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Arnold M. Knightly

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Hard Rock posts $282.2 million net loss

16 Mar 2009

By Arnold M. Knightly

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- The Hard Rock Hotel posted a net loss of $282.3 million last year amid declining revenues, construction disruptions and a noncash write-down of $181.3 million on the property's value, the company reported Friday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The niche property posted its lowest revenues since 2004 with yearly revenues declining 11.7 percent to $164.3 million from $186 million in 2007.

The decline was driven by consecutive quarters of double-digit decreases including a 19.5 percent revenue drop, from $35.8 million in 2007 to $28.8 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

The property decreased staffing by 10.8 percent last year to 1,176 full-time workers.

The property is working on a $760 million expansion that is scheduled to be completed later this year.

The new Joint concert venue and additional convention space will open in April, with a 490-room hotel tower opening in August.

A 375-room all-suite tower along Harmon Avenue is scheduled to open in December, along with a new spa and a casino expansion.

Private-equity firm DLJ Merchant Banking Partners controls an 85.9 percent share of the property, with New York-based boutique hotel operator Morgans Hotel Group Co. owning the remaining share and managing the property.

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