Hard Rock Sharpens Image

Looks like management companies in Vegas are getting serious about improving their images. After reporting in our last issue of Nightclub Confidential that Pure Management Group launched a compliance program to work with local and state regulators, the nightlife group at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino instated random drug testing to a large number of nightclub and Rehab managers and employees last week, according to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Employees in nightclub operations were told to report for a tip compliance meeting last Friday. They were then informed drug testing (hair and urine samples) would occur, according to the LVRJ.

“Random drug testing is a proactive approach that is implemented by the hotel to ensure that all employees abide by the appropriate rules and regulations,” Hard Rock President/CEO Joseph Magliarditi told the LVRJ.

Magliarditi joined the Hard Rock team less than a month ago, after serving as EVP and COO for The M Resort and Marnell Sher Gaming. His hiring is an attempt to bring a new focus to the property — informing people of the quantity of night (and day) life spots that aren’t the hard-partying Rehab or the brand-new Vanity Nightclub such as SkyBar and HRH Beach Club, which he says target an older, more sophisticated demographic (check out his interview with Vegas Seven here.

Plus, the hotel has plans to reach a more upscale clientele with its new HRH Tower as well as convention business with the Paradise Tower; both projects are part of the hotel’s major $750 million expansion plan.

Is all this a sign that the hotel/nightlife giant is looking to clean up its act and move past its wild past (early last fall, an undercover operation arrested seven people for alleged narcotics-related offenses and the eighth for soliciting prostitution at Rehab)? The LVRJ says rumors are swirling that HRH talked to Vegas heavyweight Light Group about managing the nightlife side of Hard Rock in an attempt to get rid of current nightlife management, but Magliarditi says such talks are unfounded.

Along with these recent changes, last week HRH launched a new website design at www.hardrockhotel.com. A press release from the company says this “continues the transformation of the all-new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.” On the site, guests can sign up for nightclub guest lists as well as make cabana reservations for events like S.K.A.M., Rehab and Relax Mondays. Though the parties surely will still be rockin’ at the clubs inside HRH, it looks like there could be a cleanup crew in place.


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