LAS VEGAS (AP) – The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas will be overhauled by billionaire Richard Branson over the next few months following its purchase on Friday.
The property with approximately 1,500 rooms and suites on the Las Vegas Strip and finally Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. It will continue to operate under the Hard Rock brand until the end of 2019, when the renovations will be completed.
"Virgin is all about fun, entertainment and does not take us too seriously," Branson said. "Virgin Atlantic has had a lot of fun bringing many people from the UK to Las Vegas for many years, Virgin America did the same, and we would not just have come to Las Vegas if we did not find the property, the very virgin one was and I think we have achieved that. "
The 23-year old property remains open during renovations that take place in several stages. The company said it would invest "hundreds of millions of dollars" to transform the property, but it was not immediately clear if the hotel casino would keep its current entertainment options, including a popular day-club.
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The property keeps its casino floor managed by a partner. Some of the big rock memorabilia owned by Hard Rock Casino Hotel may be stored.
"The guitar could not survive," Branson said, referring to a massive guitar in front of the hotel. "But we have a gigantic 'V' that has a kind of guitar shape that can gain the upper hand."
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.
Branson, who had previously roped off in a casino hotel and roped on a jet ski on the fountain in front of the Bellagio Casino Resort, promised an "equally entertaining" event for the official launch of the hotel.
The Leader of the Culinary Union, which represents more than 50,000 casino hotel workers in Las Vegas, said Brookfield and Virgin Hotels have opted for a process that leaves the management neutral as agreed employees, whether they are "without management interference, Harassment, surveillance, harassment or litigation "should be organized.
"This is a new era of positive working cooperation at Hard Rock Las Vegas," said Geoconda Argüello-Kline of the union's secretary-Treasurer said in a statement.
The only Virgin Hotel open to date is in Chicago. Others are planned for New York, Dallas, New Orleans, Nashville, Washington DC, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Palm Springs, California and Edinburgh, Scotland.
Branson has led a number of businesses under the Virgin brand, including records, airlines, mobile operators and a commercial space company
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