Kelly Cardenas, the owner of four namesake salons—in southwest Las Vegas, Carlsbad, CA, Chicago and Salt Lake City—contemplated opening a salon in a Las Vegas casino for quite a while but always held off. “I understood the commitment it takes to be in a space like that—it’s a different kind of monster than having a salon in a community setting—so I was waiting for the ideal situation to present itself,” says Cardenas.
As luck would have it, Cardenas didn’t have to wait long. His business partner, Marc Jay, negotiated the perfect opportunity at the Hard Rock Hotel in 2016, and Cardenas immediately got busy designing the salon of his dreams.
An expansive front desk doubles as a retail display.
The result: hip, yet welcoming accommodations where form and function prevail. The space is punctuated with nomadic styling stations that can easily be relocated, blow-dryers that suspend from the ceiling, a mirror-free color bar, and a completely sound-proof wash house where clients are indulged with luxe shampoo and conditioning treatments.
An eye-catching glass exterior welcomes guests.
“Although I love interior design—and this is the most over-the-top salon we have ever created—I don’t ever want to lose sight of the fact that no matter the environment, the magic is always in the people,” says Cardenas.
The color bar
Above and beyond a comprehensive service menu that attracts hotel guests, the salon boosts local foot traffic by participating in philanthropic activities such as the Boys & Girls Club as well as networking with neighborhood organizations and restaurants.
Adjustable seats and washbowls are the centerpiece of the wash room.
“Our company does a great job emphasizing its connection with the community,” he says. “We service 68 percent of local clientele at our Hard Rock space and are busy year-round,” he adds. “These days, I truly believe it’s possible for hairdressers to be busy every season, provided they deliver the utmost in service and really nurture their client relationships.”