Richard Branson Just Bought the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas

March 31, 2018, 9:00 PM UTC
Virgin Group Ltd. Founder Richard Branson Interview
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, at an interview in Hong Kong, July 5, 2017.
Anthony Kwan—Bloomberg/Getty Images

The Hard Rock hotel and casino in Las Vegas is in for a makeover after billionaire Richard Branson announced he would purchase the spot.

The site will continue to operate as part of the Hard Rock brand through 2019, the Associated Press reported, then it will become Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. The hotel is also expected to undergo “hundreds of millions of dollars” worth of renovations over multiple phases, though it will remain open during that time.

The Hard Rock name is also associated with the location’s popular day club. However, there is no word yet on whether the venue will remain open. And, as for the iconic giant Hard Rock guitar? Even that isn’t safe as the hotel and casino goes through its brand overhaul.

“The guitar may not survive. But we have a giant ‘V,’ which is sort of guitar-shaped, which may take over,” Branson told the Associated Press.

Branson is adding the hotel to other businesses under the “Virgin” brand, including his airlines and commercial space venture Virgin Galactic.

“Virgin is all about fun, entertainment, not taking ourselves too seriously,” Branson said. “Virgin Atlantic has had a lot of fun flying tons of people to Las Vegas from Britain for many years. Virgin America has done the same, and we wouldn’t have just come to Las Vegas unless we could’ve found the property that was very Virgin, and I think that’s what we’ve achieved.”

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