Thursday, June 13, 2024
Thursday, June 13, 2024

Iconic Mirage Casino to Close for Hard Rock Las Vegas Transformation

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The iconic Mirage hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip will shut its doors this summer, marking the end of an era for a property that played a pivotal role in transforming Sin City into a premier luxury resort destination.

The closure on July 17 will pave the way for extensive renovations and new construction on the 80-acre (32-hectare) property. In 2027, the site will reopen as the Hard Rock Las Vegas featuring a hotel tower shaped like a guitar, rising nearly 700 feet (about 210 meters) above the Strip.

“We’d like to thank the Las Vegas community and team members for warmly welcoming Hard Rock after enjoying 34 years at The Mirage,” Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International, said in a statement on Wednesday.

This will be the second casino on the Strip to close this year. The Tropicana Las Vegas ceased operations in April after 67 years to make way for a $1.5 billion baseball stadium, planned as the future home of the Oakland A’s, who are relocating.

From Polynesian Themes to Mega Resorts

The Mirage, developed by former casino mogul Steve Wynn, opened its doors in 1989 with a Polynesian theme, becoming the Strip’s first megaresort. This milestone spurred a building boom on the famous boulevard throughout the 1990s. The Mirage’s volcano fountain was among the first of the Las Vegas Strip’s sidewalk attractions, setting a trend that would later include the Venetian’s canals and the Bellagio’s dancing fountains.

For years, tourists flocked to the Mirage to witness Siegfried and Roy taming white tigers or to enjoy a Cirque du Soleil performance set to Beatles music. The final performance of the Beatles-themed show, which brought Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr back together for public appearances during its 18-year run, will also be in July.

Employee Transition and Future Plans

Hard Rock International announced that more than 3,000 employees will be laid off, with an expected $80 million in severance payouts. The Culinary Workers Union, representing about 1,700 Mirage employees since its opening, stated that last year’s contract ensures laid-off workers will receive $2,000 for each year of service. Additionally, the contract offers these workers the option to be called back to work and retain their seniority when the hotel reopens.

“Culinary Union will continue to ensure workers are protected and centered in the property’s future,” the union stated.

The Mirage made history in 2022 as the first Strip property to be run by a Native American tribe. Hard Rock International, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, purchased the Mirage from MGM Resorts in a cash deal worth nearly $1.1 billion. At the time, Hard Rock assured that the property would remain operational under the Mirage brand while renovation plans were finalized.

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