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September 14, 2014

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Don Marrandino might get his chance to shake things up at Hard Rock Hotel

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TVT

Don Marrandino and Toby Keith.

On Friday night, Don Marrandino was spotted again in Las Vegas.

Fittingly, he was at a rock show.

With the fiery performance of Jane's Addiction at Brooklyn Bowl as a backdrop, the former Caesars Entertainment executive said he is back in town, and it’s not just to visit. We can expect Marrandino to transition back to a top-level position at Hard Rock Hotel soon.

Marrandino has not yet taken the post, and the company is not responding to inquiries about when he is to start or what position he will hold. But he has been in conversations with reps from AEG, which books shows in partnership with the Hard Rock, and has talked in general of shaking up the entertainment scene at the hotel. Keep an eye on the lineup at the Joint, which is prepping for a return residency by Guns N’ Roses, and also the multipurpose venue Vinyl, which rolls out a busy schedule of rock shows and top comics Andrew Dice Clay and Tom Green.

Marrandino's most recent position in Las Vegas was for Harrah's Entertainment (now Caesars Entertainment) as president of Flamingo, Harrah's, Imperial Palace, Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon and O'Shea's. He was replaced by Rick Mazer in August 2009. Marrandino was charged with heading up the company's Atlantic City hotels: Caesars Atlantic City, Bally's Atlantic City, Showboat Casino Hotel and Harrah's Resort Atlantic City.

Aside from a brief stint in Lake Tahoe, where he ran Harrah’s and Harvey’s Lake Tahoe, Marrandino lived and worked in Las Vegas for 20 years before heading back to Atlantic City. He was a top exec at Station Casinos, Wynn Las Vegas and the Hard Rock Hotel before being hired by Harrah's in 2003.

Marrandino, who grew up near Atlantic City, resigned from his position with the company in January 2013. No reason was given for Marrandino's departure. The company said in a news release that he was leaving to explore "new opportunities." Marrandino's position was reportedly eliminated, and his departure was in the wake of a drop in business after Hurricane Sandy hammered the region in October 2012.

A huge fan of rock ’n’ roll, especially Bruce Springsteen and Sammy Hagar, Marrandino brought the original version of "Rock of Ages" (with Jack Blades of Night Ranger in the lead role), Toni Braxton and Donny & Marie to the Flamingo and Human Nature to what was then Imperial Palace (now the Quad). Marrandino was at the helm of Harrah's when Toby Keith opened his I Love This Bar & Grill at that resort.

Marrandino was spotted again today at the Hard Rock’s Rehab pool party, also an appropriate site as Marrandino makes a splash wherever he goes.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWiththeDish.

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