Hooters in Vegas about to lose its (sex) appeal

Mar 19, 2008 6:26 PM

by David Stratton | Famous for its chicken wings and servers’ breasts, Hooters Casino Hotel in Las Vegas will soon be checking out.

NTH Advisors of Santa Monica, California, has a deal to buy the 696-room hotel from Hooters Inc., founders of the chicken wing chain made famous by their buxom, T-shirt clad waitresses, for $95 million.

But NTH plans to drop the Hooters brand for a more upscale approach, president Richard Bosworth told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

"This will be a complete redevelopment of the asset that includes a lifestyle, entertainment-driven boutique hotel and casino complex," Bosworth said.

NTH plans a $130-million overhaul of the off-Strip hotel next to the Tropicana, and bond analysts questioned whether the financing would work if the new owners kept the downscale Hooters brand.

Last week, the founders of Hooters Inc. sold their 22 restaurants for $55.1 million. They bought the Hotel San Remo Hotel in Las Vegas four years ago for $67.5-million and opened it after a sweeping renovation under the Hooters brand in February 2006.