Iconic Mirage in Las Vegas Sold to Hard Rock International for $1 Billion

December 13, 2021
Jon Sofen

mirage hard rock las vegas

MGM Resorts International sent shockwaves through the Las Vegas casino industry Monday when the company announced the sale of the Mirage to Hard Rock International for $1.08 billion in cash.

Mirage is one of the most iconic casinos in town and was once the home to the biggest poker games in Las Vegas. Many of the top players in the 1990s were regulars in the poker room, which closed at the start of the pandemic and hasn’t since returned.

When Bellagio, also an MGM Resorts property, opened the famous Bobby’s Room (now Legends Room) inside its poker room in the 2000s, the high-stakes poker games moved a bit south on the Strip. But the Mirage casino, which opened in 1989, has remained one of the top places in Sin City to gamble, eat, and stay, thanks in large part to a number of successful renovations over the years.

Change in Ownership

The Mirage cost builder Steve Wynn and his group of investors over $630 million to construct in the late 1980s. The Polynesian-themed casino with over 3,000 hotel rooms was sold to MGM Resorts in 2000, the owners ever since, until Monday.

Hard Rock and MGM Resorts are expected to close the sale by the second half of 2022, according to CNBC. In the deal, MGM will receive net cash proceeds of around $815 million. The Las Vegas gaming giant will continue using the Mirage brand for three years while leasing out the facilities to Hard Rock as it prepares to finalize its plans to re-brand the Mirage.

“As part of the team that opened The Mirage in 1989, I know firsthand how special it is, and what a great opportunity it presents to the Hard Rock team,” said MGM Resorts CEO and President Bill Hornbuckle in a media release. “I want to thank all of our Mirage employees who have consistently delivered world-class gaming and entertainment experiences to our guests for more than three decades.”

Hard Rock, which previously owned the East Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, wants to build a guitar-themed hotel on the Strip, much like it accomplished last year in South Florida with the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Las Vegas Landscape is Changing

Since COVID-19 struck in 2020, Las Vegas has changed significantly, and the sale of the Mirage is just another plot twist. When the pandemic started, there were 31 open poker rooms in town. That’s down to 19 currently, including the continued closure of the Mirage poker room.

As for the casinos, a number of properties have changed ownership, including the Hard Rock, which became Virgin Hotel when Richard Branson’s company purchased the resort. Some major casinos such as The Palms, owned by Station Casinos, still have yet to reopen since COVID-19.

One mile north of the Mirage on the Strip, Resorts World opened in the summer of 2021. The long-awaited resort features Las Vegas’ newest poker room.

When the sale finalizes, MGM Resorts will still own and operate eight casinos on the Las Vegas Strip — Aria, Bellagio, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, New York New York, and Park MGM.

*Lead photo courtesy Freeimages.com.

Author: wpadmin

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