The owners of the Hard Rock International brand plan to bring a rock and roll-themed casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Hard Rock agreed to buy the operations of the Mirage from MGM Resorts International for $1.075 billion. The Hard Rock plans to build a massive guitar-shaped hotel on the Strip and lease the land under the Mirage from VICI Properties Inc.
But for the first three years, MGM Resorts plans to license the Mirage name to Hard Rock royalty-free. The Hard Rock also intends to keep the 3,500 staff on board.
Bloomberg reports that Hard Rock plans to tear down the faux volcano that erupts outside of the Mirage as part of a remodeling. The Hard Rock still doesn’t know what will happen with other attractions, such as the Beatles-themed Cirque du Soleil show Love.
Before 2020, Hard Rock International was not involved with the Hard Rock Hotel, the off-Strip casino that reopened as Virgin Hotels in April. Hard Rock International purchased the licensing and naming rights for Hard Rock Hotel in May 2020 and promised to bring the iconic brand to the Las Vegas Strip when the right opportunity presented itself.
MGM Resorts already said it was willing to sell the Mirage earlier this year. The Mirage, the northernmost casino operated by MGM Resorts on the Strip, was one of the last to reopen after the state closed all nonessential businesses in March 2020 to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The Mirage itself is undergoing a transformation, with restaurants such as Pantry still not open 24 hours, Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak, the Italian restaurant Costa, Diablo’s Cantina, the Japanese Otoro Robata Grill & Sushi, and Stack, which once drew celebrities on the weekends to pack former nightclubs Jet and 1 OAK. Rhumbar also closed last summer to make way for a new ultra lounge.
The Mirage originally opened in 1989 as the first new property on the Las Vegas Strip in 16 years. The former site of Castaways became the first mega-resort in Las Vegas with more than 3,000 rooms and a South Pacific theme. In 2000, MGM Resorts took over ownership of the resort.