Las Vegas Strip Resort, Iconic Attraction Closing, Beloved Show Survives
The worst has been confirmed as Hard Rock International takes over the Mirage from MGM Resorts International, but there is some good news.
Nothing lasts forever in Las Vegas. In many cases, when a brand disappears from the Las Vegas Strip, its time has passed. But some beloved events, shows, attractions, and even casinos die before their time.
The old property was dated, had no theme, and did not stand out in any way. When it takes the Horseshoe moniker, the property will adopt that brand's "gambler-friendly" mentality and become a unique part of Caesars' Las Vegas Strip offerings.
The same thinking may apply to Tropicana, another legendary property that just changed hands. New owner Ballys Corp. (BALY) - Get Free Report may revamp the property and rebrand it under its corporate name, or it could be demolished for a new casino, or even a baseball stadium for the Oakland Athletics.
Sometimes, however, Las Vegas properties don't get to reach the end of their lifespan before being replaced by something new. That's what happening at the Mirage, which is about to be owned by Hard Rock International. Hard Rock made a $1 billion deal to acquire the property from MGM Resorts International (MGM) - Get Free Report.
Mirage Resort Casino Being Gutted
Hard Rock has been fairly tight-lipped about its plans for Mirage. That's partly because the deal has not closed. That's about to change as the Nevada Gaming Control Board has recommended approval of its $1.08 billion purchase from MGM Resorts.
MGM and Hard Rock have already , with a deep connection to Las Vegas history: Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. That Mirage attraction recently saw two dolphins die, which contributed to the decision to permanently close it.
Now, with Hard Rock about to take ownership of the property, it has outlined plans for the core Mirage casino and resort tower.
"Hard Rock International plans to close the Mirage, gut the entire three-wing hotel and casino, and spend billions to expand and upgrade the property beginning in late 2023 or 2024," the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
The new owner also plans to expand a number of things at the Mirage, which can keep that name for as long as three years as part of the deal with MGM.
- The revamped resort will add about 500 rooms, expanding its capacity to 3,640 rooms.
- The casino floor will almost double in size, to 174,000 square feet from 94,000 square feet
- The number of slot machines will more than double, to 2,000 from 836 , and the number of table games will quadruple to 212 from 51.
- Convention space will increase from 200,000 square feet to 283,000 square feet.
The resort will also increase the size of its theater to 6,265 seats from 3,278, and boost the number of food and beverage outlets to 21 from 18.
All these numbers were first reported by the Review-Journal.
Iconic Mirage Volcano Closure Confirmed, Beatles Staying
Since Hard Rock made the deal with MGM to purchase the property, observers assumed that the iconic Mirage Volcano, a free Las Vegas Strip attraction, would close. Now, Hard Rock CEO James Allen has confirmed that closure.
“Certainly the volcano is legendary, but as you saw in the renderings, the guitar-shaped hotel replaces the volcano,” he said during the regulatory hearing.
The Volcano's closing date has not been made public.
The Guitar Hotel will be 550 feet tall, after Clark County rejected a plan to make it nearly 1,000 feet tall, the paper reported.
Hard Rock will, however, keep one long-running show as part of the reimagined resort.
"Allen also said the Hard Rock signed an agreement to keep the Cirque du Soleil’s Beatles-themed 'Love' show at the property," the Review-Journal reported.
MGM will continue to operate the casino and no employees are expected to lose their jobs. In fact, the new property is expected to hire more as it expands operations.