Mirage on Las Vegas Strip Sets Official Closing Date


The Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip has set an official closing date: July 17. The Seminole Tribe of Florida, which operates the casino resort, announced the closure to make way for the new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Guitar Hotel Las Vegas. The original Hard Rock Las Vegas, located off the Strip, was sold to billionaire Richard Branson and has been operating as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas since 2021.

The new Guitar Hotel will be an impressive 700-foot-tall structure shaped like a guitar, approved unanimously by Clark County commissioners last March.

According to a press release from the Seminole Tribe, all room and show reservations made for after July 14 will be canceled and refunded. Additionally, the Tribe has committed $80 million in severance packages for employees who stay through the transition.

The press release did not specify the duration of the transition.

Hints of The Mirage’s impending closure were apparent last month when an internal memo from Cirque du Soleil revealed that “The Beatles LOVE” would permanently close on July 7 due to the upcoming renovations.

The Mirage will undergo a complete transformation by the Seminole Tribe, which bought the operating rights from MGM Resorts in December 2022 for $1.1 billion. Initially, it was reported that the property would remain open during the transition.

The Mirage’s Legacy

Opened by casino mogul Steve Wynn in 1989, The Mirage played a pivotal role in transforming Las Vegas from a hub of low-cost entertainment and buffets into a destination known for superstar residencies and upscale dining. The resort became famous for hosting the first $100-per-ticket headliner show with Siegfried & Roy, who also contributed their brand and animals to an on-site zoo.

Last year, Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat closed permanently. An internal memo indicated that all the animals, including dolphins, white tigers, white lions, and leopards, would be relocated to the care of respected animal care professionals and veterinary experts, though specific details were not disclosed.

Historical Context

The new Guitar Hotel will replace The Mirage’s iconic volcano, one of the last two major free shows on the Las Vegas Strip—the other being the Bellagio fountains, also created by Steve Wynn. While some view the volcano’s demolition as a blow to Las Vegas history, it is part of a tradition of significant changes on the site.

To build the volcano, the last remaining Las Vegas Strip residence, owned by former vaudevillian actress Grace Hayes, was demolished in 1987, along with a Mobil station on the site of the Red Rooster, the first licensed casino on what became the Las Vegas Strip in 1931.

In essence, the new guitar tower will rise from the very spot where the Las Vegas Strip was born.

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