Virgin Hotels Las Vegas is once again further delaying its grand opening because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The former Hard Rock was originally set to open last fall. But the coronavirus placing conventions on hold and leading to drastically reduced visitor volume resulted in Virgin pushing back it’s opening.
The off-Strip casino resort was set to welcome its first guests this Friday, Jan. 15. But the new owners said today the complex will not open its doors later this week.
Due to the continuously evolving COVID-19 situation, not only in Nevada but nationwide, we have made the decision to delay the January 15, 2021, opening of Virgin Hotels Las Vegas,” a company statement explained.
The former Hard Rock was sold to Richard Bosworth in March of 2018. Bosworth partnered with Juniper Capital Partners and flamboyant billionaire Richard Branson — who controls the Virgin Group conglomerate — to purchase the Las Vegas casino. Terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
Las Vegas is being hurt as hard as any city in the nation by the coronavirus. Sin City is tied for the highest unemployment rate of the nation’s largest cities.
Visitor volume through November was down 54.5 percent in 2020. December’s numbers have not yet been released. Convention attendance was down nearly 73 percent.
The decrease in visitors has forced numerous Strip casinos to close their hotels throughout the week. Current properties that go dark midweek include Encore, Palazzo, Mirage, and Mandalay Bay.
Virgin Hotels Las Vegas encouraged Hard Rock workers to remain loyal to the property following its closure in February of 2020. The property debuted a program called “I’ll Stick Around and Come Back.” Workers who signed the pledge would return to their jobs without needing to apply and also be compensated for their loyalty.
Nearly a year later, those workers are still not back on the job at 4455 Paradise Road.
Bosworth says the decision to delay Virgin’s opening is in the best interest of the casino’s guests and employees. “Safety and health … continues to be our top priority,” he said.
Bosworth explained that there is no concrete opening date for Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
At this time, an opening date has not been finalized, but an announcement is forthcoming,” Bosworth stated.
The company spent $200 million to rid the property of its rock ‘n’ roll-themed décor into a sleek and luxurious destination that embodies the Virgin brand. The hotel comes with 1,504 rooms, which are called chambers and suites.
Its 60,000-square-foot casino will be operated by Mohegan Gaming, the casino unit of the Mohegan Tribe in Connecticut. It’s the first time in the history of Las Vegas that a Native American tribe will operate a casino in the nation’s gambling capital.