A much-loved piece of the Las Vegas Strip has lost its final chance for a stay of execution and the end could come in days.
When Hard Rock International made its deal to purchase the Mirage from MGM Resorts International way back in December 2021 it became clear that major changes were coming. In some cases, a new casino owner simply changes some signs and swaps out the on-site loyalty program for its own.
That was never going to be the case with Hard Rock and the Mirage. The casino company even showed an artist rendering of a version of its signature “Guitar Hotel” alongside the press release announcing the $1.075 billion purchase from MGM (MGM) – Get Free Report.
Hard Rock International (HRI), which is owned by The Seminole Tribe of Florida, was open about its ambitions when it purchased the Mirage. The company, one of a few that use some version of the Hard Rock name, had no involvement with previous off-Strip Hard Rock hotel in Las Vegas, and very clearly wanted to bring its distinctive brand to the Strip.
This was never going to be a simple rebrand of the existing property. HRI always wanted to build a Guitar Hotel on the Mirage property and many realized right away that those plans almost certainly meant the end of the Mirage Volcano.
The exterior of The Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip.
Image source: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Hard Rock Cleared to Build Guitar Hotel
While HRI has insisted that it will keep the Mirage towers open as it undertakes a massive renovation of the property, the company has made it clear the it intends to build a variation of its Guitar Hotel on the current site occupied by the Mirage Volcano.
A free attraction, the Volcano “erupts” multiple times per day. It has been an iconic part of the Las Vegas Strip and there were attempts to have it declared a historical landmark to prevent its closure.
“From day one The Volcano has been delighting The Mirage’s visitors to what is an increasingly rare and totally awesome free Vegas attraction and highly emotional experience. Moreover, it’s located on the most visible piece of land on the Las Vegas Strip! Frankly, it should be a historical landmark,” the creator of a Change.org petition shared.
Those efforts, which never got much traction, received fewer than 10,000 signatures and seemed unlikely to sway the Clark County Commission’s decision to approve the Guitar Hotel. Now, the commissioners voted unanimously March 22 to allow HRI to build a 600-room, 660-foot-tall Guitar Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip on the current site of the much-loved Mirage Volcano.
The Final Days Are Here for the Mirage Volcano
Executives from HRI made the fate of the Mirage Volcano very clear during the March 22 meeting, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“Hard Rock representative Jennifer Lazovich told commissioners the high-rise would be built ‘right where the existing volcano is’ and indicated the company plans to ‘modernize and theme’ the rest of the property to match the guitar tower,” the newspaper reported.
The planned Guitar Hotel won’t be a copy of the company’s South Florida resort casino, Instead, it will “resemble back-to-back guitars with brightly lit strings and would feature floor-to-ceiling glass panes,” according to the Review-Journal.
HRI has not set an exact date for the beginning of construction at the site, but the Commission vote was the last major regulatory hurdle. The company has not shared an end date for the Mirage Volcano nor has it shared whether it will host some sort of goodbye event or countdown to the end, but the end is near.