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Reshape Virgin, Rebranding Hard Rock Hotel



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John Locher / AP

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson speaks at a press conference in Las Vegas on Friday, March 30, 2018.

Updated 32 minutes ago

Virgin Hotels acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with the intent to remodel and redesign the off-strip property.

"Someone once said to me, if there's a company that can take on Hard Rock, it's virgin," said Virgin founder Richard Branson. "This has been a big part of Vegas for many years … It was the place where it will go for many years and which will be the right place for years to come."

The property will be renamed the next few months as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

Virgin Hotels bought the property with a group of partners, including Los Angeles-based investment firm Juniper Capital Partners. The terms of the purchase of Brookfield Asset Management were not disclosed.

"We will spend hundreds of millions of dollars to transform this property," said Richard Bosworth of Juniper Capital Partners, who will serve as the chief executive officer of the property. "This property is a big plus, and as Virgin enters the Las Vegas marketplace, this will be one of the most exciting casino conversions Las Vegas has seen in many years."

The property has about 1

,500 rooms and suites. It will remain open during the renovation, which should be completed by the end of 2019.

Branson said he was confident that he could offer something fresh in Las Vegas.

"As the owner of a spaceship company, I'm just saying, look at this room," he said. "We'll have fun … We'll definitely make sure Vegas is even more on the map than it is today."

Branson said he was not worried about the location of the property on Paradise Road. "If you take the Virgin brand, people will go a bit further to come to us," said Bosworth.

Bosworth said the new owners plan to employ more than 2,000 employees while the first rebranding campaign begins.

Part of the remodeling will be the removal of the iconic guitar sign above the main entrance of the Hard Rock.

"The guitar may not survive, but we have a V that has a kind of guitar shape that can take over." Branson said:

The only Virgin hotel ever opened is in Chicago. Others are planned for several cities, including New York, Dallas and Washington DC

The Associated Press has contributed to this report.


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