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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, May 21, 2006

Las Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel sold

By Anthony Curtis

The Hard Rock Hotel-Casino has been sold to the luxury hotel operator Morgans Hotel Group for $770 million in cash (the Hard Rock cost $80 million to build in 1994 and $100 million to expand in 1999). Morgans, which owns boutique hotels throughout the U.S. and in Britain, is buying the casino, the 647-room hotel, all the rock 'n' roll memorabilia, plus 24 vacant adjacent acres, which were to have been developed as a condo project. Morgans has announced that it will lease the casino to an established operator and raise room rates, from the average $169 per night to something closer to the $230-per-night Strip rate.

BLACKJACK IS NEXT: If you like televised poker, get ready for blackjack. Beginning this fall, CBS will air the "Ultimate Blackjack Tour," a poker-style tournament, only the game will be blackjack. After the initial season, the tournaments will be open to the public (for a fee). Players can qualify to play for free. Stay tuned.

Q. You've written in the past about low minimums for blackjack. Are there any places that still deal a dollar game?

A. You will always find one on the Strip. Check out Slots A Fun, especially during the day on weekdays, where there's usually a dollar game in action.

For information about Las Vegas shows, buffets, coupons and deals, see www.LasVegasAdvisor.com.