Branson is going to Vegas.
Richard Branson is taking over the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.
The billionaire behind the Virgin Group announced last week that his company has purchased the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and will transform the building into a Virgin Hotel.
The hotel will continue to operate as the Hard Rock until rebranding into “Virgin Hotels Las Vegas” is complete in late fall 2019.
“Las Vegas has long held a special place in my heart,” Branson said in a statement. “Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America have enjoyed flying to Las Vegas for years and I’ve always known that Virgin Hotels could thrive there as well. I’m really looking forward to painting the town Virgin red.”
Virgin Hotels tend to focus on common spaces for guests to mingle. As the Chicago property has shown, that seems to be a recipe for success.
The hotel will fully renovate the 60,000-square-foot casino. There will also be “multiple pools over five acres, world-class restaurants, lounges and bars,” according to a statement. The hotel will also feature the brand’s flagship Commons Club, a multi-use space (used as a “study” in the day and a club at night) offering drinks and dishes. The new hotel will have 1,504 chambers, grand chamber suites, and penthouse suites.
The Las Vegas rebranding comes at a point of rapid expansion for the brand. At the moment, there is only one Virgin Hotels property in the country, which opened in Chicago in 2015. Later this year, Virgin Hotels will expand with a new location in San Francisco. Within the next two years, Virgin Hotels are expected to open in Dallas, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, D.C., Silicon Valley, Palm Springs, and Edinburgh, in the U.K.
The Hard Rock Hotel will maintain 10 locations in the United States, with plans to open an additional five.