Wednesday, September 11, 2019

“Firms selected to transform Hard Rock to Virgin Hotels Las Vegas - Las Vegas Review-Journal” plus 2 more

“Firms selected to transform Hard Rock to Virgin Hotels Las Vegas - Las Vegas Review-Journal” plus 2 more


Firms selected to transform Hard Rock to Virgin Hotels Las Vegas - Las Vegas Review-Journal

Posted: 10 Sep 2019 01:59 PM PDT

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas has announced the design partners that will reimagine the Hard Rock Hotel property.

Five companies have joined forces to help develop the new hotel: Rockwell Group, Klai Juba Wald Architecture + Interiors, Studio Collective, Taylor International Corp. and McCarthy Building Companies.

"We look forward to delivering a fresh, modern desert oasis to the Entertainment Capital of the World," said Richard "Boz" Bosworth, president and CEO of JC Hospitality and Hard Rock Hotel, in a statement last week.

The partners

Designs are "nearing completion," according to the statement, with construction set to begin in February and the remodeled resort slated to open toward the end of 2020.

The Virgin Hotels Las Vegas will include 1,504 "chambers," grand chamber suites and penthouse suites, a 60,000-square-foot casino, more than 5 acres of poolside space and outdoor event venues, and more than 110,000 square feet of meeting, event and convention space.

New York-based Rockwell Group has worked on other Las Vegas projects, including the KAOS nightclub and Bobby Flay's Shark at the Palms. Gaming resort design firm Klai Juba Wald Architecture + Interiors is leading design efforts at the Las Vegas Convention Center's phase three of expansion, among other projects.

Venice Beach-based boutique design agency Studio Collective and Taylor International Corp. — the company that constructed the MGM Grand, Caesars Palace and more — are also partners in the design, along with McCarthy Building Companies.

Desert inspired

Adam Goldstein, design director and partner at Studio Collective, said the agency will be looking for inspiration from the natural and synthetic landscapes of the American Southwest, creating in an aesthetic he describes as "desert modern."

He said the guest rooms are made to accommodate a wide demographic, and will feature "a mix of natural and warm materials," including white oak wood flooring and millwork alongside desert-inspired color schemes. The choices are intended to make the rooms feel lighter and more comfortable, he said.

"We are hoping the guestrooms can offer guests a respite from the high energy of the casino floor, bars and restaurants, pool and other areas on property," he said. "We feel like the rooms will be unlike other offers one can find in Las Vegas."

Rockwell Group partner Greg Keffer said his team is also looking for inspiration in the Nevada's landscape.

This partnership helps "further develop the brand's signature playful spirit while tapping into the wider context of the desert landscape," he said in the statement.

The property, located on Paradise Road, is set to shut its doors in February for approximately eight months as it goes through its transformation to become the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas in 2020.

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

Virgin Hotels Announces Design/Construction Partners for Vegas Resort - Casino News Daily

Posted: 07 Sep 2019 11:16 AM PDT

Virgin Hotels, the hospitality brand of British businessman Richard Branson, has tapped five high-profile design and construction firms to jointly "re-conceptualize and develop" the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas resort.

Virgin Hotels purchased the property last year and announced a $200 million project to transform it into Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

In a statement issued Friday, the hospitality company said that designs for the hotel and casino complex near completion and that they are on track to kick off construction in February 2020.

The redevelopment project includes a revamp of the property's 1,504 hotel rooms into Chambers, Grand Chamber Suites and Penthouse Suiteс, a 60,000-square-foot "exhilarating and immersive" casino, more than five acres of poolside space, outdoor event venues, a number of dining outlets, lounges and bars, and more than 110,000 square feet of meeting and convention spaces.

The Design and Construction Partners

Virgin Hotels has tapped five seasoned design and construction companies to help it re-imagine its new property, with those five being Rockwell Group, Klai Juba Wald Architecture + Interiors, Studio Collective, Taylor International Corporation, and McCarthy Building Companies.

New York-based architecture and design firm Rockwell Group previously worked on a number of Las Vegas projects, including KAOS Nightclub at Palms Casino Resort, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Nobu Hotel Las Vegas, and OMNIA Las Vegas. Virgin Hotels also tapped it for the design of its first US hotel property – Virgin Hotels Chicago.

Most recently, Klai Juba Wald Architecture was responsible for the ongoing $2.2 billion expansion at the Seminole Tribe of Florida's two flagship properties in South Florida, including the iconic guitar-shaped hotel tower at the Hollywood, Florida resort that is slated to open doors this fall.

Based in Venice Beach, Studio Collective is a boutique design agency that has been responsible for some high-profile hospitality projects.

Taylor International Corporation has more than half a century of experience in developing properties around Southern Nevada. Its portfolio includes iconic Las Vegas resorts such as Caesars Palace, MGM Grand, The Venetian and The Palazzo, and Stratosphere.

McCarthy Building Companies is one of the top ten US entertainment construction companies and has been part of the shaping of the Las Vegas skyline for more than four decades.

Commenting on the newly announced partnerships, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas President Richard "Boz" Bosworth said that they are "thrilled to have such great partners who have a vision for the lifestyle hotel that represents the Virgin Hotels brand."

Virgin Hotels CEO Raul Leal added that it is vital to the brand that its partners "distinctively capture the 'Virgin Hotels' experience and unique point of view."

Upcoming Closure

It emerged last month that Virgin Hotels will shutter its property for eight months to transform it into a Virgin-branded hotel and casino complex. The hospitality company had previously revealed plans for phased closing that would have involved its partial closure immediately after Super Bowl and its complete closure for four months sometime in the summer of 2020.

