Change is the only constant in Las Vegas (other than world-class lap dances, allegedly), but lately the amount of change is startling.
Four casinos are getting new names: SLS Las Vegas, Hooters, Stratosphere and Hard Rock.
Here’s the quick overview of the name changes so you can impress your friends, should you ever get some.
SLS Las Vegas is Sahara
The classic Sahara is the Sahara all over again! The money pit that was SLS was purchased by bajillionaire Alex Meruelo back in April 2018.
Everything old is new again.
Yes, we broke the news SLS was purchased and the fact it would be rebranded Sahara. You don’t have to make it about us all the time, you know.
Significant renovations have been happening at Sahara for months, and the name change officially happened June 27, 2019.
The funky statue outside Sahara has been replaced temporarily by shrubbery.
Hooters is Oyo
The off-Strip Hooters hotel has had a slew of names. It was recently purchased, and will become Oyo Hotel & Casino Las Vegas.
Hooters out, Oyo in.
Yes, we broke the Oyo story, too. Please stop obsessing over how great we are. It’s awkward.
Calling all chip collectors. Just a figure of speech. Nobody has time to actually do that.
Oyo is known for its massive collection of budget hotels, so we don’t expect many changes to Hooters following the rebrand.
The Hooters restaurant won’t be sticking around, despite official statements. The restaurant will be moving to a Strip casino. The current frontrunner is one that rhymes with Schmopicana.
“Oyo” presumably stands for “on your own.” Just play along, they’re new in town.
Stratosphere is The Strat
Yes, this qualifies as a name change, despite the fact many people called this iconic casino “The Strat” long before it became official.
Many have used “Strat” as shorthand for Stratosphere for awhile, now it’s official.
Golden Gaming purchased Stratosphere in Oct. 2017, and a number of renovations have happened leading up to the renaming in Feb. 2019.
Not only was the resort’s marquee was recently replaced, the casino rolled out some sweet new chips.
Strat splurged for Paulson Premium chips, which mainly serves to make it sound like we know what we’re talking about.
The changes at The Strat make it a must-visit, in our humble opinion, and there are more surprises in the works.
That’s right, selfies encouraged in the casino at Strat. Miracles never cease.
Among the changes at The Strat are decor changes in the casino.
Sky blue is a good fit at Strat because it’s the structure in Vegas that’s closest to it. The sky. Please keep up.
Hard Rock Becomes Virgin Hotels Las Vegas
In 2020, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas will transform into Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
The resort will close for eight months, starting after Super Bowl weekend 2020.
In 2020, Vegas gets its very first Virgin.
Yes, we shared that news first (not to mention the resort was being sold). Now, it’s just getting embarrassing.
The Hard Rock renovation will touch virtually every part of the resort, and the renderings so far have been sexy AF. Take a look.
New look, new feel, new mojo.
It’s expected Virgin Las Vegas will open between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15, 2020.
Bonus Name Changes
If you haven’t visited Las Vegas in awhile, there are more name changes worth noting.
Monte Carlo is Park MGM
Monte Carlo was a visitor favorite for years, but the resort was officially rebranded to Park MGM in May 2018.
Please don’t make fun of the Park MGM logo. Folks on Fiverr have to make a living, too.
Mandarin Oriental is Waldorf Astoria
We probably shouldn’t include this on our list, because it doesn’t have a casino, but a name change is a name change. Mandarin Oriental became Waldorf Astoria in August 2018.
Thank you for not feeling obligated to mention we broke the news Mandarin Oriental would become Waldorf Astoria.
“Waldorf” comes from Walldorf, a town in Germany. “Astoria” comes from Astoria, Oregon. Don’t look now, but you accidentally learned something on the Internet.
Fontainebleau is The Drew
Honorary mention goes to a resort that never even opened, Fontainebleau. The abandoned project was purchased and renamed The Drew. Virtually nothing is happening with The Drew, so don’t get your hopes up.
“Nobody could have a lazier logo than Park MGM.” The Drew: “Hold our beer.”
That should bring you up to speed with the casino name game in Las Vegas.
Lots of casinos are rumored to be changing hands soon, so it’ll be fun to see if they’ll stick with the names they’ve got or switch things up. You’ll know when we do, and we claim to know everything.