- Virgin Hotels Las Vegas has announced an opening date of January 15, 2021 .
- The new Virgin Hotels Las Vegas location is on the site of the former Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Property.
- The Virgin Hotels Las Vegas casino will be run by Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment with Betfred USA operating the sportsbook.
Just a couple of weeks ago the soon-to-open Virgin Hotels Las Vegas announced that the property’s flagship live music venue would no longer be known as ‘The Joint’. That was one of the trademarks and branding purchased by Hard Rock Hotel International earlier this year. A new name is forthcoming but it looks as if management wants to take their time–and land a name sponsor– so for now the ‘former Joint’ is now ‘TBA’.
That’s not the only entertainment venue rebranding at the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas property. Las Vegas fixture John Katsilometes was the first to report that the property’s smaller live entertainment venue will also be renamed. It turns out that ‘Vinyl’ is also owned by Hard Rock Hotel International and they’ve branded the showroom at their Lake Tahoe property with the moniker. Unlike the venue formerly known as ‘The Joint’, the former Vinyl at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas already has a new name.
The new name will be ’24 Oxford’. Katsilometes’ report explained that this is the address of the first Virgin Record Store which opened in London in 1971. He also shares the arcane bit of trivia that the first album ever sold at Virgin Records was Electronic Meditation by Tangerine Dream and it was sold by none other than Richard Branson. The 688 capacity venue opened in July 2012 and has hosted a wide variety of entertainment with an emphasis on music and comedy.
J.C. Hospitality heads up Virgin Hotels Las Vegas’ ownership group and COO Gary Scott told Katsilometes that the venue is held in high regard by entertainers and agents:
“Vinyl lays out very nicely, and we’ve thought of repositioning the stage and turning the room around, but those plans were dismissed by the entertainment team. We’ve had very positive feedback from the artists and agents about how favorably the room is. So we’ll add some new floor finishes, new bar tops, expanding the VIP section, but for the most part it will stay intact.”
Scott also indicated that one of Vinyl’s previous tenants–the musical Raiding the Rock Vault–will not return. He also said that until COVID-19 era restrictions are no longer necessary that the focus of the space will likely be comedy:
“We had a terrific run with those guys, and they were a good partner that helped fill the space. But our approach is, we want to really be fresh and new from all aspects of the hotel, and that includes fresh entertainment.”
“When you look at the restrictions we have, comedy makes more the most sense. We haven’t really pressed on the gas on what we have planned. It won’t be live music when the hotel reopens, but when the restrictions change, we’re really going to focus on live music.”
Virgin Hotels Las Vegas will open on January 15, 2021. The original plan was for a Fall opening but that was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The property has already announced some intriguing additions to the Las Vegas ecosystem. Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment will operate the casino at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. This will be Mohegan’s first entry into Nevada and their selection is an even bigger deal as they become the first tribal casino presence in Las Vegas history. Betfred USA Sports will run the sportsbook–they’re already in Iowa, Pennsylvania and Colorado and any new blood in Nevada’s stagnant sports betting ecosystem is a welcome development.
The restaurant lineup also looks solid with some familiar names (Todd English’s Olives and Nobu) and plenty of newcomers including The Kitchens at Commons Club described as a “contemporary American eatery laced with British Brasserie sensibility”. Even more promising–it’ll be open 24/7. Hopefully, it will be sufficient to replace the long running Mr. Lucky’s 24/7 restaurant which was known as one of the best places to grab a meal in the middle of the night. More recently, Virgin Hotels announced the addition of the Afters Ice Cream chain from Southern California.