Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Hotels has agreed terms for the purchase of the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel. Confirming Virgin's latest venture into the hospitality world, he noted that the hotel was an ideal complement to the group portfolio and gelled with the brand's fun image.
Sir Richard carried on by saying both Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America had flown the Las Vegas route for many years. He explained that any property purchase in the world's entertainment capital had to fit in with the Virgin ideal of not being taken seriously.
The business tycoon claimed the Hard Rock was just so Virgin. As part of the takeover, the hotel will retain the Hard Rock branding until next year and, meanwhile, renovations will be carried out while the property remains open for guests.
Richard Branson said the gigantic Fender Stratocaster guitar outside the hotel would likely be mothballed as part of the revamp. He claimed this should not really be a problem as it could be replaced with a V for Virgin statue of a similar stature.
Virgin will also store other rock music themed memorabilia, but the hotel casino will not be shut down. Instead, Virgin says an outside partner will be brought in to run it. The 20-year-old hotel, casino and café complex is just off the main Las Vegas Strip and features a total of 1,500 suites and luxury rooms.
The Las Vegas hotel acquisition is the second for Richard Branson. Virgin has already inaugurated the Las Vegas Chicago. The group also says additional properties are in the pipeline for locations such as Washington and New York City.