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SWAT crashes open Hard Rock hotel doors in training exercise

Tribune staff report
Warner Hospitality and the Park Family kicked off its $60 million renovation of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe on Aug. 13 using the opportunity for a hostage situation training exercise for the South Lake Tahoe SWAT team.
Contributed photo |

Renovations on the upcoming Hard Rock Hotel & Casino kicked off Wednesday with the South Lake Tahoe SWAT team ripping open the building’s doors.

The SWAT team was performing a hostage situation training exercise at the hotel, one of many training drills being performed by first responders and law enforcement at the site.

Warner Hospitality, which is managing the hotel, and the Park family, which owns it, welcomed the emergency response teams to use the construction site for training as part of their ongoing commitment to support the community, according to a release.

The $60 million renovation already calls for significant demolition; so emergency responders took advantage of the situation.

“The opportunity for the South Lake Tahoe Police Department to engage in critical incident scenario training in a commercial structure such as this one is invaluable,” Police Chief Brian Uhler said in a statement. “This is a rare opportunity and could not be possible without the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino’s cooperation and generosity in supporting local first responder incident training.”

The department’s K9 unit has also been able to use the building for training purposes over the last several weeks. Sgt. Josh Adler said the opportunity has been tremendously beneficial.

“Our team has been able to enact agitator trainings in lighted and blacked out scenarios with both the K9 trainers, handlers and the SWAT team,” he said.


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