Miami, Fla.—Virgin Hotels, the lifestyle hotel brand by Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, has purchased the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas from a Brookfield-managed private real estate fund. Virgin made the purchase in partnership with a group led by Juniper Capital Partners and Fengate Real Asset Investments along with their partners Dream, Cowie Capital Partners, and other private investors. The group plans to open a re-conceptualized and revitalized property, the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, in the late fall of 2019.
This development marks the Virgin Hotels brand’s entrance into the entertainment capital of the world. “Las Vegas has long held a special place in my heart,” Branson says. “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.”
The property, located just off the Las Vegas Strip, will continue full-service operations under the Hard Rock flag until it opens as a Virgin Hotel. Guest rooms, restaurants, and public spaces will undergo a facelift, expected to cost in the hundreds of millions, with the final product showcasing Virgin’s signature “sleek and stylish design with an eclectic mix of social spaces.”
The hotel will have 1504 rooms and suites; a 60,000 square foot, fully-renovated casino, multiple pools over five acres; world-class restaurants, lounges, and bars, including new nightlife venues and the brand’s flagship space, the Commons Club; and numerous meeting and convention spaces.
“Las Vegas is a dynamic city–the people, the excitement, the entertainment. To me, it’s always been the perfect city for our next Virgin Hotel,” Virgin Hotels CEO Raul Leal says. “We are dedicated to delivering the best in design, entertainment, heartfelt service, and culinary excellence and we can’t wait to welcome visitors to what is sure to be an awe-inspiring Las Vegas experience.”
Fengate is managing its investment on behalf of the Laborers’ International Union of North America’s (LiUNA) Central and Eastern Canada Pension Fund. “LiUNA is pleased with our strong working team behind this strategic investment, and we are very proud that the highly-skilled brothers and sisters of LiUNA will be a part of building this extraordinary new Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas,” Joseph Mancinelli, LiUNA International VP and regional manager for Central and Eastern Canada, says.