The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino was set to close early next year for four months as the property was changed in phases to be remodeled as the Virgin Hotel & Casino part of the new Virgin Hotels chain; Now comes news reported by KTNV and others that the hotel will be closed a lot longer than originally expected with a planned closure for eight months starting next year in early February.
By closing the property completely for eight months the change over might get finished sooner instead of working around hotel guests and visitors as you shut down the property in phases. Now opening date for the Virgin Hotel & Casino has been announced yet but January 2021 is when they are shooting for but it could open earlier if things go well.
It’s a shame to lose the Hard Rock but change in Las Vegas is something you always have to get used too as you might have a favorite hotel, bar or restaurant but there is a good chance it won’t last forever. Fans of the Hard Rock will find a new favorite place in Las Vegas and the iconic guitar sign is heading to the Neon Boneyard so you will still be able to see it after Virgin Hotels puts up their sign.
The Treasure Island is added a new message marquee sign up out front of the property on the Strip. The new sign will replace the current static sign for the Avengers and when completed will be on of the largest on the Strip at 45 feet high and 175 feet long. The new sign will be curved and of course ultra high resolution and will appear sometime next year in front of the property.
Later this year the Treasure Island or TI as its also known will become a Radisson Hotel with the 3,000 room resort becoming the first Radisson on the Las Vegas Strip. Members of the Radisson Rewards program will be able to earn and redeem points at the property sometime in 2020.
Room rates at the Treasure Island can vary a lot with sometimes as low as $50 a night to over $200 a night on weekends and peak times plus the pesky resort fee. Many people are big fans of Treasure Island its just not a property I spend a lot of time at but its in a prime location on the Strip and, should be a big plus for Radisson Reward members.
Treasure Island is home to a Marvel Avengers exhibit as well as a long running Cirque Du Soleil show called Mystere which gets good reviews.
Once the Hard Rock resort finishes its remodel and opens under the Virgin Hotel name it will also become part of the Hilton Hotels reservation system and be part of the Hilton Honers loyalty program.
Unlike most Hilton Hotels this property will operate under its own brand name as its part of the Curio Collection by Hilton a collection of 30 properties in 7 countries that keep their individual identities.
After completion of the transformation the new Virgin Las Vegas will have 1,500 rooms and 110,000 square feet of meeting and event space. The Hard Rock is quite a distance from the Strip and it will be interesting to see how Virgin Hotels gets people to visit the resort. The Hard Rock used to draw rock fans and baby boomers as well as a younger crowd for its wildly popular day club called Rehab the Virgin is known in the United States but not the Virgin Hotels brand; although the Hilton Hotels reservation system will bring in visitors from the start which will help it.
Last year Asher Gabay bought a vacant motel across from the Mandalay Bay for $7.4 million with plans to built a new resort hotel on land now occupied by a Motel 8. We often hear about potential new resort properties that never go ahead but this one looks like it might happen in an area of the Strip across from resorts such as the Mandalay Bay and the Luxor which is mostly vacant motels or buildings. The planned resort will be called Astral and have a casino with 620 rooms over 34 floors as well as a four level underground parking garage, a sky lobby on the 32nd floor and of course a nightclub as well as a rooftop pool with a day club.
The current Motel 8 is expected to keep operating up until the planned start of construction in Spring of 2020. The project is expected to cost between $325 million and $350 million and with the Raiders Stadium now under construction located close by as well as possible extension of the monorail, the South Strip could be much busier by the planned 2022 opening date of this property.
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is about to go through an eight month remodel as its converted to the Virgin Hotel & Casino Las Vegas with the remodel due to start in September of next year. Employees have also been notified that the entire resort will close about February to May of 2020 to finish the renovations although that time frame could vary depending on construction.
As you might expect with a new name and remodel all 1,500 of the rooms will be remodeled as well as an expansion of the casino and events spaces. The popular music venue The Joint is going to get upgraded as well as the five acre pool area. As part of the remodel, new restaurants will be coming but no names have been announced yet.
It will be interesting to see how a Virgin branded property will work in the very competitive Las Vegas market, the Hard Rock resort had its rock theme to draw people with the giant guitar out front and rock memorabilia cases in the casino on display and rock playing in the pubic areas. The Virgin Hotel & Casino will draw visitors from the website and chain of hotels its building but i’m not sure how it will draw traffic away from the Las Vegas Strip; The resort could use tie ins with its Virgin Atlantic airline but it will be interesting to see what else they do to draw the Las Vegas visitor or local to the new resort.
Tomorrow is a good time to check out all the Black Friday room deals from Caesars or MGM and all the other Las Vegas resorts but as always check the fine print including the resort fees so you know what your final price is. Many visitors figure year end in Las Vegas might be expensive because of the huge room rates for New Years as well as high room rates for Christmas and in fact outside those times the room rates can be very good.
December in Las Vegas can be a very inexpensive if you can be flexible with your dates and can avoid the dates when the National Finals Rodeo is in town. The NFR brings big crowds to Las Vegas so avoid it to save money it runs December 6th to the 15th so the first few days of the month or after the 15th and before Christmas would be good days to pick. If you have to be in town during the National Rodeo Finals and don’t plan to attend then the furthest you can get away from the event the more money you will save.
Many people do spend Christmas in Las Vegas i have done it before and it can be fun but room rates for Christmas are higher so if you want to save money the days right after Christmas can be much lower as its pretty slow in town so its a good time to save money; As you get close to New Years the price goes up but the days right after Christmas as well as the days after New Years in January can also be a good time to snag a cheap room.
One note about visiting Las Vegas at this time of the year is the weather is generally pretty good but it is also possible it could rain or have a heat wave but one thing to note whatever the weather is Las Vegas is in the desert and at this time of the year night time temperatures can be much lower than the temperature during the day.
The ongoing remodel of the Palms by Station Casinos was originally budgeted at $485 million but that price tag has soared to $690 million. The reason for the price increase is the rising cost of materials as well as a tight labor market but the construction is on track to end by the third quarter of next year.
Even with the extra cost for Palms remodel i think its likely money well spent for Station Casinos for a property that’s not too far from the Strip and, especially if the rumors of a new hotel or arena at the nearby Rio come to fruition.
A club named DB172 has opened at the Rio in the former space of Cafe Martorano in a 7,000 square foot with a music, dining and drinking venue. The unusual club names meaning is the loudest sound ever recorded which was the eruption of the volcano Krakatoa in 1883 that had a sound level of 172 decibels thus the name 172DB.
DB172 is going to showcase lesser known local bands with ticket prices starting at a bargain $10 plus the usual fees and taxes.
The Tropicana held out for a long time but it has announced that it has began charging non resort guests for parking when events are taking place in the area mainly at the MGM Grand Garden Arena across the street and the T Mobile Arena. The Tropicana is surrounded by MGM properties that charge for parking so i’m sure a lot of people would park at the Tropicana to avoid parking fees during events.
The new parking charge during events will be $15 but it does include a $10 off coupon for food and drink at Robert Irvine’s Public House inside the Tropicana. The parking charge for the moment doesn’t apply to non guests outside the events but that could change in the future as we often see with these fees.