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Hard Rock closes $1.1B purchase of The Mirage

Updated December 21, 2022 - 2:28 pm

The Mirage is officially under new ownership.

MGM Resorts International announced Monday that it closed its nearly $1.1 billion cash sale of the Las Vegas Strip resort’s operations to Hard Rock International, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

The deal, first unveiled in December 2021, could spell the end of The Mirage’s iconic outdoor volcano attraction along Las Vegas Boulevard, as Hard Rock is looking to build a guitar-shaped hotel tower on that site.

The new operator has also outlined plans to gut the existing hotel as part of a plan to upgrade the property and expand its casino floor, convention space and theater.

Also Monday, casino landlord Vici Properties, which owns The Mirage’s real estate, announced it has entered a lease with Hard Rock in connection with the sale closing.

Hard Rock’s initial annual rent is $90 million, Vici said.

Hard Rock, which received regulatory approval Friday from the Nevada Gaming Commission for its acquisition, said in a news release that it assumed operations control of the property as of 6 a.m. Monday.

It said the 3,044-room resort, which boasts some 3,500 employees, will continue to operate as The Mirage “until the renovation and rebranding of the property to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas is complete.”

“The process is anticipated to take an extended period,” the release said, adding it will “dramatically reimagine every aspect of the resort and change the Las Vegas skyline” with its new guitar-shaped tower.

Hard Rock said it expects to release details of the property’s overhaul, including its new features and development timeline, at the end of 2023.

Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International, said in the release that the new operators are “excited to create an integrated resort” on the Strip that will “make this legendary entertainment community proud.”

Casino developer Steve Wynn opened The Mirage in 1989. It was the Strip’s first modern megaresort and immediately drew huge crowds, and became known over the years for its volcano and lengthy run of Siegfried & Roy performances.

The project also kicked off what’s now a decades-long run in Las Vegas of building huge casino resorts with heavy amenities.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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