Branson Purchases Hard-Rock Casino Hotel
The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas has recently been purchased by Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. The purchase deal includes a renovation of the facility, which will occur over the coming months. It will also be renamed as “Virgin Hotels Las Vegas”.
However, it will continue to function as part of the Hard Rock brand up until 2019, which is the projected period for the end of renovations.
The hotel/casino is home to around 1500 rooms (including suites) and is located off the Las Vegas strip.
There may also be a revamping in terms of the casino’s image. According to Branson, Virgin represents “entertainment and fun”. In his address to the media, he spoke of how the Virgin Group experienced good times flying its customers, implying that the same would be applied to the new venture.
Branson, in fact, mentioned that the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas was a “very Virgin” facility, which is why he chose it specifically.
The facility will continue to operate even during the renovation, which is expected to be carried out in multiple stages. Though there are no official estimates of how much capital will be invested, reports indicate that it will amount to a few hundred million dollars.
There have also been no reports on whether or not existing entertainment venues will be retained.
However, Branson did mention that the guitar, which is the Hard Rock logo, will be replaced with a “V”, which is the Virgin Group’s logo.
The purchase was carried out with a group of partners, which included Juniper Capital and Brookfield Asset Management.
Branson, who has a reputation for planning extravagant and entertaining launches, has promised to do the same with the launch of the revamped facility.
Possible Unionization of Workers
According to the Culinary Union, which boasts around 50,000 members from the casino-hotel industry in Las Vegas, stated that Virgin and Brookfield have agreed to remain neutral with regard to the unionization of workers.
The union’s secretary-treasurer, Geoconda Argüello-Kline, called it a “new era” with regard to labor-management cooperation at the hotel/casino.
Virgin currently owns one other similar facility in Chicago and is planning to open more in Dallas, New York. San Francisco, Washington D.C., New Orleans, and Nashville.
The Virgin Group has operated and continues to operate in various other industries, such as music records, commercial space, wireless carriers, and airlines etc.