Back in 2018, Virgin announced it had purchased the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Since that time, the company has been focusing on renovating and rebranding the popular gambling venue. New reports have just surfaced that show the Las Vegas Virgin Hotel may be forced to delay its opening date.
It’s disappointing news to hear. Many are excited to see what this venue has to offer. Today, we’re going to talk about what the owners of this hotel-casino have planned.
Let’s get into it!
Looking Back at Virgin’s Purchase of the Hard Rock Hotel-Casino
The Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas first opened to the public in March of 1995. It quickly became a popular venue with both locals and tourists. Over the years, this property went through several major renovations.
Ownership of this hotel-casino changed hands several times over the years. In 2006, it was sold to Morgans Hotel Group for $770 million. Five years later, Warner Gaming took control over the Hard Rock Hotel and began looking at new ways to boost revenue.
Things didn’t go as planned and revenue here continued to decrease. Many rumors began surfacing that Warner Gaming was looking to sell this venue. In March of 2018, these rumors turned out to be correct.
Virgin Hotels, part of Virgin Group, agreed to the purchase for $500 million. Company officials immediately began revealing plans for the venue. It was closed for eight months while construction and redesigning took place.
The opening date for the Las Vegas Virgin Hotel was pushed back several times. Many felt the global pandemic would push the date back even farther. New statements from company officials seem to indicate this is now a real possibility.
Here’s a look at why the Hard Rock may be forced to delay its opening date once again.
Company Officials May Delay the Las Vegas Virgin Hotel Opening Date
Opening a new hotel-casino in Las Vegas takes a significant amount of time and effort. Virgin Hotels is still a new company and it’s clear officials here are focused on making their new Las Vegas property a special one. Unfortunately, that’s led to several delays getting it open.
New reports seem to indicate that the planned opening in fall may now be pushed back. Richard Bosworth, President and CEO of the parent company of Virgin Hotels confirmed this to the media this week. Bosworth claims that “COVID-19 regulations, market conditions and recent event convention cancellations” could force the delay.
“The operations team is expected to receive the keys to the property in early November,” Bosworth revealed in a company statement. “The ownership group is carefully evaluating the previously announced fall 2020 opening date.”
An official reopening date will be revealed in September. Company leaders are taking a close look at whether or not pushing this date back will be financially beneficial. Based on how things are going in Las Vegas, that seems more likely than ever before.
Richard Bosworth and other officials within Virgin have to be disappointed with this development. All major hotel-casino companies operating in Las Vegas are feeling the effects of the pandemic. Things seem to be slowly improving, though.
Gaming Revenue in Nevada is Slowly Increasing
Between March and June, gambling revenue in the state of Nevada was almost non-existent. All casinos in the state were shut down during this time. The only real money these venues were making came from their online operations.
Several major casino companies saw their second-quarter revenue earnings fall by more than 95%. As the weeks go on, however, these companies are managing to bring in more money. Tourism rates in Las Vegas are increasing, as well.
Full recovery is still a long way away. Casinos are forced to limit occupancy and order social distancing. Many are unwilling to visit the city with so many regulations set in place.
The same can be said for Atlantic City. New Jersey’s casinos were given permission to reopen in early July. Revenue remains low here, yet it’s slowly increasing as time goes on.
It’s a tough situation for casino companies. It seems more likely that the Las Vegas Virgin Hotel will be forced to open at a later date than originally planned. We’ll continue offering updates on this situation as they come up.
Are you excited to see Virgin’s new Las Vegas hotel? Let us know in the comments section below!