The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas will be renovated and rebranded Virgin Hotels Las Vegas after it was purchased by billionaire Richard Branson last week.
A partnership with Los Angeles-based investment firm Juniper Capital Partners and others, Branson has promised to completely reimagine the 1,500-room property which will retain the Hard Rock name until renovations are complete in late 2019.
It will then assume the Virgin Hotels name as one of a number of Virgin hotels planned for launch across the country in cities including New York, Dallas, New Orleans, Nashville, Washington DC, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and more.
Explaining his vision for Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Branson told Associated Press that, “Virgin is all about fun, entertainment, not taking ourselves too seriously.
“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.”
He added that Hard Rock’s iconic guitar “may not survive … but we have a giant ‘V’, which is sort of guitar-shaped, which may take over.”
The Hard Rock casino will be retained and managed by a partner with Branson promising to invest “hundreds of millions of dollars” into the property. It is not yet known which non-gaming features will be retained.