Hard Rock Cafe demolition at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas commenced on Monday to mark the start of the conversion of the site into Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
British billionaire businessman Richard Branson’s entertainment company bought the Hard Rock property in the spring of 2018. The resort is set to close for an eight-month upgrade and rebranding at the beginning of next year.
Hard Rock Cafe will be flattened in order to provide space for parking and ride sharing. However the main building of the hotel and casino will not be demolished.
Having opened doors at the intersection of Paradise Rd. and Harmon Ave. in 1990, the Hard Rock-branded restaurant. closed down at the end of 2016. It was one of the two Las Vegas Hard Rock Cafes. The Neon Museum now houses the famous 82-foot high neon sign.
The upgrading of the adjacent Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will begin on Monday February 3rd after Super Bowl. For its rebranding, the hotel must close its doors and is scheduled to reopen as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas in November 2020.
One the resort is fully operating, it will include a hotel with 1,500 upgraded rooms and suites, a new 60,000-square-foot casino owned by Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, a casino and entertainment company run by Connecticut’s Mohegan Tribe, five acres of pool space, and 130,000 square feet of meeting and event space, among other amenities.
Virgin Hotels revealed that during its expected eight-month renovation, the property would be completely closed, opting for the complete closure of the resort after partially closing it after Super Bowl for a four-month period and then, as originally planned, completing it for another four months.
Commenting on the upcoming closing and renovation of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Richard “Boz” Bosworth, CEO of JC Hospitality, the company that bought the property in March 2018, said recently that “by 4 o’clock the day after the Super Bowl, the last guest will be leaving, and the construction fences will be going up, and the doors will be locked.”
Initially, Virgin Hotels planned to spend around $150 million on renovating and restoring their first property in Las Vegas. Further on, the hospitality company increased the original investment to $200 million.
The conversion of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino into a property of Virgin Hotels would mark not only the introduction of the Las Vegas brand of Virgin Hotels, but also the first foray of Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment into the casino industry of the region.
The tribal gaming company currently operates properties in Connecticut, its home state, as well as in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Canada. It is also developing an integrated luxury resort in Incheon, South Korea, and is one of two bidders for a permit to build a casino resort on the site of an international airport near Athens, Greece, which is now defunct.