The familiar off-Strip landmark will be shut down for renovations to transition to its brand new name Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. The venue shall be completely closed starting February 2020 until almost the end of the year.
The original strategy was to complete the first four months of the renovation in stages, so that the property could be kept open for business. After that first four months, the whole area shall be closed until everything is finished. However, in the end management decided that the initial plan would be too difficult to implement.
CEO and Hard Rock/Virgin Hotels partner Richard ‘Boz' Bosworth said, "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. Therefore an approximate eight-month closure would be most efficient and ensure a timely opening prior to January 2021. We might be ready in October, but construction is an imperfect process. Until early February 2020 it is business as usual at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. Virgin Hotels Las Vegas promises to be one of the most exciting, vibrant, and anticipated properties to open in Las Vegas in years."
Employees offered a choice to come back
Just like any other business undergoing extended closure for renovations, it is the employees that will suffer from this as they will be out of jobs right after the Super Bowl. It may not solve the problem entirely, but Hard Rock/Virgin is trying to help its 1,600+ workers by offering them a program called the "Stick Around and Come Back".
Of course, employee attrition will happen as a result of this temporary closure, and for sure most workers will immediately send out their resumes to other casinos as no one would want to be jobless come February 2020.
Their departures, obviously, will make it harder for the casino to function while it is still open. Thus, the casino deemed it best to offer rewards to employees who choose to stay until the closing date, with a cash bonus of up to 10 weeks' worth of salary. Furthermore, those who wish to return to work when the Virgin Hotel Las Vegas opens its doors in late 2020 will no longer undergo interviews just to get their previous jobs back. They just apply to get their old positions again.
Taking down the guitar logo
The Hard Rock, which opened in 1995, is situated on about 17 acres at Harmon Avenue and Paradise Road.
In March 2018, Hard Rock Las Vegas was acquired by Virgin Group, with the intention of rebranding the property to Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. The resort's ownership group is J.C. Hospitality.
It is expected that renovations will cost over $200 million, $50 million more than the earlier budget estimate of $150 million. The Joint rock club, 1,500 guest rooms and the five-acre pool deck shall undergo renovations as well. The casino floor will be upgraded and enlarged. The conference space shall be expanded and new restaurants will open.
The iconic giant Fender Stratocaster guitar seen out front of the venue will disappear, but Virgin founder Richard Branson said that Virgin's logo does have a "giant V which is somewhat guitar-shaped" so there may be a replacement being made that is similar to a guitar.
The casino shall close down temporarily starting February until October 2020. It may re-open January 2021 or earlier. It is likely to be re-launched sooner, in November 2020.