Mohegan Gaming has experience
Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) announced on Tuesday that it will operate the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas casino once it is rebranded from Hard Rock Hotel & Casino late next year. In a press release, the deal is described as a “multi-year agreement”, though no terms were disclosed.
MGE is best known for its Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut, one of largest casinos in the eastern United States. It also operates casinos in Pennsylvania, Washington, Louisiana, and South Korea, as well as the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City.
First Native American tribe in Vegas
With the arrangement, MGE’s owner, the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut, boasts it will become the first Native American tribe “to operate in the Las Vegas Strip resort corridor.” Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, currently still the Hard Rock, is technically not on the Strip, but rather just east of Las Vegas Boulevard.
“Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, as an extension of the Mohegan Tribe, pride themselves on traditional principles, in sync with modern values”, said Richard “Boz” Bosworth, CEO of JC Hospitality, the owner of the property. He added:
We are excited that Virgin Hotels Las Vegas will be their first entry in the Las Vegas market.”
Virgin era to start in late 2020
Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, partnering with Bosworth Hospitality Partners LLC and Juniper Capital Partners, agreed to purchase the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in March 2018. JC Hospitality, a joint venture between the companies, owns the property.
In August 2019, Virgin announced that the Hard Rock will shut down completely after the Super Bowl in February 2020, so that it can be renovated to become Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. The original plan was to only shut down for four months, with another four months of phased construction.
Bosworth explained that this period was “not efficient from a construction process, nor could we provide a hospitality service experience our guests deserve.” As a result, the property will be closed until late in the year.
Plan for employees
One problem with the property going dark for most of 2020 is that its nearly 2,000 employees will be out of work. To try to help ease the transition for its workers and the casino itself, Virgin is implementing the “Stick Around and Come Back” plan.
“We appreciate their passion, loyalty and want them to be part of the team that opens the highly anticipated, vibrant and renovated Virgin Hotels Las Vegas,” Bosworth commented.
Industry experts believe the plan to be a good idea, as it increases the chances of having experienced staff ready to go when the property resumes its business.