Wednesday, July 21, 2010 • Source: Las Vegas Sun
Amanda Finnegan, Las Vegas Sun
In the shadows of monstrous Strip hotels, the Siegel Group is harboring its latest shot at a boutique hotel on the former site of the boarded-up St. Tropez hotel.
The exterior has been given a sleek white coat, and the interior has adopted a look that resonates with Las Vegas’ increasingly younger customer. A new hotel called Rumor Las Vegas is the end product of the Siegel Group’s revamping.
The hotel opened last week to invited guests and will celebrate its grand opening in mid-September.
The real estate developer purchased the St. Tropez at the bargain-basement price of $10.5 million from a California businessman in September 2009 and spent about $4 million to revamp the property and achieve the boutique hotel-feel Siegel Group founder Stephen Siegel and Director of Business Affairs Michael Crandall envisioned.
“We want you to be able to be from your cab, up to your room and in your bed in under five minutes. That’s not something that could happen in the large Strip hotels,” Crandall said.
The hotel’s two-story, 150-room layout lends itself to that concept. Guests will find the front desk as soon as they enter the hotel’s front doors, the bar a few feet away and the hotel’s three-meal restaurant just steps beyond that. Rumor’s 85 employees, compared to the thousands some Strip resort employ, add to the personalized feel of the hotel.
“In Vegas, you either have the huge casino or you have the cookie-cutter chain hotel. It’s strange because this is the hotel capital of the world, but you don’t have boutique hotels. You go anywhere else in the world and boutique hotels are it,” Siegel said.
The Siegel Group has filled the hotel with quirks. The maids pull their supplies in purple Radio Flyer wagons. There’s a dog run in the courtyard and a grassy area where guests can order picnic blanket lunches.
Upstairs, every room is a suite, each with a living room, bedroom and balcony overlooking the street or the new pool area. While there were no structural changes to the rooms, each room has new carpeting, wall coverings, bedding, furnishings and flat screen TVs. Room rates start at $79 on weekdays and $159 on weekends.
“It was tore up,” Siegel said of the St. Tropez. “There was no restaurant. There was no bar. The front lobby was a mess. The rooms were a wreck. There was no hot water or air conditioning. There were nothing but complaints from guests.”
If it weren’t for Harmon Avenue dividing the two properties, you’d almost think that Rumor Las Vegas was an extension of the über hip Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
The charcoal and deep purple color palate, white marble lobby, chrome accents and textured walls all resemble the Hard Rock’s new HRH Tower.
The design similarities are just a coincidence, both Siegel and Crandall said, but the hotel is guilty of taking some pages out of the Hard Rock playbook. The Siegel Group recruited local designer Mark Tracy to design its four largest suites, just as Hard Rock did, and swept away two of its neighbor’s top executives.
Both Yale Rowe, former general manager of Hard Rock, and former Hard Rock director of special events Rob Cornelius moved across the street to Rumor.
Cornelius came onboard with Rumor after 15 years with the Hard Rock brand.
“Hard Rock’s original concept was customer service, small, boutique, cool, but it got to the point where we outgrew it just like every other hotel in this town,” Cornelius said. “What we couldn’t do over there, we are doing over here.”
The Siegel Group has become the master of flipping broken down Las Vegas hotels. The company revamped the Gold Spike and Oasis downtown, The Resort on Mount Charleston and took over the foreclosed Artisan Hotel in January. The Siegel Group will be branding Rumor as its flagship property.
“Rumor is going to become like a way of life as far as boutique hotels go, as far as the type of services we offer and the way we treat our guests. It’s a whole brand we are creating,” Crandall said.
If the brand works, Siegel and Crandall said we may start seeing Rumors popping up in cities such as Los Angeles and Chicago.
About The Siegel Group Nevada, Inc.
The Siegel Group, a Commercial Real Estate Investment & Business Development Company founded by Stephen Siegel with offices located in Las Vegas, Nevada and Studio City, California, specializes in the acquisition, disposition and development of under-performing, valued added real estate and businesses with significant turn-around potential. The company´s extensive expertise in the areas of operations, management, finance, marketing, branding, leasing, renovation, design, entitlements, construction, and redevelopment enable The Siegel Group to elicit an operational turnaround on the assets it acquires which include a variety of businesses and a commercial real estate portfolio comprised of multi-residential apartment complexes, extended-stay, boutique resorts, hotel-casinos, retail and office. The Siegel Group is actively seeking new investments and joint-venture opportunities with upside potential. For more information on The Siegel Group and its affiliates, visit the Company´s website at www.siegelcompanies.com
To obtain further information regarding this release, please contact Michael Crandall via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (310) 597-9221.