Posted on: December 5, 2020, 06:04h. 

Last updated on: December 5, 2020, 06:04h.

Next month’s planned opening of the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas is again delayed as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to mount in Nevada.

COVID-19 cases continue to escalate
A masked Richard “Boz” Bosworth, president and CEO of JC Hospitality, which is the parent company of Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, speaks during a September press conference to announce the opening date of the property. This week, he was forced to delay the opening for a second time. (Image: Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

This marks the second time Virgin Hotels has pushed back the opening of the anticipated Las Vegas off-Strip hotel and casino, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Earlier, the property was supposed to open sometime in the autumn, then the date was pushed to Jan. 15.

Word of the newest delay came on Friday in a statement from Richard “Boz” Bosworth, president and CEO of JC Hospitality, which is the parent company of Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

This decision was predicated on the current conditions in the market as it pertains to the pandemic,” Bosworth said in a statement quoted by the Review-Journal. “While the entire team at JC Hospitality is beyond excited to introduce the reimagined resort casino to locals and tourists alike, the safety and health of our guests, partners and team members continues to be our top priority.”

On Friday, Nevada officials reported 2,902 new COVID-19 cases and 23 additional deaths. Since the outbreak began, the state has seen 162,434 cases and 2,272 deaths.

Reopening Date Remains Unknown

Given the surge and possible additional health restrictions from Gov. Steve Sisolak (D), the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas’ actual reopening date now remains uncertain. In Friday’s statement, Bosworth said an announcement on the opening date is “forthcoming.”

For now, the Virgin Hotels property is still undergoing expansive renovations. The company says these remain on schedule despite the pandemic.

Given the coronavirus-related downturn in Las Vegas, the opening of the Virgin Hotels property is seen as a positive event for the city’s struggling gaming and hospitality sector.

In October, about 1.9 million tourists visited Las Vegas. That amount is about half of the 3.7 million tourists who visited Las Vegas in October 2019.

Also, some Las Vegas properties are closing mid-week due to pandemic-linked conditions. Last month, Sisolak imposed a three-week maximum capacity of 25 percent on casinos, bars, and restaurants.

Well before the pandemic hit, in August 2019 developers announced the former Hard Rock Hotel & Casino would shut down for approximately eight months starting in February 2020 as the Las Vegas property underwent renovations.

Hard Rock/Virgin Las Vegas originally planned to remain partially open during the transformation. But developers later realized it was not a feasible option and would have delayed the renovations.

Bosworth acquired the resort in March of 2018 along with Virgin Group billionaire Richard Branson and real estate investment firm Juniper Capital Partners in a $500 million deal. They are spending another $200 million to transform the 1,504-room property into the Virgin Hotels brand.

When finally open for business, Virgin Hotels Las Vegas will feature a 60,000-square-foot casino. It will be operated by Mohegan Gaming.

Other amenities include a 4,500-seat live music and entertainment theater. When the property was part of the Hard Rock, the theater was known as The Joint.

Additional new highlights include a five-acre pool complex with a promenade of outdoor dining, and 12 food and beverage establishments.

During the renovation, each of the 1,504 hotel rooms was upgraded. The property will also feature 323 refurbished executive suites.

Each of the executive suites measures between 700 and 750 square feet. The upgraded 79 luxury suites measure between 900 and 5,000 square feet.

Will New Hotel Be Super Pricey?

Earlier this year, there were some words of caution on the forthcoming hotel’s room prices. In September, a social media poster on Casino.org — identified as “danglingdave” — was sure the renovated property “will be a beautiful place,” but also “super pricey. Just the opposite of what the tourist to las vegas wants.

“my gut tells me they will start off with the highest prices in vegas, then quickly realize no one will pay those prices then reduce a little bit but gouge the guest on everything else and then focus on having the highest room amenity fee in town.”



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