By Heidi Simmons

The Palm Springs Hotel Zoso closed last weekend to begin its transformation into a Hard Rock Hotel that will open this Fall.

Originally the Marquis, the hotel was built in 1985. Redesigned in 2007 to reflect the chic contemporary and modern culture of Palm Springs, it became the Hotel Zoso. Located on Indian Canyon in downtown Palm Springs, the property will once again go through a make-over to appeal to desert visitors who are hip and young at heart.

“Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs will serve as an iconic entertainment and leisure destination and, true to the Hard Rock brand, will be a hot spot for musicians, celebrities and our valued Hard Rock fans,” said Nelson Parker, head of development in the Americas for Hard Rock Hotel & Casinos in a recent press release. “We are thrilled to bring the Hard Rock experience to this world-renowned city.”


Hard Rock International has 179 venues in 57 countries with 141 cafes, 18 hotels and 8 casinos. All with music memorabilia and a rock ‘n roll theme. In collaboration with Kittridge Hotel Management, the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs will be the brand’s second lifestyle hotel in Southern California. It will offer a VIP rock star suite, Rock Spa, Body Rock workout facility, a Rock Shop featuring iconic merchandise, dining options, hotspot lobby bar, and a rock n’ roll oasis, where guests can enjoy poolside cocktails. After renovations, there will be 163 rooms with 20,500 square feet of ballroom and banquet facility space and a @Biz Business Center.

Hoping to add to the CV music festival scene, and stay true to its musical roots, the Hard Rock Hotel PS wants to fire up the area with outstanding live entertainment. The property will have an on-site VIBE manager who will take a pulse on the hotel’s atmosphere and energy apparently to ensure guests are diggin’ the groove.

The hotel will offer an interactive amenity called THE SOUND OF YOUR STAY where guests can create their own music experiences in the privacy of their own rooms. With TRACKS, a guest can download a personal play list put together by music professionals and celebrities. PICKS offers the guest a menu of 20 Fender guitars for an in-room jam session complete with amps — and headphones, less you think the hotel wants to hear you play and doesn’t have respect for the comfort of others. MIX delivers a Traktor Kontrol S2 mixer, a laptop with digital mixing software, and of course, headphones so music fans can match beats and remix like a pro.

Over the last several years, there has been talk about new construction of a Hard Rock Hotel and Casino coming to Palm Spring with a location on Tahquitz. It’s unclear if the Zoso conversion project has superseded that vision. The Indian Canyon Hard Rock property will not have a casino.

The Hard Rock franchise is a world-class entertainment and lifestyle brand that fits naturally into the Palm Springs culture. “Hollywood’s love affair with this city reaches back to the days of Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe, and now Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs will help Palm Springs continue this storied tradition with celebrity visits and events,” said Hector Moreno the newly appointed Vice President and General Manager of the future Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs.

Moreno has served as Hotel Zoso’s VP and GM for less than a year. According to a press release, he has extensive hospitality experience that includes positions as GM for Hilton Worldwide, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Wyndham Hotel and Resorts, and Morgan Hotel Group.

When the Marquis was remodeled into the Zoso, some reports put the cost over $20 million. Media representatives are not disclosing what the renovation budget is to transform Zoso into the Hard Rock.

The Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs hopes to open this October. As of June first, the Hard Rock Hotel is taking reservations for December. Approximately ninety people lost their jobs at Hotel Zoso last weekend. The new hotel will have positions for 135 employees. Those who worked at Zoso must reapply for new positions in the fall.