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Hooters looking to bust back into Las Vegas restaurant scene

Updated May 17, 2023 - 8:23 am

Hooters is looking to bust its way back into the ultra-competitive Las Vegas restaurant market.

The brand’s original founders — the HMC Hospitality Group — have secured three locations in the local area and are looking to open the first in early 2024 in North Las Vegas. The company is now owned by HOA Brands, parent company to Hooters & Hoots Wings.

HOA Brands Chief Development Officer Michael Arrowsmith said in a phone interview that the iconic chain, known for its attractive Hooters girls and wings, wants to become a staple of the Las Vegas community through the original founders becoming franchise owners.

“The most successful operators of our brand are part of the community,” he said, adding the original founders are targeting North Las Vegas for their first location while the other two will be somewhere “within Clark County.” However, Arrowsmith said they’re not planning on opening any on the Strip.

Hooters, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, currently has 370 restaurants across 35 states, and its first restaurant opened in 1983 in Clearwater, Florida. The company has had a tumultuous history in Las Vegas, which included a Hooters Casino Hotel which was subsequently bought by an Indian-based company in 2019, which turned it into the OYO Hotel & Casino Las Vegas.

The company previously had multiple locations in Las Vegas that have since closed, and currently has one still operating on 115 East Tropicana Ave., which used to be a part of the original Hooters hotel. Arrowsmith said the company expects new ownership should be able to capitalize where previous franchisees couldn’t.

According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2023 State of the Restaurant Industry report, consumers want “restaurant experiences” more so after COVID-19, and that although the rise of delivery services is here to stay in the “new normal” of the industry, most restaurant operators are looking to boost staff this year while competing with rising food costs.

Arrowsmith said the allure of the Hooters brand is the “experience” that comes along with the food and beverages.

“When you’ve got an attractive Hooters girl serving you, it just helps you forget about the world for a bit and the world’s problems, and that is the segment that has really grown for us since COVID.”

NOTE: This story has been updated to correct the name of the parent company.

Contact Patrick Blennerhassett at pblennerhassett@reviewjournal.com or 702-348-3967.

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