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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hard Rock Hotel set to add RM10m to Penang economy

The opening of Malaysia's first Hard Rock Hotel in Penang next month is set to generate up to RM10 million for the island-state's economy.

Hard Rock Hotel Penang general manager John Primmer said the figure includes wages and spin-offs to local businesses, including transportation companies and an estimated 100 local vendors.

"We are planning to open three Rock Shop merchandise outlets (in the hotel), offering 150 items from t-shirts, caps, pins to Hard Rock souvenirs, and expect up to RM4 million in revenue from the sale of these items during our first year of operation," he told Business Times.

"These outlets are located at different parts of the hotel and each shop carries a different range of items," he said, adding that the Rock Shop by the main driveway to the hotel will allow convenience and access to the public who are not hotel guests.

The RM150 million Hard Rock Hotel Penang will open its doors on September 19 and has created over 200 jobs.

"Due to the brand and the concept of the hotel, we are looking at young information technology-savvy couples (30 per cent), families (30 per cent), older rockers (20 per cent), and the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibition market (20 per cent) in terms of the markets we are targeting," Primmer said.

He added that while the concept that the Hard Rock brand carries remains, what makes the Penang property unique is that it will be the first Hard Rock Hotel with a beach front in the world.

"At the same time, it adapts a modern concept compared to the existing Hard Rock hotels outside of the US," he added.

The first Hard Rock Hotel in Asia opened in Bali, Indonesia, in 1998, followed by one in Pattaya, Thailand, in 2001.

The Penang property will be the 10th Hard Rock Hotel worldwide.

By Business Times (by Marina Emmanuel)

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