Las Vegas Strip casino plans surprise closure and lays off staff

When it purchased the Mirage from MGM Resorts International in late 2022, Hard Rock International outlined broad plans to rebrand the property but was sparse with the details. 

That was believed to be because the new owners did not want to lose bookings with a number of massive events — including the Las Vegas Grand Prix, CES, and the Super Bowl — happening fairly close together.

The new owners have made clear that they intend to remodel the property and have said that Cirque du Soleil’s “Beatles: Love” show would close on July 6 and that the famed Mirage volcano was already living on borrowed time. 

It also quickly closed Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat and has basically shown that it wants to shed any signs of the Mirage as it becomes a Hard Rock property.

Related: Cruise lines, Las Vegas Strip, gamblers get good IRS news

At the time of the purchase, HRI CEO James Allen was adamant that while the company intended to gut The Mirage, it would not fully close.

“No. 1, it’s important for us to go on the record, 100%, we are not closing the building,” he told the Nevada Gaming Commission. But he did leave his company some room to change that decision. 

“There’s no intention at this time to close the building,” he added, according to a Las Vegas Review-Journal report. “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 time frame that we would evaluate what makes the most sense,”

HRI has changed course and now plans to close The Mirage on July 17. 

The Mirage will cease operations in July.

Image source: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Mirage lets go its entire hotel staff

In addition to not losing bookings during a lucrative period, Hard Rock may also have kept its closure plans close to the vest to avoid a staff exodus. 

Insisting that The Mirage would remain open may have kept some employees from searching for work at a time when employment opportunities on the Strip have been robust. 

More than 3,300 hotel employees will be laid off, but the company is trying to soften the blow.

“We are planning to host collaborative hiring events with other employers in the Las Vegas community over the coming months. Connecting the thousands of talented Mirage team members who provide outstanding service with new employment opportunities is a top priority,” Mirage President Joe Lupo said in a media statement.

Hard Rock will build a 600-room, 660-foot-tall Guitar Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip on the current site of the much-loved Mirage Volcano. The rest of the property will be modernized and themed to match the Guitar Hotel.

Be the first to see the best deals on cruises, special sailings, and more. Sign up for the Come Cruise With Me newsletter.

Hard Rock will pay some $80 million of severance packages for eligible union and nonunion employees remaining with the property through the end of operations. The company will also offer placement services for open jobs at its other properties and hold job fairs with other Las Vegas resort casino operators.

Mirage Volcano fate remains unclear

It seems possible that the Mirage Volcano will close along with the hotel, but Hard Rock has not confirmed that. The iconic attraction could shut sooner, or its life could be extended until construction on the Guitar Hotel actually begins.

Since it’s a free attraction, however, it seems unlikely to continue to operate after July 17 since Hard Rock will have no reason to attract people to a property that’s fully under construction.

There was an effort to have the Mirage Volcano declared a historic site.

“From day one the The Volcano has been delighting The Mirage’s visitors to what is an increasingly rare and totally awesome free Vegas attraction and highly emotional experience,” the petition’s web page said. “Moreover, it’s located on the most visible piece of land on the Las Vegas Strip! Frankly, it should be a historical landmark.”

Want the latest cruise news and deals? Sign up for the Come Cruise With Me newsletter.

Almost 11,000 people have signed the petition, but no formal effort to have the site declared a historical landmark has been launched.


Related Posts

Union Capital Financial Group Ltd, registered in the British Virgin Islands, does not provide investment services inside the United States. The company only provides consulting, advisory and educational services.