Rock 'n' retail You might expect Mick Jagger or Jimi Hendrix to pop up behind the counter at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. The hotel, the most anti-Vegas of all the Glitter Gulch resorts, wanted a store that would reflect its upscale image of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle - "raw glamour" in the words of Hard Rock management. In the category of New or Renovated Specialty Stores (2,000 sq. ft. to 5,000 sq. ft.), Fitch Inc., Worthington, Ohio, was awarded the 2000 SADI for its design work on the project.

The intention was to create an alternative to the typical "t-shirt" shops at most Vegas attractions. Warm woods and soft, back-lit signage were used to integrate the store's exterior facade with the clean, upscale aesthetic of the hotel lobby. Inside, custom-made display cases and wood flooring, along with neutral walls and ceiling, form a subtle backdrop to the store's flamboyant merchandise and decor. Fixtures, finishes and flooring echo popular icons of rock 'n' roll, yet maintain an elegant, open, light and airy atmosphere. Signature features include a store-length walkway fashioned to resemble the neck of a guitar.

Stageset kitsch is peppered through the scheme with red velvet meeting bordello chandeliers in the fitting room, and refrigerator magnets plastering a metal column near the entrance. A flame-painted Harley-Davidson hangs over the leathergoods counter and, to avoid dating the displays, mannequins' heads have been replaced with guitar necks. To properly display the hotel's huge collection of artifacts and memorabilia, a purple suede wall highlights the collectable pin sets that are the store's mainstay.

AWARD RECIPIENT FITCH INC. Worthington, Ohio * fitch.com Christian Davies (associate vice president); Pam Dull (senior associate); Paul Lycett (Senior associate)

CLIENT HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO Las Vegas Product Manufacturers/Suppliers: Marcad Design, Mission Hills, Calif. (lighting design); Klai Juba, Las Vegas (architects)