Rumor: Signs Point to Cosmopolitan Sale to Hard Rock International

It’s the juiciest rumor we’ve heard in weeks: Cosmopolitan is strengthening its bottom line for a potential sale to Hard Rock International.

Hard Rock Las Vegas

Don’t toss out those signs from the Hard Rock casino quite yet.

We’ve been Tweeting furiously about odd news out of Cosmopolitan recently, that staff layoffs were taking place and credit lines were being halted and reviewed.

Now, we know why.

Cosmopolitan ownership reportedly brought in a company specializing in business efficiency and steps have been taken to make the resort more appealing to a surprise suitor, Hard Rock International.

Here’s just one example of the recent cost-cutting measures happening at Cosmopolitan: We’ve learned in March 2018 the resort switched from Coke to Pepsi, about a 10% savings by some estimates.

The Cosmopolitan

Rumors have swirled for some time about a sale of the Cosmo, but this one could have legs.

Details are few about the potential sale to Hard Rock International, but who has time to wait for a news release? Don’t be surprised if there’s official news of a sale in the near future.

Chandelier Bar Cosmopolitan

Just another day at Cosmo.

Rumors of the sale of Cosmopolitan to Hard Rock International comes on the heels of a sale of the nearby Mandarin Oriental to a mystery buyer (we’ve heard it’s a private investor, but could be a Ritz-Carlton) and confirmation the Hard Rock casino in Las Vegas was sold to Virgin Hotels and a group of investors.

When we first shared rumors of the sale of Hard Rock Las Vegas, it was Hard Rock International believed to be the buyer—it appears they may have had their eyes on a bigger prize.

Hard Rock Las Vegas wasn’t part of the Hard Rock International family, it was owned by Brookfield Asset Management. There will be a quiz.

MGM Resorts was reportedly eyeballing Cosmo at one point, but has apparently moved on.

Interesting times in Las Vegas, to be sure.

More sales, mergers and acquisitions are anticipated in the months to come.

Update (5/3/18): Following our story, two well-placed sources have confirmed Hard Rock International has entered the “due diligence” phase with Cosmopolitan. What’s “due diligence”? That’s where a hotel being sold provides an metric ass-ton of documentation to a potential buyer. Here’s a sampling (.pdf) of what’s involved. More to come!

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12 thoughts on “Rumor: Signs Point to Cosmopolitan Sale to Hard Rock International

  1. Joey Vegas

    Perfect fit for them with a built in clientele they desire. Just don’t make it too cheesy and they will do fine. We don’t need another HR restaurant there.

    Reply
  2. Mike L

    Hard Rock’s brand was pretty successful for an off-strip property. I’d imagine they would do pretty well with it. I was thinking the buyer might by Phil Ruffin, since he made a play for the Mirage recently or maybe Uncle Shelly. Isn’t MGM still sniffing around Wynn?

    Reply
  3. FYMYAWF

    *nervous*

    I don’t want anything to change at that glorious place, but I’m also glad MGM and presumably CET has backed off of any possible acquisition. If they leave the excellent staff in place, just leave the resort the hell alone like Blackstone basically did and don’t try to re-brand everything “Hard Rock” then this could be OK.

    *still nervous*

    Reply
  4. JT

    The Cosmopolitan is too cool to become a Hard Rock. Hard Rock brand is for 50 and 60 year olds. They will tear out all the awesome interior and ambiance and replace it with the standard Hard Rock junk of giant gaudy guitars and dusty memorabilia. The Cosmo is a unique property in a city that is quickly accelerating to same old boring corporate garbage with just a different name on the outside.

    Reply
  5. Nago

    So,more mergers to come ? Meh…mergers brought nothing but bad stuff to Vegas. All look alike hotels,resort fees,paid parking,disgruntled employees and on an on.

    Reply
  6. Jeff in OKC

    Soft drink pouring rights are a big deal, and probably a tell of who the buyer is: Pouring contracts are usually several years in duration. And usually run company wide. I’m so sure of this that I haven’t yet searched for the soft drink supplier of Hard Rock International. But, I’m guessing it’s Pepsi.

    A big factor in the NBA being in OKC is that, after Hurricane Katrina, OKC had the same cable TV (Cox), cola and beer pouring rights in their arena (Pepsi and Bud Light), as New Orleans. This made the temporary relocation of the Hornets to OKC easy. And the rest is history…

    Reply
  7. Funkhouser

    Why HRI? Why not Crown Resorts. Let’s look at why a Crown play for Cosmo LV makes sense for a second. They have been trying to get a strip property unsuccessfully for the past 10 years. Fontainebleau lost funding and their 17% investment disappeared, Alon funding never came thru and James Packer exited the deal. Now Packer is gone and the board at Crown Resorts is still looking for growth opportunities in Vegas. A Vegas deal for Cosmopolitan l means a turn key business with an updated property, players database they can market other properties and connect with their overseas players. It’s good PR after the mess with Packer and alleged bribery of Israeli officials. A Cosmopolitan deal gets them over the hurdles of building a new property and puts them on the strip at prime location. Lastly the Cosmo LV fits into the type of upscale resort in both amenities and rank.

    Reply
  8. Funkhouser

    I forgot to add Crown also acquired $1.49 billion in cash from the sale last year of the Macau Casino operator stake they owned. I struggle to see how HRI would float the needed cash and investment to acquire Cosmopolitan. They would also need a hotel partner to operate the place.

    Reply

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