Hard Rock International acquired the operations of MGM's The Mirage in a more than $1 billion deal.
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Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas

The Las Vegas Strip is about to get a rockin' revamp with the addition of a guitar-shaped hotel after Hard Rock International acquired the operations of MGM's The Mirage in a more than $1 billion deal.

This week, Hard Rock purchased the operations of The Mirage Hotel & Casino from MGM Resorts International for $1.075 billion, announcing its plans to turn the iconic casino into a guitar-shaped space like it built in Florida.

"We are honored to welcome The Mirage's 3,500 team members to the Hard Rock family," Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International, said in a statement. "When complete, Hard Rock Las Vegas will be a fully integrated resort welcoming meetings, groups, tourists, and casino guests from around the world to its nearly 80-acre center-Strip location."

The Mirage first opened in 1989 and was acquired by MGM Resorts in 2000, according to the hotel group. But the property, known for its over-the-top experiences like dolphin yoga, was hit hard during the pandemic and forced to cut back on operations, closing down for a few days each week.

"This transaction is a significant milestone for MGM Resorts, and for Las Vegas," Bill Hornbuckle, CEO and President of MGM Resorts International, said in a statement. "As part of the team that opened The Mirage in 1989, I know firsthand how special it is, and what a great opportunity it presents to the Hard Rock team. I want to thank all of our Mirage employees who have consistently delivered world-class gaming and entertainment experiences to our guests for more than three decades."

This isn't the first sale of an iconic Vegas Strip property this year. In March, The Las Vegas Sands Corp. reached an agreement to sell its signature hotel, The Venetian Resort Las Vegas.

Hard Rock has also set its sights on expansion elsewhere with plans to open a hotel in New York City in an area of midtown Manhattan that was once known as a Music Row.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.