Hard Rock International has denied media reports that it plans to close and carry out major upgrade work at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada upon its acquisition of the facility.
In December last year, Hard Rock brokered a deal to acquire the Mirage from MGM Resorts International for $1.08bn. The agreement stated Hard Rock would purchase the operations of the casino, while the property will continue to be owned by real estate investment trust Vici Properties, which will lease it to Hard Rock.
This week, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) unanimously recommended to the Nevada Gaming Commission that it approve Hard Rock’s licensure and acquisition of the casino, with the deal expected to close before the end of the month.
However, in the wake of this news, a report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal said that if the deal goes through as expected, Hard Rock will gut the entire building and spend billions of dollars expanding and upgrading the facility.
Referencing comments made by Hard Rock chief executive and president James Allen at this week’s NGCB meeting, the Review-Journal said work would begin in late 2023 or 2024, with the property to close and undergo major work.
This would reportedly include increasing the number of hotel rooms from 3,044 to 3,640, expanding the casino from 94,000sq ft to 174,000sq ft, and growing the number of slot machines from 836 to 2,000 and table games from 51 to 212.
In addition, it was reported that Hard Rock would replace iconic volcano outside the casino with a 550ft guitar-shaped tower to reflect its own brand.
Responding to the report, Hard Rock said there are no current plans to cease operation of the Mirage and any reporting to the contrary is “inaccurate”.
Hard Rock made its own reference to comments made by Allen during the meeting, saying that when questioned directly about closing the property, Allen denied any such plans, but admitted it could be a future option.
“We do not have definitive plans to close the property at this time, but for full transparency, that could be an option a year and a half down the road,” Allen said.
Hard Rock added that future plans for transforming the Mirage into the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas are being developed, with more news on development plans expected to be released in late 2023.