Hard Rock International plans to expand the Mirage casino, rebuild the pool areas and create a music museum, in addition to adding a guitar-shaped hotel tower as it rebrands the Strip’s original megaresort. “We will completely rebuild it — every inch of the public areas,” Hard Rock CEO Jim Allen said Wednesday during a meeting before the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Hard Rock agreed to purchase The Mirage from MGM Resorts for more than $1 billion last year. The board voted to recommend approval for a Hard Rock holding company to manage the property, and the matter goes to the Nevada Gaming Commission for final approval later this month.
Hard Rock executives revealed their preliminary renovation plans for the Mirage, opened in 1989 by casino mogul Steve Wynn. Those plans include adding 800 to 1,000 hotel rooms, plus renovating the existing rooms and suites at the former Mirage, which will be re-branded under the Hard Rock name. Executives told board members Wednesday that once complete, the redesigned Hard Rock Casino and Hotel Las Vegas would feature nearly 600 more hotel rooms, more than double the number of slot machines and four times the number of table games.The planned renovations will add 80,000 square feet of casino space and 83,000 square feet of convention space to the former Mirage. That’s accompanied by an addition of 1,164 slot machines and 161 table games. The casino floor would expand from 94,000 to 174,000 square feet, and theater seating would grow from nearly 3,300 to 6,265.
Hard Rock says they and MGM are working to ensure a smooth transition for employees at the property, with the expectations of similar or more generous benefits. “Right now, it is our intention to keep all Mirage employees,” Allen said. “We’ve certainly been asked if there will be any immediate layoffs… I don’t want to mislead anyone — certainly we’ll look at the whole construction process. We certainly believe we will operate this building at least for 18 months as is.”
Joe Lupo, a gaming veteran who was most recently president of the Hard Rock Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, would become president of Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas.The Mirage, built by Steve Wynn for nearly $700 million, opened in late 1989. It was the first of the megaresorts that would come to dominate the Strip.