Las Vegas Casino Landscape Changes As Mirage Announces Official Closing Date

Erik Gibbs

mirage las vegas

The Mirage, an iconic Las Vegas property, is set to close its doors on July 17, after 37 years of operation. In its place, in about three years, will emerge a new Hard Rock casino. 

Opened in 1989, the Mirage was developed by former Las Vegas gaming heavyweight Steve Wynn. It was renowned for its Polynesian-themed architecture and innovations that set a new standard for Las Vegas resorts.

The Mirage, located on the Las Vegas Strip, was a groundbreaking project in many respects. It was the first mega-resort in the city, built at a cost of $630 million. That made it the most expensive hotel-casino in history at that time. Its opening, like that of the recently closed Tropicana a couple of decades before, marked a turning point for Las Vegas, ushering in an era of luxury and spectacle that redefined the Strip.

Transformation and handover to Hard Rock

In 2021, MGM Resorts International announced the sale of the Mirage to Hard Rock International for nearly $1.1 billion. Hard Rock took ownership in 2022.

Hard Rock, known for its celebration of music and entertainment, has big plans to transform the Mirage site into a new integrated resort featuring a nearly 700-foot guitar-shaped hotel tower, a design that promises to become a new symbol for Las Vegas.

The new Hard Rock casino is expected to incorporate the brand’s signature style, blending music history with modern luxury. The redevelopment will include a complete overhaul of the existing facilities, making way for state-of-the-art amenities and new entertainment options. 

This transformation is part of Hard Rock’s strategy to expand its footprint in Las Vegas and create a unique destination that attracts a global audience.

The transition from the Mirage to Hard Rock Las Vegas is expected to double the current number of jobs provided by the Mirage, offering a significant boost to the local economy. Additionally, the renovation is set to generate over 2,500 construction jobs, contributing to the growth and development of the Las Vegas community.

However, until the new resort opens in 2027, the closure of the Mirage will negatively impact Vegas employment numbers. Approximately 3,000 people are going to lose their jobs when the casino closes.

Hard Rock has promised to make the transition for them as smooth as possible. It has stated that it is working with other Vegas properties to try to find new positions for the displaced employees and is paying out around $20 million in severance. 

Mirage’s significance and legacy

Among the many attractions of the Mirage was the erupting volcano in front of the hotel. A marvel of engineering, it erupted nightly on the Strip, captivating passersby and setting a precedent for the grand outdoor spectacles that would become synonymous with Las Vegas.

The Mirage was also home to the Siegfried & Roy show, which ran from 1990 until 2003. In addition, the revolutionary Cirque du Soleil production Love, celebrating the music of The Beatles, called the property home from 2006 until 2024.

The Mirage also housed the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, a sanctuary for exotic animals including white tigers and dolphins. This further solidified Mirage’s reputation as a resort that offered unique experiences unlike any other on the Strip.