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Five Minutes with 2016 Gold Key Judge Jay Pecotte

(June 2016) posted on Thu Jun 30, 2016

Hard Rock International’s senior director of development, hotels & casinos on what makes for rock star design


By Leslie Silvey

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Ever wonder what it really means to “live like a rock star?”

2016 Gold Key Judge Jay Pecotte’s day-to-day revolves around building/designing Hard Rock International properties that offer guests a taste of the glam rock star lifestyle. As Hard Rock International’s senior director of development, hotels & casinos – Americas, Pecotte is charged with expanding Hard Rock’s iconic footprint and creating destinations designed to impress rock-n-rollers of all ages.

Jay Pecotte Hard Rock International
Jay Pecotte, Hard Rock International. Photo: Hard Rock International

Here, he offers his take on what constitutes a “Hard Rock moment” when it comes to hospitality design along with what he’s loving (and not so much) in the industry:

What are you currently loving (and loathing) in hospitality design?



Loving: The diversity of small boutique brands and hotels that have come online. There are some great gems in the mix with fresh and new design ideas and great places to eat and drink.

I’m also loving the use of outdoor rooftop space in hospitality projects. What used to be mechanical spaces have turned up as revenue drivers. People like being outside in nice weather and what’s better than being 30-plus floors up in the middle of the city?

Loathing: Micro sub-brands catering to millennials as the focus. They should be focusing on the “millennial-minded” and not just a specific age group.

What are some of the latest projects your company is working on and what are the biggest differences in their design in relation to the rest of your portfolio?

All Hard Rock properties are different in design. They have similar DNA and “threads” that drive the look of the interiors but are designed specifically for the use (resort, casino, hotel) and individual location. Our Hard Rock design team is involved in and collaborates on every project when it comes to interior design, art and memorabilia for each property.

Here are a few of the projects we’re working on:

Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos:
+/- 640 room upscale all-inclusive resort that has dedicated areas for both adults and family activities located at the Diamante resort complex. The complex includes a 10-acre Crystal Lagoon along with Tiger Woods- and Davis Love III-designed golf courses. Our in-house team is working with WATG on the architecture and Wimberley Interiors (a design studio of WATG) on the interiors.


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