Thousands of jobs lost

The Mirage will be no longer two months from now. On Wednesday, Resort President Joe Lupo gathered staff to let everybody know that the famed Las Vegas Strip casino and hotel will close on July 17, 2024 as it prepares for its transformation into Hard Rock Las Vegas.

It was originally thought that The Mirage would close in phases and thus stay partially open throughout the three-year process, but that isn’t happening. The property will be closed completely during the renovation. As such, about 3,300 employees will lose their jobs, including 140 who have been there since The Mirage opened in November 1989.

A resource center has been setup at The Mirage to help staff members find new jobs. There will also be career fairs where other casinos will look to hire people who will be out of work in a couple months. Of course, with the Tropicana recently closing, competition for jobs will be high. Lupo said that there will be openings at other Hard Rock-owned properties around the country, but relocation is a tough ask.

The centerpiece of the new Hard Rock Las Vegas will be a 660-foot-tall guitar-shaped hotel tower, like the one at Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida.

Beloved attractions will be just memories

Gone will be the iconic volcano, built as a way to fill the gap between the street and buildings themselves. Local residents tried to petition to get Hard Rock to keep the free attraction, but to no avail.

Also out is the wonderful Cirque du Soleil Beatles “Love” show and its specially-designed theater. The show’s producers confirmed last month that July 7 will be its last day. It wasn’t Cirque’s decision – it was all up to Hard Rock. And it is unlikely that the production will tour, at least in its current format.

“If it has a life beyond this venue, it will need to change the format a little bit. The theater is so unique, it’s a 360-degree stage and very deep,” said Cirque du Soleil CEO Stéphane Lefebvre. “If we want to move it elsewhere, if we look at somewhere in Europe, we need to make some significant changes.”

Though the “Love” theater will be renovated, the 1,300-seat Mirage Theater will stay. Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, one of the most enjoyed attractions on the Strip for years, has been closed since November 2022.

When The Mirage was built, it was the world’s most expensive resort, costing $630 million. It was also the first “megaresort” on the Strip, beginning the wave of construction that has made the gambling corridor what it is today. With The Mirage becoming Hard Rock and the Tropicana being razed to make room for a baseball stadium, the Las Vegas Strip will look quite different in a few years.

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