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Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to open at Lake Tahoe in old Horizon Resort; $60M renovation

RENO, Nev. - The managers of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas have announced plans to open one at Lake Tahoe this winter after a $60 million renovation of the former Horizon Casino Resort at Stateline.

Officials for the Las Vegas-based Warner Hospitality and the Tahoe-based Park family that owns the property say Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe will include more than 500 hotel rooms and a 25,000-square-foot casino.

The resort on the lake's south shore next to Edgewood Golf Course originally opened as Del Webb's Sahara Tahoe in 1965.

Brothers Jon and David Park of Neva One LLC acquired the northern Nevada property earlier this year and shut it down for redesign and renovation in April. They announced at that time they were entering a partnership with Warner Hospitality, but had not previously disclosed their plans.

"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 said Thursday.

It marks the first entry into the northern Nevada market for Warner Hospitality, which owns or manages 10 casino properties in southern Nevada, Iowa, New Mexico, California and Washington state.

The company owns the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino scheduled to open later this summer in Sioux City, Iowa, and manages the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, which is owned by Brookfield Asset Management.

The music-themed properties display an extensive collection of guitars, autographed photographs and other rare rock-and-roll memorabilia.

"The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino brand has music infused in its DNA and is known for celebrating individuality and uniqueness, which makes it a perfect fit for South Lake Tahoe," Jon Park said.

It will be operated by Don Marrandino, a longtime casino executive 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 2001-2003, and was Harrah's northern Nevada president and general manager of Harrah's Lake Tahoe and Harveys at Stateline from 2003-05.

Warner Hospitality CEO Bill Warner announced his hiring as chief of operations on Thursday in conjunction with the roll out of the plans at Tahoe.

"I have so many great memories of my time at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas and in northern Nevada," said Marrandino, who stepped down in January 2013 as Caesars Entertainment's eastern division president overseeing its properties in Atlantic City.

"I'm looking forward to bringing the resort's legendary atmosphere for entertainment, dining and nightlife to Lake Tahoe and creating another renowned property experience," he said.

The hotel-casino is scheduled to open late this year or early next. Jon Park said it will feature slot machines, table games, multiple restaurant and dining options, an upscale bar, lounges and both indoor and outdoor concerts.

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