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Affiliate of Tarsadia Hotels Planning $100 million Development in
San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, Includes a 250-room
Hard Rock Hotel
Orlando, FL, November 24, 2003 … In a move that reinforces Hard Rock Cafe International’s growth strategy towards its urban hotel model, the Company today announced that it will open a 250-room Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.  The Hard Rock Hotel San Diego agreement will be signed by Rockon, LLC, an affiliate of Tarsadia Hotels, one of the top privately owned hotel companies in the United States, and Hard Rock Hotel Licensing, Inc., an affiliate of Hard Rock Cafe International, Inc.  The intent is that once the recently created joint venture between Hard Rock and Sol Melia SA, has been authorized for franchising, the San Diego hotel will form part of this joint venture.  The Hard Rock Hotel San Diego is slated to open in the summer of 2006.

The newest Hard Rock Hotel will be located in San Diego’s vibrant and fast-growing Gaslamp Quarter.  Situated opposite the recently expanded convention center and adjacent to the new San Diego Padres’ baseball stadium, the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego is destined to become a landmark of San Diego’s urban revival.
The Hard Rock San Diego joins the Company’s other branded properties, including Hard Rock Hotel Orlando, Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya (Thailand), Hard Rock Hotel Bali (Indonesia) and the Peter Morton owned Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas.  The Company is also opening three premier destinations in 2004, including Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, which opens in January and Hard Rock Hotel & Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, FL, which will open in the spring of 2004.

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Featured from left: Tushar Patel, Chairman & CEO/Tarsadia Hotels; 
Greg Casserly, President/Tarsadia Hotels, Trevor Horwell, Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos, Struan McKenzie Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos, Craig McIntyre Hard Rock Design and Construction
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“We are excited about the prospect of creating the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego with Tarsadia who have expressed their desire to develop additional Hard Rock Hotels,” said Trevor Horwell, Vice President of Hotels & Casinos, Hard Rock Cafe International.  “The Hard Rock Hotel San Diego further acknowledges our commitment to urban hotel development and clearly establishes our position as one of the world’s hottest hotel brands.”

Tarsadia will manage the $100 million development project, which will include as its cornerstone the 250-room Hard Rock Hotel, in addition to destination restaurants, condominiums and retail outlets.  Tarsadia is focused on providing clients and partners a wide range of technical and advisory services in all facets of the hospitality business including acquisitions, disposition, concept design, entitlement, construction administration, operations and asset management.

“The Hard Rock brand is the perfect choice for Tarsadia’s newest project, strategically located at the entrance of the historic Gaslamp Quarter and directly across from the world-class San Diego Convention Center,” said Greg Casserly, Tarsadia Hotels President. “We want to create a unique experience that makes sense for the Gaslamp Quarter, the very heart of dining and entertainment in San Diego.  Hard Rock combines all the right elements—it’s really high concept stuff:  cutting edge design, exciting retail and restaurants, unique meeting and event spaces, and a great rock & roll energy in everything they touch.”

The joint venture between Hard Rock Cafe International and Sol Melia SA, provides hotel owners a unique proposition to access the Hard Rock Hotel brand through long-term management and/or franchise agreements. Sol Melia is the largest resort hotel group in the world with a total of more than 350 hotels in 30 countries under its Melia Hotels, Tryp Hotels, Sol Hotels and Paradisus Resort brands. 

Established in 1976, Tarsadia Hotels has 27 years experience in hotel management, acquisition and development. Currently Tarsadia has a portfolio of 18 hotels, 13 California-based, and over 5,000 rooms in Orange County and the key gateway cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas. Represented are a variety of brands including Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt. For more information on Tarsadia Hotels visit www.tarsadia.com.

Hard Rock Cafe International, one of the most globally recognized music, entertainment and dining brands has a network of more than 100 signature Hard Rock Cafes in 40 countries and a music memorabilia collection worth in excess of $32 million.  Known collectible and fashion merchandise, live concerts, Hard Rock Live performance venues, hardrock.com and Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos, Hard Rock Cafe International, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of London-based The Rank Group Plc (NASDAQ: RANKY).  For more information on Hard Rock Hotels, visit www.hardrockhotels.com

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Contact:
Steve Glum
  Hard Rock Cafe
973-316-1665
Also See: Sunstone Hotel Investors LLC and Tarsadia Hotels Expanding by Going After Weaker Hotels in Key Markets / Sandi Cain / June 2003
Tarsadia Hotels Building Residence Inns in Garden Grove, San Diego, Buys the 201-room Crowne Plaza in Las Vegas / Sandi Cain / Dec 2002
Sol Meliá and the Rank Group, Owner of the Hard Rock brand, to Joint Venture Development of Hard Rock Hotels in the Americas and Europe / June 2003


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