Hooters Coming to Vegas Strip

The Hotel San Remo (search) has signed a management deal with the Hooters restaurant chain to rebrand the Las Vegas hotel-casino into a Hooters Casino Hotel.

"It's going to be an entirely new property," San Remo General Manager Mike Hessling said Tuesday. "You will not recognize a portion of the San Remo when it's done."

The 711-room property also will have new restaurants, including a Hooters (search), Dan Marino's Fine Food and Spirits, a Florida-based chain owned by the former Miami Dolphins (search) football star.

The pool area will be about three times its current size, with a Hooters Beach Club and tropical theme. The hotel rooms will be remodeled.

The property will feature the Hooters owl logo and at night will be lit with the chain's trademark orange tint.

Hooters founders will have a management stake in the hotel-casino and are beginning the process of obtaining a Nevada gambling license.

The off-Strip property will be run by a joint venture, including the hotel's current Japanese investors, officials with Clearwater, Fla.-based Hooters Management Corp. and the owners of the two existing Hooters franchises in the Las Vegas area.

The hotel plans a late 2005 "grand opening" as a Hooters and will remain open during the transformation.

The San Remo intends to keep its 600 or so employees but will hire an additional 400 workers, including Hooters Girls, Hessling said. None of the property's existing employees will be replaced by Hooters Girls, he said.

Hooters has been looking to get into the casino business and was scouting the Las Vegas market for the last three and a half years, said Hessling.

The Hooters casino experiment may spread elsewhere if the property is successful, though the company doesn't yet have expansion plans, Hooters Management Corp. President Neil Kiefer said.

Hessling said the Hooters hotel-casino and the new ownership structure are expected to be "the future of the property." If the property is successful it could expand onto several acres of unused land at the site, he said.