Iconic Las Vegas Strip Casino Avoids Closure

While huge changes are coming, one of the biggest names on the Strip has avoided a total shutdown.

Construction on the Las Vegas Strip moves slowly. When you’re building on the scale required to wow people in Sin City, that takes hundreds of people, massive machinery, and months, or sometimes years.

Even a basic renovation like the one Caesars Entertainment (CZR) – Get Free Report has undertaken to transform its Ballys into a Horseshoe takes nearly a year. That effort involved revamping the casino floor, adding a new Guy Fieri-created sportsbook, an all-ages arcade, and changing signage across the property.    

And, even at hundreds of millions, that’s considered a small project. Caesars pulled it off without closing the property.

That’s what Hard Rock International hopes to do with its major renovation of the Mirage, which it is purchasing from MGM Resorts International (MGM) – Get Free Report. After the $1 billion deal closes, the new owner plans massive changes on the property. That includes building a new Guitar Hotel on the property.

What it won’t include — after Hard Rock originally said it would — is a full closure of the current property.

Image source: Hard Rock International.

Hard Rock Has a New Plan for Mirage

While the new owner intends to “gut” the property and had earlier implied that it would close Mirage at some point in 2023, its CEO has rolled back those words,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

“No. 1, it’s important for us to go on the record, 100 percent, we are not closing the building,” Hard Rock International CEO James Allen said in testimony Friday to the Nevada Gaming Commission, which approved the licensing of Hard Rock International to operate The Mirage.

While Allen left himself some wiggle room about the closure, he tried to reassure the Mirage’s 3,500 workers that they should not be afraid of losing their jobs.

“There’s no intention at this time to close the building,” Allen said. “We certainly are like any company. We will look at the construction schedule, we will look at the economy, whether there is or is not a recession and a year and a half from now or so probably would be the timeframe that we would evaluate what makes the most sense.

The deal with MGM is expected to close before Christmas and certainly before the end of the year. 

Hard Rock has said it will extend the “Beatles: Love” Cirque du Soleil show for the long term. It will, however, close the Mirage Volcano, a famous free attraction on the Strip. No timetable has been given for the closure of the Volcano. 

Another attraction, Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden attraction, has already closed. Hard Rock has been working on finding new homes for the animals that live there.

Big Plans for the Mirage Guitar Hotel  

Hard Rock has made the Guitar design its signature at its property near Ft. Lauderdale. As it makes its move to the Las Vegas Strip, the company wants to provide a similar experience.

The Guitar Hotel will be an all-suites resort that’s about 700 feet tall. Allen had hoped for higher, but the Clark Country Commission decided to cap the height at between 600 and 700 feet. That would be slightly shorter than the tower at the Fontainebleau, an upcoming Strip resort casino opening in late 2023.

Hard Rock has not given a timetable for the renovation. The company will have the right to keep the Mirage name on the property for up to three years. It will be honoring all existing reservations and BetMGM, MGM’s gaming arm, will continue to run the casino on the property.

The Guitar Hotel will offer an infinity-edge rooftop pool.

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