A staple in Las Vegas since 1995, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is set to close. Virgin Hotels bought the property and plans to close it in February of 2020 to revamp it. The Virgin Hotels brand will close the doors for about 9 months as it plans to spend in excess of $200 million upgrading and expanding the 5 acre pool and every room on the property.
Hard Rock Hotel was one of the busiest properties when it was in its’ prime. Primarily appealing to the younger demographic, it was a pioneer in the nightlife and daylife scene. One of the first nightclubs that was inside of a casino was Baby’s. Prior to that, nightclubs were in stand alone buildings on and around the Las Vegas strip. Baby’s gave way to Body English around the time the nightlife scene in Las Vegas exploded. Body English was known for having the first mainstream resident dj, DJ AM. Current resident DJ’s like Tiesto at Hakkasan Nightclub, The Chainsmakers at XS Nightclub, and Calvin Harris at Omnia Nightclub all owe their huge contracts to the pioneers at Body English Nightclub.
Additionally, Hard Rock Hotel was the very first hotel to host a pool party 4 days a week; know as Rehab. The popularity of these daytime pool parties hit its peak when TruTV hosted its reality TV show called Rehab:Party at the Hard Rock Hotel there in 2010. The success of this pool party allowed others like Wet Republic at MGM, KAOS Dayclub at Palms hotel, and Drais Beach at The Comwell Hotel, to follow suit. Partying during the day was a new concept in Las Vegas and it proved to be a huge money maker.
It seems like the Cosmopolitan Hotel has poached the younger crowd from the off-strip hotels, Hard Rock Hotel and the Palms over the past years. Cosmopolitan Hotel has lured this demographic away by offering top name DJ’s at their nightclub and dayblub venue- Marquee. It also helped being the only hotel on the strip that has balconies. Oh yeah, it is also in the heart of Las Vegas BLVD.
We will be sad to see an icon close its’ doors. The Hard Rock Hotel had a great run, and offered us 24 great years of ground breaking innovation. However, Las Vegas is an ever evolving enigma. It takes a lot to get to the top, and even more to stay there. We are excited to see what Virgin Hotels has in store with the property. The vision of its owner, Richard Branson, is sure to be unprecedented. Bringing the Virgin Hotel brand to cities such as Las Vegas, New York, and Nashville seems to be the beginning of an era.