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Celebrities take aim at the hospitality industry

Las Ramblas Las Vegas

Clooney’s place: Las Ramblas in Las Vegas

From fragrances to furniture, celebrities have been dabbling in business, often to little result (anyone remember Britney Spears’ Nyla restaurant?). Now they’re getting into the hotel business. Silver screen idols Robert DeNiro and George Clooney are the deep pockets behind high-profile projects in New York City and Las Vegas, while tennis superstars and off-court match Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf are putting their stamp on a luxury resort in the Idaho wilderness. Hopes are high for success.
    “Having George Clooney involved not only brings about more interest, but his charisma is the epitome of what we are going to create,” says designer Keith Hobbs, who is fashioning the interiors of Las Ramblas (, backed by both Clooney and Rande Gerber (of Whiskey bar fame). The sophisticated $3.5 billion, 4,400-room condo hotel is touted as “more Tony Bennett than Britney Spears.”
    Other projects of note:
    "The 80-room The Downtown Hotel in New York City’s Tribeca marks Robert DeNiro’s first foray into hotel ownership. The actor already counts the Tribeca Grill and Nobu restaurants in his portfolio.
    "Agassi and Graf are the main investors behind Tamarack Resort (, 90 miles north of Boise, Idaho. The 225-room property, to be managed by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, is for those who wish to  “spend quality time with family,” says Agassi.