The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas is no more. On Monday morning, after a weekend-long party, the 25-year old landmark closed. The building is not going anywhere, but when it re-opens in the fall, it will be Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. The giant Stratocaster will be gone, the music theme will be a memory.
Full closure was Plan B
Virgin Group, led by Richard Branson, bought the Hard Rock in March 2018. The property was always going to be transformed into Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, but the original idea was to do a phased closure. Part of the property would shut down for four months while the rest stayed in operation and then everything would close for four months. After further review, though, it was determined that a full shut down was best.
“We determined that a phased closing of four months, followed by a total closure of four months was not efficient from a construction process nor could we provide a hospitality service experience our guests deserve,” said Virgin Hotels Las Vegas’s chief executive officer, Richard “Boz” Bosworth.
Buy a black light, too
And so now it’s time to clear the place out. As part of that effort, Virgin is selling furniture from the hotel. In a hell of a deal if you don’t mind used furniture and whatever might have occurred on top of it, you can buy an entire room for pretty damn cheap.
A two-room package costs just $800. That includes a king or queen bed frame and headboard, a pair of nightstands, sofa, ottoman, one end table, two lamps, dresser, desk, chair, and TWO 42” or larger televisions. Those who just need either the living room or bedroom can buy one room for $400.
There is no set date for the grand re-opening, only that it is expected to happen in the fall. The new property will have a “modern desert” theme and will include a 60,000 square-foot casino.
Virgin hopes that the excitement the Hard Rock brought to Las Vegas can continue despite the change.
“All that good energy (at Hard Rock) needs to be carried forward,” Bosworth told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I think we’re going to be as meaningful and as relevant as Hard Rock was in the late ’90s.”
Virgin hopes staff returns
One major problem stemming from the renovation is that the vast majority of Hard Rock’s 1,600 employees are out of work. Many likely found new jobs last year after the closure announcement, and for good reason. Virgin, of course, needed people to keep working through the closing date, so to tempt people to stay put and at the same time help them out, the company instituted the “Stick Around and Come Back Program.”
With “Stick Around,” any employee who remained with Hard Rock until Monday was given up to ten weeks pay as a bonus (one might assume that the exact amount has to do with tenure, but no details were made public). In addition, anyone who wants to return to their jobs when the property re-opens as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas will get their old jobs back without interviewing.