Hard Rock Las Vegas to Close Four Months During Transition to Virgin Hotel

As we were the first to report via the Twitters, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will close entirely for four months next year as it transitions to Virgin Hotel Las Vegas.

Specifics of the hotel’s rebrand were shared with hundreds of employees on Dec. 19, 2018.

Hard Rock’s overhaul will start around Labor Day of 2019 and will last a total of eight months. The full closure will happen during the last four months of that renovation window.

(Updated 3/21/19): To make it easier for the search engines: Hard Rock Las Vegas resort will close Feb. 3, 2020 and will remain closed through Nov. 2020.

Virgin Hotels

It’s unclear how long Virgin will stay that way when it gets to Las Vegas. Because Las Vegas.

The hotel’s new owners say every part of the resort will be touched by the renovation and rebrand.

The upgrades will include: newly-designed Virgin rooms, new bars and restaurants, a redesigned pool deck, a new hotel exterior and landscaping, an expanded and redesigned casino floor, upgraded and expanded event space and new security systems.

Hard Rock Center Bar

The original Hard Rocks Center Bar was around for 20 years. The current one is likely to go away after just four.

Virgin Hotel will have a sports book, described as “a food and beverage sports viewing environment with app-generated gaming.” It’s unknown who will operate the sports book, or if it will continue to be “powered by CG Technology.”

Owners also mentioned the Virgin rebrand will bring with it “powerful loyalty programs,” including hotel, gaming and event customer databases.

The importance of this element of the evolution of the hotel and casino can’t be overstated, as it shows the new owners understand it takes more than resort improvements to succeed, especially in a challenging location.

It sounds like the Hard Rock’s ownership is addressing another key component needed for future success: Union negotiations.

Back in Sep. 2018, the Hard Rock’s new owners took the fairly uncommon step of signing a “card check neutrality agreement,” a contract between unions and an employer where the owner agrees to support the union’s attempt to organize workers. Hard Rock employees voted to unionize, and negotiations are currently underway.

The resulting union contracts are expected to take effect in early 2019. Read more.

Virgin Las Vegas rebrand

We hear the new owners of Hard Rock loved our Virgin rendering, complete with chastity belt. They were probably just being nice.

The renovation will also include a modernization of The Joint, the hotel’s entertainment venue.

Owners mentioned to employees plans for a “huge act” to perform at The Joint in June, a symbolic send-off to Hard Rock and a nod to the metamorphosis to come.

The act has not been named, but an announcement is expected around the time of the Super Bowl (early February).

Hotel ownership has said it has gone to great lengths to assist employees with the disruption caused by the renovation and temporary closure. There will be incentives for staff members to stick around until the hotel shutdown, and those wishing to return following the rebrand won’t have to apply again.

Estimates of the investment in Hard Rock’s rebrand to Virgin range from $50 million to “hundreds of millions.”

While the Hard Rock’s new owners—including Juniper Capital Partners, Bosworth Hospitality Partners, J.C. Hospitality, Dream Alternatives and bajillionaire Richard Branson—haven’t shared many details of what’s in store for Virgin Hotel Las Vegas, the brand has been described as “disruptive.”

Here’s a snappy video that highlights some of the things Virgin considers brilliant and “unbrilliant.”

They had us at “beds that do tricks.”

While we’re in the vicinity, there was some recent news about Pink Taco (which currently resides in Hard Rock) and the aforementioned J.C. Hospitality which we didn’t understand, but maybe you will.

Because we have to make everything about us, here’s us talking about plans for the Hard Rock on Channel 8.

We look forward to watching what Virgin Hotel Las Vegas has in store. As you might suspect, we’re a big fan of disruptions.

6 thoughts on “Hard Rock Las Vegas to Close Four Months During Transition to Virgin Hotel

  1. Housefunker

    The cynic in me says this:

    They’re going to dump bazillions into a property that is already overpriced and off the strip. They’re going to make it more appealing and fancy for those who have money to burn. And because it’s isolated from the strip and everything else appealing in Vegas, people are going to beg to dump hundreds per day for their room, resort fee and meals, all in hopes that their $25/hand play at blackjack will get them comped and put a few dollars back in their pockets?

    Can’t fail. Vegas never fails.

    You don’t need to be in the epicenter of the strip to succeed. Just ask SLS and Lucky Dragon.

    Yeah, we know, people piss themselves with excitement over the thought of name dropping Virgin when they discuss their vacations. Virgin is like Spanish fly, after all.

    10 percent of the country controls 75 percent of the nation’s wealth. So all they gots to do is target that 10 percent and Branson will pocket another cool billion.

    So easy

    1. Backseater

      It was pretty bad the one time we were there, and that was many years ago. I suspect it hasn’t improved. And the same goes for the Blackjack.

      Holiday greetings and best wishes for the New Year to all.

  2. David

    The Hard Rock has never, ever, ever been a place of value, good odds or cheap drinks. It has been just the opposite. The property has never done any real slot business. Tables at one time were pretty hot and the dealers made a ton but i think that has all changed and the property is just sitting there, paying huge management fees to managers who dont seem to really care about the employees or even the guests.

    It has become a typical strip type property that is encumbered with Union deals. Closing for 4 months i think allows the new owners to scrap all union deals, which i think is awesome. Why pay a hostess 50,000 a year and have to have at minimum two of them??? Ridiculous. Hopefully you wont find any cocktail waitresses who overdosed at the new owners home, like the last owners.

  3. Craig S.

    I have been to the Hard Rock many times. Almost always had a decent room, I enjoy Mr Lucky’s which I assume will disappear with the rebranding. I love the rooms in HLH tower, although some items are dated like the original style iPod connection, but the beds I. HLH tower are some of the most comfortable I’ve slept on including those at Bellagio on the same trip, and the room a lot more friendly to my wallet. Afraid it will just be another overpriced disappointment when it becomes Virgin


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