As Sir Richard Branson develops Virgin Hotels, he revealed that an iconic Las Vegas property just off the strip will be joining the boutique luxury brand.
Branson, in partnership with a group led by Juniper Capital Partners and Fengate Real Asset Investments, purchased the Hard Rock Las Vegas Hotel and Casino – a hotspot in Sin City since 1995. The site will continue to operate as part of the Hard Rock brand through 2019, and then it will be reflagged Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. The hotel will remain open as it undergoes “hundreds of millions of dollars” worth of renovations over multiple phases.
"Virgin is all about fun, entertainment, not taking ourselves too seriously," Branson told the press at an event announcing the news last week. "Virgin Atlantic has had a lot of fun flying tons of people to Las Vegas from Britain for many years. Virgin America has done the same, and we wouldn’t have just come to Las Vegas unless we could’ve found the property that was very Virgin, and I think that’s what we’ve achieved."
The hotel’s 1,504 rooms will be appointed under the brand’s Chambers, Grand Chamber Suites and Penthouse Suites categories. The project will also see a full renovation of its 60,000-square-foot casino; addition of the brand’s flagship food and beverage concept, Commons Club; multiple pools over five acres; and new nightlife venues.
Virgin Hotels currently operates one hotel, in Chicago, which debuted in 2015. Virgin Hotels San Francisco will open later this year, while properties in Nashville and Dallas are slated to open in 2019. Openings are also planned for New York, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Silicon Valley, Palm Springs, and Edinburgh.