Nevada Gaming Board Recommends Approval for Sale of The Mirage to Hard Rock
- The NGCB has recommended the approval of the sale of The Mirage to Hard Rock International.
- Hard Rock International plans to strip down The Mirage and renovate it into a new casino resort.
- Hard Rock announced last December that it would be acquiring The Mirage for $1.075 billion.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board has recommended approval for Hard Rock International’s $1.08 billion acquisition of The Mirage.
Although the final approval still lies in the hands of the Nevada Gaming Commission, the NGCB’s recommendation has been deemed a “major step” in the process.
Hard Rock plans to operate the Mirage next year before closing it to strip down its building to build an all-new Hard Rock Las Vegas in 24 to 30 months.
Mirage to Be Stripped Down
During Wednesday’s MGCB meeting Hard Rock International CEO and President Jim Allen gave the Board a glimpse of his company’s plan for The Mirage. According to Allen, the casino will be “stripped down to its shell”, with most of the surrounding spaces, including the pool areas and outside grounds along the 77-acre site will be torn down and reconfigured.
The remodeled property will increase its number of rooms and suites from 3,044 to 3,640. The size of the property will also be increased from 94,00 0 square feet to 174,000 square feet in order to add 1,164 new slot machines and 161 table moors betting online. The property’s convention space will also get an added area of 50,000 to 85,000 square feet and the renovated resort will have a total of 21 restaurants and a new Hard Rock Live entertainment space.
According to Allen, one of the new features of the remodeled casino is a guitar-shaped tower to be placed at the front of the property, alongside the Las Vegas strip. The addition of the new guitar means that the faux volcano, which has been The Mirage’s top attraction since its opening, will be replaced. Two other attractions – the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat have been closed to the public and will also be eliminated as part of the redevelopment.
Hard Rock and MGM Working for Smooth Transition
While Hard Rock will be taking over The Mirage this month, Allen says that both Hard Rock and MGM are working together for a smooth transition for employees with expectations for similar or even better benefits. The Hard Rock President says that he expects all 3,600 employees of the hotel to be retained and continue to operate the property in 2023.
“Right now, it is our intention to keep all Mirage employees. We’ve certainly been asked if there will be any immediate layoffs… I don’t want to mislead anyone — certainly we’ll look at the whole construction process. We certainly believe we will operate this building at least for 18 months as is.”
Hard Rock, however, began receiving applications for job opportunities in “key positions” under the finance, human resources, and information technology departments via its website bs-hardrock.icims.com. The company said that only select applicants will be called to join their invitation-only events in the coming months.
Hard Rock Purchases The Mirage
The Mirage was built by Steve Wynn in 1989 and was one of the first mega-resorts that opened and dominated the Las Vegas Strip scene. The resort was the home of Siegfried and Roy for 14 years and it has also played host to some of the most popular boxing bouts during the late 80s up to the 90s, including the 3rd bout between Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran.
One year ago, Hard Rock International announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the operations of The Mirage from MGM Resorts International. Under that agreement, Hard Rock would pay MGM $1.075 billion for the operations of The Mirage and enter into a lease agreement with VICI Properties to lease the casino’s real estate assets at an annual base rent of $90 million.
Last October, Hard Rock was recognized at the Global Gaming Awards in Las Vegas as the Top Land-Based Operator of the Year and runner-up for Responsible Business of the Year. Hard Rock Hotel and Casino also received third for LATAM and Caribbean of the year.
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