A major transformation
Hard Rock International has revealed its plans to transform the Mirage casino resort on the Las Vegas Strip. The casino company presented the plans to the Nevada Gaming Control Board on Wednesday. It is planning to invest billions into the renovations, including constructing a hotel tower in the shape of a guitar.
the Mirage will still be open for the upcoming 18 months
Hard Rock has not yet decided if it will completely close the property during the renovations or if operations will continue in some capacity. Whatever the case may be, the Mirage will still be open for the upcoming 18 months, at which point the company will assess its next move.
For the moment, the property will still be called the Mirage, but it will eventually rebrand to the Hard Rock Las Vegas.
Hard Rock International chairman Jim Allen led the presentation on Wednesday, which took almost four hours. He believes that the Mirage is an iconic property and that the transformation will “elevate the game for everybody on the Strip.” Allen spoke about how Hard Rock likes to do things big and that the Mirage site provides the company with plenty of scope to do so.
The Mirage, opened in 1989 by Steve Wynn, was the first megaresort on the Las Vegas Strip.
The plan is to strip down each of the 3,044 hotel rooms at the Mirage and rebuild them. Upon completion of all the work, the Mirage will have somewhere between 3,600 and 3,700 hotel rooms. Hard Rock had submitted plans to Clark County to construct a 998-foot guitar tower, but it is likely the structure will be no more than 660 feet.
The public areas, restaurants, and casino at the property will also be fully rebuilt. The total size of the property will grow by 80,000 square feet, reaching 174,000 square feet. The number of slot machines will more than double to 2,000 and table games will increase from 51 tables to 212. New theatre and convention space will also be added. A petition has been doing the rounds to keep the famous volcano attraction at the property, though it appears its days are numbered.
Getting the deal over the line
In December 2021, Hard Rock International announced that it had entered an agreement with MGM Resorts International to buy the Mirage’s operating rights in a deal worth almost $1.1bn. The Nevada Gaming Control Board recommended that the Nevada Gaming Commission approve the transaction during its meeting this month.
Hard Rock currently operates over a dozen casinos in North America, with a couple of other properties set to open in the near future. The company is controlled by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
When the deal officially closes, the Seminoles will be the very first tribal nation to operate a Las Vegas Strip casino. VICI Properties real estate investment trust (REIT) controls the real estate of the Mirage and will leasing it to Hard Rock at starting at $90m per year.
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