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Resort vet taking over Virgin next week

Updated July 26, 2023 - 1:51 pm

Cliff Atkinson has been an executive at long-standing Strip resorts as well as one under development. Now, he’s about to take over one that has been re-branded, re-imagined and in need of animation.

Atkinson is taking over as president of Virgin Hotels Las Vegas on Monday, the hotel announced Wednesday.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to lead the incredible team at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas,” Atkinson said in a news release. “The iconic off-Strip property is a legendary resort with a rich history and bright future, and I look forward to working with the team to help realize Virgin Hotels Las Vegas’ full potential.”

Among the ideas being kicked around is a return to the Center Bar. The fabled hang at the middle of the resort was re-conceived during the latter years of Hard Rock Hotel, and taken apart entirely in the hotel’s renovation.

High-ranking ownership officials also spoke of the hotel’s potential.

“It was important to our board to find a leader that possessed not only the knowledge and experience required to drive results at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, but also the reputation and personality needed to lead and inspire the amazing team that exists on property” Jaime McKenna, co-chair of the board of JC Hospitality, said in a statement. “Cliff is that type of leader, and we’re excited to support him as he leads the charge to realize the tremendous potential of Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.”

Atkinson was president of Fontainebleau Las Vegas for about a year before departing in January for unexplained reasons. He has formerly served as a high-ranking exec at Mandarin Oriental (now Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas) and Luxor.

Atkinson supplants Richard “Boz” Bosworth of ownership group JC Hospitality as the resort’s top official.

Bosworth stepped down March 31, having steered the hotel’s re-branding to Virgin Hotel from Hard Rock Hotel in March 2021. Bosworth was assigned the property when JC Hospitality led a purchase of the property in 2018. Richard Branson of Virgin Group is among the partners in the property.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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