Spotted: Mirage Tests Windows and Lighting for Guitar Hotel Tower

It’s going to be a few years before Hard Rock Las Vegas opens, but there’s a preview of things to come hidden in plain sight at Mirage.

Hard Rock is set to build a new guitar-shaped hotel tower, and passersby can get a look at some preliminary testing of what will be the tower’s exterior lighting and window tinting if they know where to look.

If you are one of the four percent of the population who says “passerbys,” we cannot be friends, sorry.

Window tint testing on the right, LED testing on the left. We’d love to say “neon testing,” but neon isn’t practical for an entire tower.

We are not a hotel designer, so we aren’t entirely sure of the terminology for the testing apparatus sitting atop the valet parking structure at Mirage. So, we’re going with “window test thingy.”

Such pre-construction mock-up tests (window test thingies) are common, and we’ve reported on many during our time covering Las Vegas. There were the window tests at Circa, Resorts World and there are currently windows being tested for the new Tilman Fertitta resort planned for the Las Vegas Strip.

Builders glean a lot of information from mock-ups, including how window tints look at different hours of the day. In the case of the future Hard Rock windows, the tints vary in how transparent they are, and there are lighting fixtures inside. We’re thinking the interior lights are turned on so builders can gauge whether people can see naked guests through the windows at nighttime.

The current mock-ups for the guitar tower are to view the window tints (but are not the actual glass that will be used), as well as to test LEDs. The entire exterior of the Hard Rock’s guitar tower will be programmable lighting, and shows will take place at regular intervals, it’s a whole spectacle.

Now, you know.

The bittersweet part is the new tower will sit on the current Mirage volcano site. At the moment, the volcano is closed to make way for “Paramount Mountain.”

From Variety, “The display will feature a ‘Paramount+ Lodge’ and an ersatz gondola ride that will offer interactive fan experiences built around Paramount properties…The site will operate for four days, starting Thursday, February 8 and continuing through the Sunday Super Bowl game.”

In layperson terms, “the volcano is just as FUBAR as during F1, but just for a few weeks rather than nine months.”

In the words of an incredibly witty Twitter account, “Vegas is experiencing peak stupid.” People didn’t get our joke on Twitter, either.

If you’d like to see the guitar hotel window and lighting mock-up (the LEDs were tested recently, if you see them turned on, snap a pic and send it our way, please), you can view it from Las Vegas Blvd. in front of Mirage on the Treasure Island side.

Just look for the dolphin with unfortunate rhinoplasty. Fun fact: That was also the name of our band in high school.

We love the colors of the window tinting, and it’s easy to imagine what the guitar hotel tower will look like when it’s done. That’s expected to be in 2027 or 2028, so gird your enthusiasm.

We thought they should go with an Irish bouzouki, but calling the hotel “Hard Folk” was awkward.

Big thanks to our friend @JamesinLasVegas for tipping us off to the window testing at Mirage. James is like the “eye in the sky” in casinos, but everywhere. He gets up early, discovering things, then we take credit for what he finds. He even gave us that line about “hidden in plain sight.” We probably shouldn’t have shared all that, as James might accidentally read our blog and will start demanding “gratitude” or “credit where it is due” or “compensation” or “groupies.” James, we do not have discretionary funds for our blog, and you’re on your own with the groupies. Sorry, pal.

You know we’ll be keeping an eye on everything at Mirage as it transforms into Hard Rock Las Vegas over the coming months and years. There are lots of unanswered questions about if, or when, the resort might close for the extensive renovation and construction that lie ahead.

We’re always up for something new and shiny, so let’s go.