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Hard Rock Las Vegas, replacing Mirage, to have 6K employees

When the shuttered Mirage springs back to life in 2027 as the Hard Rock Hotel &Casino and Guitar Hotel Las Vegas, it will have 6,000 employees — twice as many as it has now.

Jon Lucas, chief operating officer, executive vice president and secretary of HR Nevada LLC, the holding company for the new Strip Hard Rock, gave additional details about the July 17 Mirage closure the company announced Wednesday.

Appearing before the Nevada Gaming Commission in a key employee licensing and suitability hearing, Lucas said the new property would open with 6,000 workers.

Lucas said when he appeared before the Nevada Gaming Control Board on May 1 that his company didn’t have a decision on when it would close the iconic 3,044-room, 34-year-old resort built by Steve Wynn. Between that meeting and Thursday’s commission meeting, Hard Rock reached the decision to close and lay off its 3,000 workers.

“Part of it was going through the capital markets being so challenged as they are, the cost of rising and escalating cost of construction,” Lucas said. “We were just really trying to work through what the spend could be and what the scope of the project could be. I think we have been at this for about a year and a half of trying to figure it out. I think we finally sorted through all that and we were able to announce.”

Lucas said job fairs are planned with representatives from MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment Inc., Wynn Resorts Ltd., Fontainebleau, Treasure Island, “all the neighbors and then some.”

He also said there could be opportunities at some of Hard Rock’s existing properties worldwide. He listed properties in Bristol, Virginia; Rockford, Illinois; Ottawa, Ontario; as well as Florida and Atlantic City. A new Hard Rock in Athens, Greece, will be opening the same year as the new Strip property.

“Our focus over the next 60, 90 days is really on the team members and that transition,” said Lucas, who was approved for licensing in a unanimous commission vote.

Hard Rock officials announced they would pay around $80 million in severance packages for eligible union and nonunion employees remaining with the property through cessation of operations.

What’s happening with reservations?

In addition to doubling the number of employees at the property, the renovation project will generate more than 2,500 construction jobs.

Guests who have reservations at The Mirage beyond July 14 are on their own in terms of booking new reservations because all who have room reservations or show tickets up to that date will automatically be canceled and advanced payments refunded.

The company said guests with reservations booked through a third-party provider or online travel agency will automatically be canceled. The third-party provider should be contacted directly for rebooking availability or possible refunds.

Those with reservations have been encouraged to go to the frequently asked questions page of the Hard Rock Las Vegas website.

Commissioner Brian Krolicki thanked Lucas for the sensitivity the Hard Rock team showed employees in making the announcement.

“Best of times, worst of times for folks, but it’s an exciting one, and again it will be a great enhancement to our state, Nevada, and certainly the Strip,” Krolicki said.

“It’s exciting. Can’t wait to see what you’re all doing. I can’t quite visualize back-to-back guitars that have rooms in them, so I’ll be interested in that. But the sensitivity you’ve expressed today to those folks, the work you have done, it is like a deja vu. We just had this conversation with the Tropicana and others. Your humanity in this as you make billion-dollar decisions is appreciated and it is being watched. Thank you for that.”

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on X.

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