Richard Branson has purchased the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas from a Brookfield-managed private real estate fund.
The deal was carried out in partnership with a group led by Juniper Capital Partners and Fengate Real Asset Investments, along with their partners Dream, Cowie Capital Partners, and other private investors.
The group plans to open a reconceptualised and revitalised property, the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, in the second half of 2019.
The Virgin Hotels brand’s entrance into the entertainment capital of the world is an exciting development – one that will see innovative design fused with irresistible amenities in order to give guests experiences that will surprise and delight.
“Las Vegas has long held a special place in my heart,” said Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.
“Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America have enjoyed flying to Las Vegas for years and I’ve always known that Virgin Hotels could thrive there as well.
“I’m really looking forward to painting the town Virgin red.”
The property, located at 4455 Paradise Road, will continue full service operations under the Hard Rock flag until it opens as a Virgin Hotels hotel.
Guest rooms, restaurants and public spaces will undergo a face lift, expected to cost in the hundreds of millions, with the final product being a showcase of Virgin’s signature sleek and stylish design with an eclectic mix of social spaces.
The hotel will feature 1,504 well-appointed Chambers, Grand Chamber Suites and Penthouse Suites; a 60,000 square foot, fully-renovated casino, multiple pools over five acres, world-class restaurants, lounges and bars, including new nightlife venues and the brand’s flagship space, the Commons Club, as well as numerous meeting and convention spaces.
“Las Vegas is a dynamic city – the people, the excitement, the entertainment. To me, it’s always been the perfect city for our next Virgin Hotel,” said Virgin Hotels chief executive Raul Leal.
“We are dedicated to delivering the best in design, entertainment, heartfelt service and culinary excellence and we can’t wait to welcome visitors to what is sure to be an awe-inspiring Las Vegas experience.”
Located just off the famous Las Vegas Strip, Virgin Hotels Las Vegas will be a destination for locals and guests alike, offering premier food, beverage, and entertainment experiences.
Branson added: “When I’ve come to Vegas over the years my favourite casino has been the Hard Rock.
“It’s great to walk around and see memorabilia of Johnny Rotten, the Rolling Stones, Bowie and other Virgin bands plastered on the walls.
“It’s got delightful and dedicated people working there and it has beautiful outdoor swimming pool areas and beautiful rooms but through lack of investment it’s slightly tired.
“So I’m really proud today to announce Virgin Hotels has bought the Hard Rock Hotel and we’ll be bringing it back to its old glory again under the Virgin brand.
“Virgin Atlantic has flown to Vegas for years and it’s only a hop and a skip from the airport to the Hard Rock.
“Close by the hotel we have the Virgin Hyperloop One test site operating out in the desert, Virgin Orbit getting ready to send satellites into space and Virgin Galactic is gearing up for powered flight.
“An exciting part of America for Virgin and its wonderful people.
“Exciting times too!”