Virgin Group will soon paint the world’s most famous gambling town Virgin red after purchasing the iconic Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
For Virgin Atlantic, he arrived in Las Vegas dressed as Elvis. For Virgin America, he rappelled down the side of the Palms. Richard Branson is known for his notable (and sometimes risky) entrances and Virgin Group’s entry into Las Vegas is just as exciting.
By late fall of 2019, the iconic Hard Rock Hotel and Casino will become a Virgin Hotel. The 1,500-room property on Paradise Road is promised to be a showcase of Virgin’s sleek and stylish design with an eclectic mix of social spaces. It will undergo a facelift worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Virgin is a brand known for innovation and smart disruption, so if you’re wondering – what’s going to happen to its casinos? According to the Virgin Hotels CEO Raul Leal, it will still be a gaming hotel and a gaming partner will be announced very soon.
And what about the iconic giant guitar that’s already a staple in the city? Branson said it might not survive and be replaced by a giant red “V” instead, standing ambiguously for Virgin or Vegas. (That neon guitar is so famous, you’ll see it getting trashed in movies like Honey, I Blew Up the Kid and Con Air.)
As for the large collection of rock n’ roll memorabilia inside the hotel – some of it may stay, some of it could end up in storage or maybe in Richard Branson’s home. Who knows?
“I’m really looking forward to painting the town Virgin red”
“Las Vegas has long held a special place in my heart,” said Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. “Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America have enjoyed flying to Las Vegas for years and I’ve always known that Virgin Hotels could thrive there as well. I’m really looking forward to painting the town Virgin red.”
The hotel will feature 1,504 Chambers, Grand Chamber Suites and Penthouse Suites; a 60,000 square foot, fully-renovated casino, multiple pools over five acres, world-class restaurants, lounges and bars, including new nightlife venues and the brand’s flagship space, the Commons Club, as well as numerous meeting and convention spaces.
According to Branson, Las Vegas is all about personality and we can expect just that when it opens in 2019.
“Las Vegas is a dynamic city – the people, the excitement, the entertainment. To me, it’s always been the perfect city for our next Virgin Hotel,” said Virgin Hotels CEO Raul Leal. “We are dedicated to delivering the best in design, entertainment, heartfelt service and culinary excellence and we can’t wait to welcome visitors to what is sure to be an awe-inspiring Las Vegas experience.”
“Las Vegas is a dynamic city… the perfect city for our next Virgin Hotel”
Virgin Group has been looking around for a Vegas property for about six or seven years since the launch of Virgin Hotels. Hard Rock has been Branson’s favourite hotel for many years and he’s had the purchase in mind for quite some time. Branson describes the staff as “fantastic” and major upgrades are coming soon.
The property will continue to operate under the Hard Rock brand until late in 2019 when renovations are completed.