Hard Rock Hates Rehab

Rehab may be the mother of all poolside parties in Las Vegas but not to Hard Rock Café International, which is suing to cancel its licensing agreement with the hotel that hosts the event.

Until recently, Rehab was the place to be in Vegas, with plenty of sun, fun, skin and overpriced cabana service for those who visited the Hard Rock Café on a Sunday afternoon. Although the Great Recession has changed its complexion, Rehab is still the star of its own reality TV series, which for three seasons has featured employees like no-nonsense manager Matt and level-headed security chief Sharon.

Unfortunately, the alleged debauchery of “Rehab: Party at the Hard Rock Hotel” is too much for the parent company in Orlando, which is suing the hotel as well as Rehab’s producer, Turner Broadcasting System, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

“Rehab” portrays the hotel-casino staff “as unprofessional, incompetent, and/or physically and emotionally abusive to hotel guests and other staff,” the lawsuit reportedly says.

It lists complaints from customers, including one who was “appalled by your ‘Little Hitler’ Matt – the so called manager. I never take the time to write such an e-mail but watching him call your employees ‘stupid’ and a ‘whore’ just angered me to the point where I felt compelled to write. His only management technique is ‘I’m gonna fire you.’ He also says things like, ‘It’s her time of the month.’”
Hard Rock International says it complained about the show to the Las Vegas property owners.

“Among other things, Rehab portrays [the hotel] as a destination that revels in drunken debauchery, acts of vandalism, sexual harassment, violence, criminality and a host of other behavior” that most consumers and business owners “would find unseemly and objectionable.”

The lawsuit mentions an arrest last year of eight people at Rehab on prostitution and drug charges. It also claims Hard Rock International has complained to the Las Vegas property owners that hotel-casinos in Tulsa, Okla., and Albuquerque, N.M., also have problems.