Hard Rock is planning to replace the weirdly iconic Las Vegas Volcano with a new guitar-shaped hotel on The Strip, after buying the Las Vegas Mirage Hotel off MGM.

The Mirage is one of the most historically recognizable Vegas casinos in Sin City, and attracts thousands of tourists every year to its vast casino floors and hotel suites.

Famed for its weird and wonderful tourist attractions – including the nightly eruption of its volcano – MGM has sold the Mirage to Hard Rock for almost $1.1bn.

With it, Hard Rock not only acquires the 30-storey tri-tower hotel and its 3000 rooms, but also the land immediately out front.

And Hard Rock has wasted no time releasing its plans for what to do with the newly-acquired site that is based on the northerly bend of The Strip.

A picture posted on the company’s official social media accounts shows a huge guitar-shaped building reaching up to the sky, in the location of the current volcano. The blue-glass building looks similar to the one opened two years ago in Hollywood, Florida.

“We are honored to welcome The Mirage’s 3,500 team members to the Hard Rock family,” Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International, said in a statement. “When complete, Hard Rock Las Vegas will be a fully integrated resort welcoming meetings, groups, tourists, and casino guests from around the world to its nearly 80-acre center-Strip location.”

So, what does this mean for the Las Vegas Volcano? According to Bloomberg it will be torn down.

Hard Rock Buys Las Vegas Mirage Hotel

Seeing Las Vegas casinos exchange heads for billions of dollars is nothing new. But the timing of MGM’s decision to sell has certainly intrigued analysts.

MGM bought the casino and hotel in 2000 and it remains one of the city’s most iconic venues. Before the pandemic it became known for its lavish shows and entertainment offerings.

But when COVID-19 hit the casino doors closed for a few days each week – and it appears as though MGM have been ready to sell for some time.

Indeed, offloading the Mirage onto Hard Rock for $1.075bn frees up cash at MGM following their own acquisition of the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino. 

And Bill Hornbuckle, CEO and President of MGM Resorts International, says he wants to reduce the company’s exposure in Vegas.

“As part of the team that opened The Mirage in 1989, I know firsthand how special it is, and what a great opportunity it presents to the Hard Rock team,” he said.

“I want to thank all of our Mirage employees who have consistently delivered world-class gaming and entertainment experiences to our guests for more than three decades.”

What To Expect From Hard Rock Casino & Hotel

Hard Rock will pay MGM Growth Properties a lease for control of the Mirage, with MGM expecting to make $815m on the deal after tax.

All being well the contracts should exchange hands in the second half of 2022.

And there are big plans for the new Hard Rock Casino & Hotel. Along with a new guitar-shaped casino on the plot of the Volcano, the Florida-based company also wants to revamp the main building.

It is claimed $1.5bn has already been set aside for this investment, while there is yet to be confirmation on what will happen to some of the older entertainment offerings at the casino, such as the Beatles-themed Cirque du Soleil.

What it decides to do with its poker tables is also up for debate, although a redevelopment of this kind is usually exciting news for players.

Standard rooms at the Mirage currently go for around $80 a night. The price of hotel rooms in the guitar building is as-yet unknown.

Development of the Guitar Hotel could take years to complete. Not only would Hard Rock need to take down the volcano but it would also require time break ground, erect and then fit out the new venue.

Its Florida guitar hotel stands at 450 feet tall, took two years to build and required over 80,000 tonnes of concrete to build. 

Joe Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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