A long-standing fixture on the Las Vegas Strip is preparing to close its doors. Hard Rock International has announced that The Mirage Hotel & Casino will cease operations on July 17, 2024. This closure marks the beginning of a significant transformation, with the property set to become the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, featuring an iconic guitar-shaped hotel nearly 700 feet tall in the heart of the Strip.

The scheduled closure of The Mirage Hotel & Casino on July 17 will initiate extensive renovations and construction on the expansive 80-acre (32-hectare) property. The site is set to reopen in 2027 as the Hard Rock Las Vegas, featuring a distinctive guitar-shaped hotel tower that will rise nearly 700 feet (about 210 meters) above the central Strip.

This closure marks the second time a casino on the Strip has shuttered this year. In April, the Tropicana Las Vegas closed its doors after 67 years to make way for a $1.5 billion baseball stadium, which will be the future home of the relocating Oakland A’s.

The Mirage, originally developed by casino magnate Steve Wynn, opened in 1989 with a Polynesian theme, marking the advent of the Strip’s first megaresort. This landmark spurred a construction boom along the famous boulevard throughout the 1990s.

The Mirage’s iconic volcano fountain was one of the earliest sidewalk attractions, predating the Venetian’s canals and the Bellagio’s dancing fountains. The hotel was renowned for hosting performances by Siegfried and Roy, who tamed white tigers, and for its Cirque du Soleil show set to a Beatles soundtrack. July will also see the final curtain fall on the Beatles-themed show, which has seen public appearances by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr during its 18-year run.

In 2022, The Mirage became the first property on the Strip to be operated by a Native American tribe. Hard Rock International, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, purchased The Mirage from MGM Resorts in a cash deal valued at nearly $1.1 billion. At the time of the acquisition, Hard Rock announced that the property would continue to operate under The Mirage brand for several years as renovation plans were finalized.

Jobs Lost Before Others Can Be Created

Hard Rock International has now confirmed that more than 3,000 employees will be laid off as part of the transition, according to the Associated Press, with an estimated $80 million allocated for severance packages. However, Hard Rock officials have stated that the new property will not only revitalize the area but also double the number of jobs currently available at The Mirage.

Jim Allen, Chairman of Hard Rock International, expressed gratitude to the Las Vegas community and The Mirage team for their support. “We’d like to thank the Las Vegas community and team members for warmly welcoming Hard Rock after enjoying 34 years at The Mirage,” Allen said. He also extended thanks to unions, community leaders, local and state government organizations, and the Gaming Commission for their support and fair negotiations over the past year. Additionally, Allen acknowledged MGM for their assistance during the transition.

Joe Lupo, President of The Mirage, also expressed his appreciation for the team members. “While we pause for the incredible transformation of this iconic property, I’d like to thank all team members at The Mirage for their incredible commitment and helping us provide memorable experiences for our guests,” Lupo said. He also mentioned plans to host collaborative hiring events with other local employers to help Mirage team members find new job opportunities, emphasizing the priority of connecting them with new employment.

Employees of The Mirage have shared their sentiments about the closure. Many expressed a deep connection to the property, which has been a significant part of their lives. Alan Feldman, a former executive with The Mirage, reflected on the hotel’s impact since its opening in 1989. “We knew we had something special with the Mirage, and it proved to do exactly what we were talking about,” Feldman told FOX5. “It really changed the paradigm for the way in which hotels in Las Vegas are designed and presented to the public. The town is forever changed for the better as a result.”

Feldman acknowledged the inevitability of change on the Las Vegas Strip. “As much as I would love for The Mirage to last forever, I’ve got to go back to that fundamental belief that we do well when we’re willing to part with some of the things in the past and try new things,” he said. “Am I sad the volcano is going to go away? Of course. But I’ve got to tell you, I’m pretty excited about a huge guitar-shaped hotel coming right to the Strip. That’s pretty cool.”