Hard Rock Las Vegas Closes for Renovation and Rebrand

It’s the end of an era. Hard Rock Las Vegas hotel-casino closed on Feb. 3, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.

Hard Rock will remain closed for renovations and will re-open as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas in Nov. 2020.

We stopped by to say farewell to Hard Rock, a Vegas fixture since it opened on March 9, 1995.

Hard Rock hotel closed

The ceremonial lock and chain seal the deal. Dobs on one of those handles.

Virgin Hotels and a group of investors led by JC Hospitality purchased the Hard Rock in 2018.

By the time Hard Rock closed, it’s table games had been shut down (at 3:00 a.m. the night before), but a few stragglers were still playing slots.

The casino’s restaurants and retail shops were already packed up or in the process of doing so. Some will be back (MB Steak and Pizza Forte), some will not (Pink Taco and Mr. Lucky’s).

Hard Rock closed

Adios, Pink Taco.

It was surreal making the rounds at Hard Rock as it closed, and we experienced what others have, a flood of memories from this casino that at one time was one of the hottest spots in town.

Hard Rock closed

Whenever a craps pit closes in Las Vegas, an angel loses its hymen. Or something.

We get a lot of questions about the music memorabilia at Hard Rock. Thousands of pieces were part of the purchase. Some of the memorabilia has been sold off, some is going into storage, some has been donated to charity and it’s expected some will return in a retail shop at Virgin.

We also scooped the fact there will be a new hotel tower built as part of Virgin, with a Hard Rock presence, so expect to see memorabilia in that new offering as well.

Hard Rock closed

We’re not crying, you’re crying.

Now, all eyes will be on Virgin Hotels.

Estimates put the cost of the rebrand to Virgin at about $200 million.

The Virgin Las Vegas renderings so far have been pretty sweet. The new look and feel has been described as “modern desert resort oasis.”

Hard Rock closed

One last look.

Virgin will have 1,504 rooms and suites (called “chambers” in Virginland), as well as a 60,000-square-foot casino, new restaurants and 130,000-square-feet of meeting space.

As we were the first to share, because you expect nothing less, the casino at Virgin will be managed by Mohegan Gaming.

Hard Rock closed

Iconic wasn’t paying the bills. Next up, Virgin.

Because we are a badass, as Hard Rock was closing, we snagged an interview with the CEO of JC Hospitality, Richard “Boz” Bosworth.

As you listen, at 4:16, you’ll hear the very last song ever played on the P.A. at Hard Rock Las Vegas.


For posterity: The last song ever played at Hard Rock was “Trouble” by Coldplay.

Hard Rock

Thank you, Hard Rock, for a quarter century of party.

Enjoy some of the last photos ever taken inside Hard Rock Las Vegas, and we can’t wait to see what’s next.

8 thoughts on “Hard Rock Las Vegas Closes for Renovation and Rebrand

  1. Gregg's Hope

    Great pics as usual.

    If Coldplay was the last song, the joint no longer rocked. It deserved to be put out of its misery.

  2. Boulder Steve

    Hard Rock is a worn out theme. Same goes for Planet Hollywood. I guess Mohegan thinks otherwise since it paid big bucks for the naming rights for Miami Dolphins stadium who hosted this years SuperBowl now called Hard Rock Stadium. FYI..Cold Play is not Hard Rock

    1. Scott Roeben Post author

      Hard Rock is the Seminole tribe. That Hard Rock had nothing to do with the Hard Rock casino in Las Vegas. It’s complicated. “)

  3. Sara

    Visited in April of 2001 (my first trip to Vegas) and played my first table game, craps, there. 10 minutes later, I had to leave because security had carded me & I had “left my id in my room”. I was turning 21 in July that year. They were nice enough to let me keep my winnings & cocktail (the nice lady had served me before I had been carded) since they couldn’t prove I was under age. Nice place. I’m looking forward to the re-branding. Cheers for sharing!

  4. Drew

    Vegas May 2021. beginning of post-pandemic. Heart is broken. Had no idea the HR was gone. My very 1st trip to LV was 1996 and HR was the center of the universe. Had no idea it was brand new then, since it was the best casino/bar from Day 1. Been going 2-3 x year ever since.
    So many great trips over the years, so many stories, bands, gambled with celebs, met great girls, always had a blast.
    Always looked fwd to walking in the main door and seeing the big round casino & the big round center bar in the middle. Heaven.
    The new casino sucks. Nothing special. Just lots of square casino rooms with mean dealers, no atmosphere, no bar. ok, there’s one ‘lounge’ with no video machines. Who needs a martini bar, i have that at home. So, to sum up, fk this new place.
    The Hard Rock Las Vegas is gone. And like that …. poof …. it’s gone


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