Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

September 23, 2010

Hard Rock Intl: Get Off My Lawn!

Posted by Hunter

Sometimes you're having a crappy day and then you read something that's ridiculous enough to remind you that other people are perhaps even crazier than you. That's what happened to me with this story from the LV Sun.

It seems that brand owner Hard Rock Cafe International is upset about the way that licensee Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas has been marketing itself, specifically how it relates to their Sunday Rehab pool party.

When I think of 'hard rock', I think of Van Halen, Motley Crue and the like. Those guys were guilty of acts far far worse than anything that happens on that stupid TV show. This lawsuit just seems silly to me. It also cracks me up that the complaints in the lawsuit are from people that are offended by the reality TV show but apparently still watch it and are familiar with the details.

Is there another angle here? Is this just some kind of shakedown? Anyway...


Read archived comments (6 so far)
September 23, 2010 6:17 PM Posted by detroit1051

I haven't read enough about this yet, but my first reaction is that Hard Rock Int'l is trying to take over the property and the rights to Las Vegas. The Seminole Tribe is very aggressive, and Jim Allen may think this is an opening.

September 24, 2010 6:25 AM Posted by TC from Boston

I think that if Hard Rock Intl has set in stone standards that they want there licensees living up to they have a case, and a very good case.

But the bottom line is this will be a cut and dry case of the show getting pulled and the lawsuit going away. The e-mails down the bottom of the article say it all, the show portrays a "director" at the Hard Rock as a dictator who strikes fear into his employees and can't get along with people at a similar position as his. All while firing people at random and sexually harassing his servers. Knowing the background of HRH Las Vegas, I know that they aren't owned by the same people who own my local Hard Rock Cafe, but joe blow in Iowa certainly doesn't know that, and I can see why the show could negatively impact there customer base.

But on a show note, I do watch it, but only as a media observer. I like to watch where they stage things, where they re shoot things on an empty pool deck etc. Did anyone see when Matt, and he's done this a few times, take credit for the largest Rehab ever? After they had opened the renovated pool deck and increased attendance? I thought it was funny, apparently he is so high up in the business tree at HRH that in a single day he got the approval for the expanded pool, then constructed it, then opened it....jerk bag.

September 24, 2010 7:33 AM Posted by parchedearth

It is definitely a negotiating ploy, but not to take over. Rumor has it that the property is for sale (because of the crushing construction debt from the recent expansion). I believe the Hard Rock wants to extricate itself from the licensing deal and remove its name from the property. That way, they can pursue a property on the strip and brand it the new Hard Rock.

September 24, 2010 8:42 AM Posted by Jeff in OKC

They might be using Rehab as a nice way to get the ball rolling toward the the reckless behavior alleged to be displayed by the casino company leadership. Rehab might glorify sleazy behavior, but that won't hurt a company with investors. At least not as much as suicide, drug overdose deaths, half-your-age girlfriends and alternative sexual lifestyles amongst the HRH leadership.

September 24, 2010 9:36 AM Posted by stevecovington (steve_c)

This is really bad for HRH.... but I can see Hard Rock's point. Oddly enough, MTV's "The Real World 25: Back to Las Vegas" is scheduled to begin filming at HRH this week... guessing Hard Rock Cafe will not be too pleased about another reality show tainting their image.

September 24, 2010 10:10 AM Posted by socalduck

Call me skeptical. I watched the reality show once, and my impression of the incidents depicted was that it was highly contrived, if not outright scripted, so it is hard to take anything seen on the show too seriously. However, whether the show is "reality" or not, HRI has legitimate concerns about how their mark is depicted, so I can understand their motivation to sue.

Parchedearth brings up an interesting possiblity, although it seems unlikely to me. If the existing property where stripped of the HR name, where on the Strip could it end up? Perhaps a partnership with Boyd, with a new resort on the Echelon site? Or maybe rebranding an existing property, e.g., Mandalay Bay? Let the speculation begin.