It’s been a busy year in Las Vegas, with casinos changing hands in a number of announced transactions. The Palms is being acquired by the San Manuel tribe of California, MGM is working on acquiring the operations of the Cosmopolitan, and Caesars is planning on selling a strip property.
At the same time, Mirage was announced to be up for sale, and now a company that had long been believed to be interested in a strip asset is finally in the process of getting one. Hard Rock International is said to be acquiring the operations of the Mirage.
The Hard Rock brand in Las Vegas is a complicated one. There used to be a Hard Rock Casino off strip, which was recently turned into Virgin Las Vegas. However, that property was not run directly by the Hard Rock team. When Virgin acquired the Hard Rock, Hard Rock International re-acquired the rights to build a property in Las Vegas, allowing this transaction to occur.
The location of Mirage was always an outlier among the MGM-owned properties, being far afield of the cluster of properties they have on the southern strip. By effectively swapping Mirage for the Cosmopolitan, they have a more continuous set of properties, not unlike Caesars with their east side of the strip ownership. It also completes their sell-off of the northern properties, which began over a decade ago with the sale of Treasure Island, and had continued in 2019 with the sale of Circus Circus.
Hard Rock’s plans include building a guitar-shaped hotel on the property, just like they have previously done in Florida at their Hollywood property. It certainly stands out in Hollywood, and a larger scale version would be eye catching on a strip full of eye catching scenery.
MGM has just really kept it in great condition, but certainly I think we all know that it’s extremely dated. You will see concrete on the floor and concrete on the roof and everything else will be brand new. Frankly, some of the structure will change. For the existing 3,000 rooms, it’s our plan to gut them completely, bathrooms and everything, and start over.Hard Rock Entertainment CEO Jim Allen, to the Nevada Independent
This could potentially be good for players, as not only does it drive additional competition on the strip, but also could yield offers for players in markets with Hard Rock Casinos as well, especially in Florida. Regardless, Las Vegas continues to evolve, and now, they’ll do so with another excited and invested owner on the strip.