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The Hard Rock Hotel & Manaslot88 Casino may be closed for about eights months next year as it undergoes renovations. It will reopen as a Virgin Hotels property. (Image: Vegas.com)
The location will be closed completely — just temporarily — between February (after the Feb. 2 Super Bowl) and is expected to be shut down at least through October 2020. The casino may reopen January 2021 or sooner, and it is likely to be relaunched sooner, in November 2020, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Originally, the hotel casino was going to be closed for only four months while renovations proceeded. Also, renovations were to cost $150 million. But the new budget totals $50 million more.
When completed, the property will be re-branded as Virgin Hotel Las Vegas. Last year, the property was sold to Virgin Hotels.
The resort’s ownership group is J.C. Hospitality. President and CEO Richard “Boz” Bozworth explained in a statement, “We determined that a phased closing of four months, followed by a total closure of four months, was not efficient from a construction process, nor could we provide a hospitality service experience our guests deserve.
An approximate eight-month closure would be most efficient and ensure a timely opening prior to January 2021,” Bozworth added. “We might be ready in October, but construction is an imperfect process. Until early February 2020, it is business as usual at Hard Rock Hotel & Manaslot88 Casino Las Vegas.”
Management is encouraging the hotel’s approximately 1,650 workers to remain on board. They will get a retention bonus and those who want to work in the new hotel will not have to go through another job interview for their prior position.
Eventually, the identities of partners for Virgin Hotels — when it comes to food, beverage, nightlife and gambling — will be made public. Already, J.C. Hospitality will partner with AEG Presents as the operations partner for The Joint, an entertainment venue known for its music offerings.
The Joint will be renovated, too, including VIP suites, the Review-Journal said.
The Virgin Hotel Las Vegas plans to hold a grand opening party following the presidential election in November 2020. “I didn’t want to compete with the distraction of the campaign, with the state of Nevada and Las Vegas playing a pivotal role in the election,” Bozworth told the Review-Journal.
“This is a grand opening of a new hotel, and we don’t want to get lost in that distraction,” he added.
Among the expected renovations to the hotel are improvements to the five-acre pool deck. Each of the 1,500 hotel rooms will get renovated.
The casino floor will be enlarged and upgraded. New restaurants will open, and conference space will get expanded.
The Hard Rock is located on some 17 acres at Harmon Avenue and Paradise Road. It opened in 1995.
Virgin Group Has Diverse Holdings
Richard Branson’s Virgin conglomerate purchased the resort last year for an undisclosed sum. He partnered with a group of hedge funds and property developers.
This will be Virgin Hotel’s first foray into the casino market. The Virgin Group launched an online casino, Virgin Games, in 2003.
Branson has an estimated net worth of around $5 billion. The Virgin Group parent conglomerate controls more than 400 companies in diverse sectors.