The Hard Rock Hotel, the hub of rock and roll, lit up the heart of downtown Palm Springs at its opening night party Thursday.
The former Hotel Zoso underwent a $10 million transformation, taking on the Hard Rock brand and giving more than 400 guests a sneak peek at its new look, with full access to the public and guests starting Friday.
"It's amazing, everything I expected it to be," said Windy Bolieu, of La Quinta.
The hotel, the 18th Hard Rock location, rocks a new twist of glitz and glam everywhere from the lobby and its employees to the rooms. The opening party featured appearances by star Carol Channing, comedian Andy Dick and a special perfomance by The Bicycle Thief.
"We're bringing a vibe the Valley really hasn't seen," said Michael Shindler, executive vice president of hotels & casinos for Hard Rock International.
It wouldn't be a Hard Rock Hotel without memorabilia from legendary stars including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lady Gaga, Elvis and Frank Sinatra.
"You'll see, in my opinion, the best memorabilia in North America at the Palm Springs property," said Andy Carpiac, owner of Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs. "We went very eclectic, festival-driven, so a lot of artists we call 'indie rock.'"
Carpiac said the hotel's two-year partnership with Goldenvoice, producer of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and Stagecoach Country Music Festival, would bring more than just good tunes to the desert.
"We hope big economic impact. Hard Rock itself is going to do wonders for Palm Springs. We're going to get guests who wouldn't come otherwise to Palm Springs. With the Coachella partnership we're going to get world-class DJs," said Carpiac.
The revamp and rocking ambiance was not just for visitors, but also for locals to enjoy.
"People staying here year around, we need entertainment, and I think this is going to provide that," said Bolieu.
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