Tribal owner of Hard Rock now running Mirage on Vegas Strip

Dec 19, 2022, 2:49 AM | Updated: 4:54 pm
FILE - The Mirage Hotel and Casino is seen in Las Vegas, on May 3, 2018. A new operator, Hard Rock ...

FILE - The Mirage Hotel and Casino is seen in Las Vegas, on May 3, 2018. A new operator, Hard Rock International, is now running the iconic Mirage resort on the Las Vegas Strip. Nevada state gambling regulators approved a nearly $1.1 billion deal with former site owner MGM Resorts International on Friday, Dec. 16, 2022 and the change-of-hands on Monday, Dec. 19. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A new operator, Hard Rock International, started running the iconic Mirage resort on the Las Vegas Strip on Monday, following Nevada state gambling regulatory approval for a nearly $1.1 billion sale by former site owner MGM Resorts International, the companies said.

Florida-based Hard Rock International, owned by the Seminole Tribe, said it plans to reshape the property at the center of the glittery Las Vegas Boulevard casino corridor by replacing its volcano attraction with a huge guitar-shaped hotel tower.

Company Chairman Jim Allen said in a statement that the property’s 3,500 employees were absorbed Monday into Hard Rock’s 45,000-member workforce. The company has cafes, hotels, casinos and concert properties around the world.

“We are excited to create an integrated resort on the Strip that will make this legendary entertainment community proud,” Allen said. The statement specified there were no immediate plans to close The Mirage or lay off employees.

Hard Rock and MGM Resorts announced plans for the operational takeover a year ago. The deal became official following Nevada Gaming Commission approval at a special meeting Friday.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Hard Rock to the neighborhood and wish them all the very best,” Bill Hornbuckle, CEO and president of casino giant MGM Resorts International said in a statement.

The more than 3,000-room hotel on 80 acres (32 hectares) becomes the first on the Las Vegas Strip to be run by a Native American tribe.

East of the Strip, the Connecticut-based Mohegan Tribe operates a casino that opened in 2021 at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas after that property — named Hard Rock Hotel & Casino — was purchased in 2018, renovated and rebranded by Virgin.

West of the Strip, an affiliate of the California-based San Manuel Band of Mission Indians owns and operates The Palms.

Seminole-owned Hard Rock International had no previous involvement with the former Hard Rock Hotel & Casino that operated from 1995 to 2020. It bought licensing and naming rights in May 2020. The Mirage redevelopment plan is projected to run through 2023. Costs have not been disclosed.

Daily operations “are set to continue under The Mirage brand for the foreseeable future, and all room reservations and group bookings will be honored with no action required by guests or group organizers,” the company said.

“The process … ultimately will dramatically reimagine every aspect of the resort and change the Las Vegas skyline with the addition of a guitar-shaped hotel tower,” the company promised.

Hard Rock International also entered into a long-term lease agreement with VICI Properties Inc., a real estate investment trust that acquired MGM Resorts properties this year in a $17.2 billion deal with MGM Growth Properties, a publicly traded landowner of holdings in eight states. New York-based VICI owns properties and leases them back to hospitality and entertainment operators.

The sale marks the end of an era for a Polynesian-themed property built by former casino mogul Steve Wynn and credited with helping transform Las Vegas from a gambling hub into an ultra-luxury resort destination with broader appeal.

It opened in November 1989, with a sidewalk-side volcano spewing fire years before gondoliers began plying canals at the Venetian and fountains started dancing at the Bellagio. For years The Mirage hosted Siegfried & Roy taming white tigers. It remains home to a Cirque du Soleil show set to a Beatles soundtrack.

The change-of-hands is one of several involving well-known properties on Las Vegas Boulevard. Rhode Island-based Bally’s Corp. completed its acquisition in September of the Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. Bally’s Corp. does not own Bally’s Las Vegas on the Strip.

Caesars Entertainment Inc., which owns Bally’s Las Vegas, is rebranding the 2,800-room property as the Horseshoe Las Vegas. That draws on a name made famous at a downtown gambling hall that hosted the first World Series of Poker.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Bryan Kohberger, who is accused of killing four University of Idaho students in Nov. 2022, a...
Associated Press

News groups ask Idaho Supreme Court to reject University slayer gag order

Thirty news organizations have asked the Idaho Supreme Court to overturn a gag order in a case against a man accused of stabbing four students to death.
16 hours ago
Nathan Chasing Horse stands in court. Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, in North Las Vegas, Nev. Nathan Chasing...
Associated Press

‘Dances With Wolves’ actor charged in 2018 rape in PNW

Canadian police confirmed Tuesday they are pursuing a criminal case against a former "Dances With Wolves" actor who was arrested last week and charged in Nevada with sexually abusing and trafficking Indigenous women and girls.
16 hours ago
FILE - The exterior of the Pennsylvania Judicial Center, home to the Commonwealth Court in Harrisbu...
Associated Press

Major schools ruling in Pa. can’t guarantee more funding

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania is the latest state where the public school funding system was found to be unconstitutional, but the experience in other states suggests there’s no guarantee of swift, significant or longstanding change for the poorer school districts that sued in hopes of getting billions of dollars more for their budgets. Tuesday’s […]
16 hours ago
Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, stands with members of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus, and ex...
Associated Press

Lawmaker: Power struggle is ‘decapitation’ of Black-run city

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Black lawmakers in Mississippi are denouncing efforts by the majority-white and Republican-led state Legislature to grab power from the majority-Black and Democratic-led capital city of Jackson. “The actions being taken by our legislative leadership amount to a symbolic decapitation of Black elected leadership,” Democratic Sen. John Horhn of Jackson said Wednesday […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Lawmakers in GOP states target medical care for trans kids

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Republican attacks on gender affirming medical care for young people continued Wednesday in several conservative states that are among more than two dozen considering similar bans nationwide. Lawmakers in Nebraska, Oklahoma and South Dakota considered bills Wednesday that would prohibit gender affirming treatments, like the use of puberty-blocking drugs and hormones, […]
16 hours ago
FILE - This combination of images provided by the Memphis Police Department shows, from top row fro...
Associated Press

Jury may not hear cops’ admissions in Tyre Nichols’ beating

It was a stunning revelation: One of the officers involved in the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols took a cellphone photo of the bloodied and handcuffed man and shared it with five other people. The disclosure was part of the Memphis Police Department’s request to the state that the five former officers charged with murder […]
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Tribal owner of Hard Rock now running Mirage on Vegas Strip