Hard Rock Comes to Lake Tahoe

The iconic Hard Rock brand is taking Lake Tahoe; a new resort bearing the world-famous name will be open by the time the first skiers arrive. The Park family of Neva One LLC bought the former Horizon (l.) and will spend $60 million on renovations.

Former Caesars exec Don Marrandino to take the helm??

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe, formerly the Horizon, will open in time for winter skiing on Lake Tahoe, according to the Sacramento Business Journal.

??In March, the Park family bought the 539-room Horizon Casino Resort, and partnered with Las Vegas-based Warner Hospitality on a complete renovation of the property. The partners will invest $60 million to redesign and upgrade the hotel towers, introduce several new restaurants and bars, and add a 25,000-square-foot casino floor.

??“We are thrilled to bring a world-class brand to South Lake Tahoe, one that is sure to bring new energy and excitement to South Lake Tahoe’s entertainment district,” David Park, part of the ownership group Neva One LLC, said in a news release.??

“We are excited that our company’s entry into the northern Nevada market is associated with the internationally known brand of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, as well as the Park Family. This, combined with the majestic and natural beauty of Lake Tahoe, will make for a resort-style experience like no other,” added Warner CEO Bill Warner.??

The resort will be operated by industry veteran Don Marrandino, who has worked for Harrah’s and Caesars Entertainment in Nevada and Atlantic City. He was president of the Hard Rock in Las Vegas from 2001 to 2003, and was Harrah’s Northern Nevada president and general manager of Harrah’s Lake Tahoe and Harveys at Stateline from 2003 to 2005.??

“I have so many great memories of my time at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas and in northern Nevada,” Marrandino, known as a fan of rock and roll, told ABC News. “We’re gonna redo every single room and make it in four-star-type room quality. We’re gonna have terrific restaurants, entertainment venues, and a lot of things that we’ll be announcing over the next several months.

”??Initially, the casino, which opened in 1965 as Del Webb’s Sahara Tahoe, was to be called the Park Tahoe Casino Resort, partner Jon Park told ABC. Park also said the team was committed to keeping the resort from being acquired by a big corporation. Park added that the resort would be looking to hire for several hundred full-time positions.

??John Wagnon, marketing director of South Lake Tahoe’s Heavenly Mountain Resort, said the Hard Rock would have a strong positive impact on the area.

“When we first started hearing these rumors … that there was going to be a Hard Rock, we were kind of going, ‘You’ve gotta be kidding me. You can’t get any better than that,’” Wagnon said. “It elevates the entire reason, brings a whole new level of energy and excitement. It gives us a critical competitive advantage in the marketplace. It really is a game-changer.”??

The nearby Harveys Lake Tahoe will continue to have a Hard Rock Café among its restaurant offerings. The Hard Rock Cafés are owned by Florida’s Seminole Tribe, while the Hard Rock Hotel in Tahoe will be operated under a license held by the hotel of the same name in Las Vegas.