Hard Rock gives Vegas guests a parting gift

By Noah Taylor Updated
Hard Rock coming to Vegas Strip after iconic deal

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas is bidding farewell to its resort fees, known to be one of the biggest nuisances Las Vegas visitors are faced with when booking their stay in the city.

Hard Rock Las Vegas has less than a month before closing its doors for good and undergoing a planned $200 million renovation and transformation into Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

To mark its final days in Vegas, the property has unveiled a No Resort Fees! Offer for new reservation, according to Casino News.

The offer will be valid through January 31 and will apply to new reservations through February 2.

Resort fees have become increasingly common in Las Vegas, particularly at properties on the Strip where these charges exceed $50 per night at some resorts.

And their rise in recent years has become increasingly irritating and frowned upon by visitors.

Most recently, casino powerhouse Caesars Entertainment stacked up resort charges at on-Strip Caesars Palace and Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace from $44.31 per night to $51.02 per night, saying that the fees were brought in line with relevant competitors.

MGM Resorts International, another operator with solid Las Vegas presence, raised last summer resort fees at its Aria Vdara and Bellagio resorts to $45 per night.

Eight month revamp before Virgin relaunch

Hard Rock Las Vegas is set to undergo an eight-month revamp and then be rebranded as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas after the hospitality business of British billionaire Richard Branson purchased the property in the spring of 2018.

Work on the hotel and casino complex’s transformation will kick off on February 3, the day after this year’s Super Bowl.

The renovated and rebranded property is expected to open doors sometime in November 2020.

Hard Rock Las Vegas will remain closed during its transformation.

Commenting on the upcoming closure of the property, Richard Bosworth, chief executive officer of JC Hospitality, the company that acquired the resort in March on behalf of Virgin Hotels, said late last year that “by 4 o’clock on the day after the Super Bowl, the last guest will be leaving and the construction fences will be going up, and the doors will be locked.”

When it resumes operation, the new resort will feature a hotel with 1,500 renovated rooms and suites, a new 60,000 square foot casino that will be managed by Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment, five acres of pool space, 130,000 square feet of meeting and event space and multiple food and beverage facilities.

As part of the transformation, workers demolished the property’s Hard Rock Café in November to allow for parking and ride-share space.

The restaurant originally opened its doors in 1990 and was shuttered in late 2016.

No demolition would be done on the main hotel building.

Hard Rock not giving up in Hokkaido

Hard Rock International isn’t taking no for an answer in the Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido, as it looks to open an integrated resort in the region.

Casino.org reported in December that in November, Hokkaido Governor Naomichi Suzuki said his prefecture was withdrawing from the competition to become home to an integrated resort, leaving some operators in the lurch.

The rapidly growing gaming business of Seminole Tribe was one of three operators, alongside Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment and Rush Street Japan who were keen to bring an integrated resort to Hokkaido.

Hard Rock Japan president Ado Machida wasn’t pleased with Governor Suzuki’s decision, but intimated that his company isn’t throwing in the towel on Hokkaido just yet.

Japan is another frontier in Hard Rock’s international expansion efforts, which also include participation in integrated resort competitions in Australia and Greece, among other locations.

The company currently runs two Canadian gaming venues and one in the Dominican Republic.

Recently, one of Hard Rock’s rivals, Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment said it is still evaluating its options in northern Asia and that it respects Suzuki’s call to pull Hokkaido out of the integrated resort fray.

Rush Street Japan is yet to comment publicly on its Japan plans, with its preferred prefecture now out of the running.

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