Las Vegas History Series: Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas

By now you have probably heard the news that the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas is going to become a Virgin property. The hotel is going to be renamed to Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. Last week, Virgin Founder Richard Branson attended a press conference to announce the acquisition. There are a few good parts to this deal. One part is that all of the celebrity/music memorabilia is going to stay at the resort in Las Vegas. It is not moving. The second part is that there is going to be a full renovation of the 60,000 square foot casino. Over five acres there is going to be multiple pools, new restaurants and everything else that a resort could use to rejuvenate it.

Today we are going to look at some of the history of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. It all started back in 1995 when Hard Rock co-founder Peter Morton decided to invest 80 million into building a Hard Rock hotel near the Las Vegas Strip. By that time, the Hard Rock brand was a known entity, so entering into the Vegas market made sense.

In 1999, there was 100 million add-on that multiplied the occupancy of the hotel times two. Moving ahead to 2006, Morton then decided to sell the Las Vegas property to Morgan’s Hotel Group for a price of 770 million dollars.

2007 began another expansion to the Hard Rock with this cost now being 750 million dollars. Two new towers and 875 rooms were added. Due to debt issues from the recession at the time, Brookfield asset management would end up taking over the property in 2011. Then came the acquisition by Richard Branson last week. It will remain Hard Rock until 2019 when the turnover happens.

Where the Hard Rock probably was misguided was that perhaps there was just too much expansion for an off the strip hotel. Though close by to the Vegas Strip, the Hard Rock was its own unique world that was good for a variety of different yearly events, but it is not part of the Strip. Virgin is planning to buy more hotels around the country and Vegas is just one of those acquisitions.  

Some facts about the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino:

One: The pool parties thrown by Rehab were legendary. It was so well known that there was even a documentary series about the staff who was part of the Rehab pool parties.

Two: Some of the shots in the movie 21 were used at the Hard Rock.

Three: The video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas parodies the resort.

Four: It was featured on an episode of the popular TV Show Entourage.

Five: The box office blockbuster Con Air features the Hard Rock. It stars Nicholas Cage who has lived in Las Vegas.

Now that we know there is a name change coming, it is time for you to add to your casino collection. You can purchase our Hard Rock chip, cards and even a poker layout below. We have factory sealed packs of cards besides used ones as well. With a name change coming, this stuff won’t be around forever. Click on each picture below to purchase the item.

$1 Hard Rock Casino Chip:

Factory sealed pack of Hard Rock Las Vegas Cards:


Used deck of Hard Rock Las Vegas Playing Cards:


Hard Rock Poker Table Layout:


2 Cool Items of the Week:

Our casino layouts have been popular with our readers so we wanted to show you two more that you may want to purchase.

One: Those who remember The Mint know that it closed in 1988 in Downtown Las Vegas. We have a layout for the game of baccarat that is brand new and was never used on the tables but was made for that reason. The asking price is $75.


Two: Continuing with our Las Vegas Club layouts. Last week, one of you purchased our roulette layout. This week, we have a blackjack layout from the Las Vegas Club for $85. You can see the photo below.



If you haven’t gotten your 2017 WSOP decks yet, you can purchase all the different variations clicking the picture below:

This Week’s Ebay Auction:

This chip from Bally’s Reno is a rare $5 chip. It’s actually a backup chip. Not many have ever seen it, but it can be yours. Click the picture below to bid:


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