Morgans Group picks Las Vegas chief

Oct 10, 2006 4:21 AM

Morgans Hotel Group, which is acquiring the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and is developing two hotels at Boyd Gaming’s Echelon Place (on the Stardust site), last week named the president of its Las Vegas operations.

Industry veteran Randy Kwasniewski was appointed president of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, whose acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007.

Kwasniewski will also manage the transition and oversee progress on the company’s Echelon Place development project, which will feature two signature hotels bearing Morgans’ Delano and Mondrian brands, and is scheduled for completion in 2010.

Kwasniewski brings more than 30 years of experience to Morgans Hotel Group, most recently as senior vice president of Starwood Capital Group.

"We are delighted to welcome Randy to our team during this exciting time for our company, especially as we develop a significant presence in the vibrant Las Vegas market," said Ed scheetz, chief executive office of Morgans Hotel Group. "With his extensive industry expertise and operational experience, including two years of previous experience at the Hard Rock, Randy is the ideal candidate to oversee our Las Vegas properties. Without question, Randy will be a valuable addition to our team and will be instrumental in the successful launch of the Hard Rock under MHG’s ownership."

Kwasniewski said he looked forward to returning to Las Vegas and the Hard Rock hotel.

"I have a great admiration for MHG’s unique portfolio of properties and strong brand reputation, and am thrilled to be a part of the company’s expansion into Las Vegas," Kwasniewski said. "In particular, I look forward to rejoining my friends and colleagues at the Hard Rock; I have the utmost respect for their talents and know that, under MHG’s leadership, the Hard Rock will soon become a flagship Las Vegas property."

Prior to joining Starwood Capital Group, Kwasniewski was vice president of operations for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino with responsibility for all hotel, food and beverage, retail and employee operations.

Previously, he served as executive vice president of operations for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide where his responsibilities included the daily operations of 220 owned and managed Westin, Sheraton, Four Points, W, St. Regis and Luxury Collection properties in North America.

In January of this year, Morgans Hotel Group announced a joint-venture with Boyd Gaming to develop two signature hotels at Boyd’s Echelon Place development, which is earmarked for the Stardust casino site. The Stardust is scheduled to close on November 1.

Last May, Morgans announced its acquisition of the Hard Rock in Las Vegas. The sale is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007.