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Say goodbye to the volcano; the Mirage Las Vegas will transform into a guitar-shaped Hard Rock casino

Dec. 14, 2021
4 min read
aerial rendering of new guitar-shaped building on Las Vegas strip
Say goodbye to the volcano; the Mirage Las Vegas will transform into a guitar-shaped Hard Rock casino
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It's official: The Mirage, the iconic 77-acre resort in the heart of the Strip that changed Las Vegas forever when it opened its doors in 1989, has a buyer.

Las Vegas-based gaming giant MGM Resorts will sell The Mirage to Hard Rock International in a $1.075 billion cash deal expected to close in the second half of 2022, according to a statement released by MGM.

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With the change of ownership, The Mirage will rebrand as Hard Rock Las Vegas. Along with the new name, the resort will also get a new look, including a massive guitar-shaped structure similar to other Hard Rock buildings around the world. The Mirage logos on the original towers will be replaced with Hard Rock branding, as shown in renderings released by the company.

MGM will keep The Mirage name and brand but license it back to Hard Rock for up to three years while the new owners work out a final plan for the redevelopment.

"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 from the company. "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, a megaresort and the first of its kind in Las Vegas, ushered in a new era for the city. At the time, it was the largest hotel in the world and brought a new sense of luxury, complete with shopping, more dining options than ever before and family-friendly attractions, such as its famous erupting volcano, to the Strip. Not to mention the white tigers.

(Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images)

MGM purchased The Mirage in 2000 from real estate mogul Steve Wynn.

Hard Rock International is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida and has a slew of Hard Rock-branded restaurants, hotels and casinos around the world, including the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, which also has a massive guitar-shaped building similar to the one proposed for the redevelopment.

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While MGM International owned the operations of The Mirage, the land the resort sits on was purchased by VICI Properties for $17.2 billion in August as part of a deal expected to close in the first part of 2022, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. VICI Properties will lease the land back to Hard Rock in a long-term agreement.

"This transaction is a significant milestone for MGM Resorts, and for Las Vegas," Bill Hornbuckle, CEO & president of MGM Resorts International, said in the MGM 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."

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

This is another in a series of MGM shake-ups on the Strip. Earlier this year, MGM announced it would acquire The Cosmpolitan for $1.625 billion as part of a deal with Blackstone Group, which will own the physical land and property, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Beyond Las Vegas, MGM is currently in the process of expanding into Japan, having been selected by the city of Osaka “to build and operate a world-class integrated resort,” according to earnings call earlier this year. It is also planning to expand its sports gaming and iGaming, or online betting, business, while looking for opportunities to potentially expand in “key U.S. regional markets of significance.”

Featured image by Hard Rock International
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
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Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

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Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees