The Mirage could close during its transition to the Hard Rock, though that wouldn’t occur until at least mid-2024. During its Dec. 7 meeting with the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Hard Rock International chair James Allen stated: “We do not have definitive plans to close the property at this time, but for full transparency, that could be an option a year and a half down the road.”
Previously, the Hard Rock implied that it would keep the resort open during the entire transformation. A Oct. 13, 2022 memo, from Hard Rock president Joe Lupo to all Mirage staff members, stated: “We will still operate under The Mirage name until we fully transform into a Hard Rock property, including the guitar-shaped hotel tower.” The Hard Rock’s plans include debuting a 36-story guitar-shaped tower, where The Mirage volcano now sits, in 2025.
However, in a Dec. 8 all-staff memo, Lupo stepped back from that position, echoing Allen’s assertion that no closure decision has been made yet.
“We have exciting plans for this property and are eager to welcome The Mirage team into the Hard Rock family, but future plans for transforming The Mirage into the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas will be years in development,” Lupo’s latest memo read. “Once finalized, those plans will be released accurately and directly to you, our valued team members, and not disseminated to you via the media.”
The litany of renovations announced by Hard Rock International at its meeting Wednesday – not even including the guitar tower – seems to make the property staying open a bad bet.
The Hard Rock plans to gut and completely rebuild the current casino and hotel – including all ceilings, windows, restaurant spaces, and bathrooms. As described by Scott Roeben of Casino.org’s “Vital Vegas” blog: “Mirage will basically be a ‘concrete shell’ and Hard Rock will rebuild everything from the bones of The Mirage.”
The Hard Rock said its overhaul of the casino floor will add 80,000 square feet of gaming space. That’s accompanied by an addition of 1,164 slot machines and 161 table games. A separate new Strip-facing casino will feature 200 slots and 12 table games. In addition, executives told the Gaming Control Board they will add 3,000 theater seats to the resort, as well as renovate all existing rooms and suites, villas, and event and meeting spaces, in addition to the pool area.
During the meeting, the Nevada Gaming Control Board unanimously recommended to the Nevada Gaming Commission that it approve Hard Rock International’s licensure and acquisition of The Mirage. The board is expected to issue its approval on Dec. 16.
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