Hard Rock Hotel San Diego – Buy Me??

Posted on February 20, 2009 | by Denny Oh

I’m sure many of you have dined at, partied at, or even stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel here in downtown San Diego.  But did you know you could own here?  For many, owning a piece of downtown San Diego is just a dream – the prices are too high, it’s too much work to rent out, there’s too much maintenance, or the weather’s just too…perfect?

Well here’s the solution.  Buy at the Hard Rock Hotel!  Almost every owner I’ve spoken to, has told me that the “Hard Rock is the easiest piece of property I’ve ever owned!”  For those of you who don’t know, the Hard Rock Hotel here in San Diego, is a condo-hotel.  This means that each room is owned by an individual person(or group of people), just like any other piece of property, but when you’re not there, you can put it into an optional rental program.  This way you can benefit from the hotel guests, who will help you pay your mortgage!

Unlike other vacation homes, with the Hard Rock, you don’t have to worry about checking people’s credit scores, waiting for deposit checks, or about placing Craigslist ads to find renters.  One of the huge benefits of buying at the Hard Rock is just that – it’s the HARD ROCK.

It’s a 4 diamond hotel and it’s in the heart of downtown San Diego, in the famous Gaslamp District.  This condo-hotel takes all the headaches away and rents your room for you.  Just like any other hotel, the rooms would be rented out in a rotation, but here, the owner would get some of the revenue and the hotel would keep the rest(as a management fee).

One of the conditions of buying at the Hard Rock however, is that you’re limited to 28 days a year, of hotel usage.  Now before you get too excited, think about that.  28 days is almost a full month of usage.  Better yet, that’s 14 weekends of traveling and relaxation.  Do you get to get away that much each year?

If you do, no problem.  You can stay here as much as you want, but after the 28 days, you’ll have to pay a bit(the hotel will get you the best rate possible for those extra nights).  Even better, do what some of the other owners have done – buy multiple units!

Now let me clarify that – you can stay in your room for 28 days a year for free.  No black out dates, no usage restrictions, no questions asked.  If you just want to come down and take advantage of your VIP status and not spend the night, you can come every day.  Owners, or Rock Royalty, get VIP treatment all the time.  You get priority dinner reservations at Nobu, first choice to all the concerts and VIP access to the Randee Gerber designed bars(Moonstone and Sweetwater).

The 28 days is only in reference to the number of days you want to stay in your room for free.  The reason why it’s set up this way is simple – the city made them do it.  Why?  That’s the best part…you see, downtown San Diego has too many visitors and not enough hotel space.  In order to generate more tourism(read: money), people need to have cool places to stay – not in Del Mar and not off of Hotel Circle.

Again, most people only use their second(or third or fourth) homes about one month a year.  This way, when you’re not using it, you can have the hotel rent it out to all the people who are visiting San Diego!  Do your other vacation homes generate money for you when you’re not there?  Or do they just cause headaches?

Anyhow, if you’re interested in buying at the Hard Rock, give me a call.  There are several rooms for sale, but only a handful or so that are really serious.  For the best deals, give me a call.

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  1. citiboy says:

    You”ve answered many of the questions that I had.
    Still unanswered,the percentage taken by the house for management, and the occupancy rate that can reasonably be expected.
    Your explanation of just how much 28 vacation days are puts that in great perspective.
    The real CITI boy

  2. Denny Oh says:

    CITI boy,

    I’m not sure what the exact breakdown is, but more or less, I believe there is a small fee paid to the Hard Rock franchise and then the house and owner split the proceeds. The hotel would be able to get you the exact breakdown, but from what I’ve heard, you get somewhere around half of the rental income.

    As for occupancy rates, I have no idea where they’re at now. I would imagine that they would capture a lot of the downtown hotel market, but at the same time, we all know the economy is in terrible shape. I can say from personal experience, I’ve seen the place PACKED both during the week (conventions) and on the weekends.

  3. Spud says:

    Occupancy rates have been around 70% for my unit, but as low as 45% in slow months…and the actual split on the revenue is more like 60/40 in favor of the hotel (not including your HOA fee’s). Since the economy has hit the skids, the room rates have basically been cut in half, seeking people to stay there.

  4. Denny Oh says:


    Thanks for the info. Hopefully we’ll start to see some more traffic and occupancy rates will recover. Most people I’ve spoken to at the Hard Rock are happy with the condos, but not so happy with the finances – rather lack of finances. Good luck.

  5. Josh says:

    Is there any updated information on the resales at the Hard Rock unit? I know there were a couple that sold at crazy low foreclosure rates. Are there still any studios available at crazy low rates?

  6. Denny Oh says:

    Hi Josh – there have been a handful of sales at the HR, ranging in price from $160-238K. Currently there are 9 listings, most of which are short sales and REOs.

    The prices are WAY below what they originally sold for and I’m getting a lot of calls about them. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  7. jay says:

    Any idea on income potential on these units?

    What do they rent for daily and how often?


  8. Denny Oh says:

    Hi Jay – it depends on the type of units, but from what I’ve seen, it looks like owners get about $17-25K on average. You’ll want to confirm this with the seller of whichever unit you’re interested in, but that should give you a general idea.

  9. DPM says:


    Do you have a rough estimate of the HOA fees and taxes for the Studios and 1BR Kings?

  10. Denny Oh says:

    DPM – studios are about $579/mo and 1 bedroom HOAs are around $630/mo. Taxes are around 1.15% of the purchase price.

  11. Denny Oh says:

    Hi Linda – if you enter the hotel’s rental agreement, you have no say in the pricing. You can however, opt to manage the room yourself, as long as the hotel approves it. I’m not sure which rooms rent “faster” than others. From what I’ve seen, 1 bedrooms typically bring in a bit more money, but generally speaking, from what I’ve seen there’s not a huge difference.

  12. Héctor E. says:

    Hi, I am writing you from México and i would like to know if i can own a studio in Hard Rock Hotel in san diego?
    Whats the average profit per month?


  13. Denny Oh says:

    Hi Hector – the revenue depends on the room and time of the year. It seems like most studios generate around $17-23K/yr though. You’ll want to verify this with the hotel though for the specific room you’re interested in. I emailed you some more info as well.

  14. Henry Park says:

    I am interested in buying at the Hard Rock Casino…..can you contact me?

  15. Denny Oh says:

    Henry – I just sent you an email. Thanks.

  16. Ryan Guyer says:

    Hey Denny,

    Do mortgage companies often allow for 20% down with one of these, or do they want a little more skin in the game?

  17. Denny Oh says:

    Hi Ryan – lenders aren’t lending here, so it’s all cash.

  18. Jimbo says:


    Anything available to purchase?

  19. Denny Oh says:

    Hi Jimbo – yes, there are several places for sale right now. I’ll email you. Thanks!