the gaming area to 35,000 square feet.
"The employees will go through a lot of training during that time," said Langlois, who said the staff will double in size to about 1,000 workers upon reopening.
When completed, the casino will have 622 slot machines and 32 table games.
Four new restaurants will be added to the property, giving Hooters eight dining options, including Dan Marino's Fine Foods and Spirits, an upscale steakhouse that is owned by the former Miami Dolphins quarterback who will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer.
A large version of the chain's famous restaurant will also be part of the location.
The company operates more than 375 Hooters in 46 states and 14 foreign countries, including two in Southern Nevada. The first Hooters opened in 1983 in Clearwater, Fla., and the concept has undergone very little change.
On the Hooters Web site, the company "acknowledges that many consider 'Hooters' a slang term for a portion of the female anatomy."
However, the company stated it uses an owl in its logo, but actually "enjoys and benefits" from the debate. The restaurants' waitresses, commonly referred to as "Hooters Girls," wear uniforms that consist of orange shorts and a white tank top.
The Hooters restaurant inside the remodeled San Remo will include an entrance into an area for live musical entertainment.
The San Remo had the longest run of the property's themes. In other personalties, the property has been known as the Paradise, 20th Century, Treasury, Pacifica, Polynesian and finally, San Remo.
"The concept is dated. It's more like old Las Vegas," Langlois said. "It's had its day. It's a well-kept property, not run-down or neglected, and it's had stable management. The neighborhood was once a detriment, but now it's a positive."
Langlois said the eventual remodeling of the neighboring Tropicana and the potential addition of luxury high-rise condominiums to the area will help enhance market.
He said the property would attract a demographic that centers on Middle America, ages 35 to 55.
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