However, Mr. Bosworth said that a "phased closing of four months, followed by a total closure of four months was not efficient from a construction process nor could we provide a hospitality service experience our guests deserve" and that the property would instead close doors after Super Bowl and would reopen after its revamp. Virgin Hotels Las Vegas is expected to have its ribbon cut in late 2020 following its $200 million renovation.

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How to Do Las Vegas on a Very Cheap Budget (Under $50) - Fodor's Travel

Posted: 04 Sep 2019 01:09 PM PDT

PHOTO: Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock

Vacations don't have to break the bank. Learn how to ball on a budget, Sin City style.

In this new monthly series, we'll teach you how to maximize your vacation budget and visit your favorite cities for less than a typical weekend at home. We'll furnish a two-day itinerary of free and insanely cheap things to do and places to eat, but how you get there and where you stay is up to you. With variable pricing based on travel dates, to find discount accommodation, consider all options from hostels and hotels to B&Bs. To score the best flight deals, always compare multiple booking sites, try different airline combinations, and be as flexible as you can with your plans.

Upon first glance, Sin City may seem like a pricey getaway, but savvy travelers know there are always ways to ball on a budget. From scoring complimentary drinks on the casino floor (post up by the penny slots) to free shows, entertainment, and rooms they dish out like candy, Las Vegas can actually be an incredibly cheap weekend away if you play your cards right. Don't leave it all on the table this trip because the house doesn't always have to win.

Cost: $9.99

The buffet is one of Las Vegas's signature dining experiences, and while casinos on the Strip are vying to outdo each other with lavish prime rib and seafood towers, the Garden Court was quietly voted the best buffet in downtown Las Vegas. Fill your belly with a smorgasbord of cuisines from Southwest to Asian delicacies, and be sure to save room for their famous rotisserie chicken. Player, player? You'll automatically save $1 just for joining their loyalty program, B Connected. In the mood to celebrate? Upgrade to the weekend champagne brunch for just $5 extra.

Cost: Free

People-watching is the ultimate free attraction in Las Vegas, but that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of entertainment on the Strip, too. The Bellagio fountains offer an impressive music, light, and water show every 15-30 minutes, while the animatronic fall of Atlantis at Caesar's Palace is a complimentary history lesson. Stroll through the blooms at the Bellagio Conservatory and admire the art at the Cosmopolitan as you get cultured in all facets of life.

Cost: $4

If you've ever wanted your 'za with a side of heavy metal, you'll love Evel which is part NY-style pizza joint, part time capsule. The brainchild of Evel Knievel's son, Evel Pie was built to commemorate the daredevil's iconic jump over the Caesar's Palace fountain with motorcycle memorabilia aplenty. A slice of cheese will set you back just $4, but if you're feeling gluttonous, specialty toppings like man candy bacon and rattlesnake sausage are just $1.50 extra.

Cost: Free

There's no shortage of photo ops in Sin City from the iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign to Seven Magic Mountains, the colorful stacked boulders just 10-miles down the road. Admire the gondolas at the Venetian for much less than a trip across the pond and take in the "streetmosphere," their indoor street performers and human statues. Make yourself a DIY art crawl seeking out any number of the 100 murals sprinkled throughout downtown before heading to the Park, a new outdoor entertainment district with larger-than-life Burning Man-inspired pieces.

Cost: $7.20 for three tacos

Serving authentic Tijuana-style street tacos with a cult following, Tacos el Gordo has a 50/50 shot of canceling out any prior bad decisions or worsening them but we'll take those odds. Choose a protein from traditional meats like carne asada and spiced pork to more adventurous ingredients like pork stomach and beef head. Tacos start at just $2.40 depending on your filling.

Cost: Free

The most fun you can have with your clothes on, audience participation is encouraged at Harrah's Piano Bar as you belt out your best rendition of "Hound Dog" and sing-along with the resident Elvis Impersonator. Rock out to hits spanning six decades with tunes like "Jailhouse Rock" hopefully not foreshadowing.

Cost: $9.99

Known for their massive portions, you could split an entree at Hash House A Go Go and still leave in a food coma. Their signature buttermilk flapjacks will set you back just $8.99, but for an even more decadent treat, upgrade to Red Velvet, Snickers, blackberry granola, or brown sugar banana for under a 10 spot.

Cost: Free

When you're ready to escape the hustle and bustle of the Strip, get back to nature. The wildlife habitat at the Flamingo is home to their signature flock, parrots, pelicans, and swans in a 15-acre reserve. To experience life under the sea, the Silverton Aquarium has sharks, stingrays, and mermaids meandering about, while Mystic Falls Park at Sam's Town promises another immersive light and water show.

Cost: $7.10 for a combo

One of the most beloved burger chains west of the Mississippi, if you live anywhere other than one of the six states blessed with an In-N-Out Burger, you simply can't miss the chance to order a not-so-secret Double Double, Animal-Style and see what all the hype's about.

Cost: Free

Netflix and chill? Not in Las Vegas. At CBS Television City in the MGM Grand, anyone has the opportunity to preview and judge potential new shows to air on CBS, MTV, and Nickelodeon. They've also been known to test pilot games and technology in these free surprise screenings so you never know just what entertainment awaits.

Cost: $9 for three robata skewers

One of the best Chinatowns in the U.S., Las Vega's Asiatown is home to over 150 restaurants just two miles from the strip. You can find everything from mom and pop ramen joints to Thai, but one of the longtime staples is Raku. A James Beard semi-finalist multiple years running, they dish out Japanese small plates and noodle bowls but are really known for their robata grill. Proteins range from chicken to various cuts of Kobe beef skewers starting at just $3.

Cost: Free

Cirque de Soleil might set you back a pretty penny, but the performances at Circus Circus are completely free. With shows rotating hourly from high flying trapeze artists to feats of strength and skill, and yes, even clowns, be amazed while laughing all the way to the bank. For another circus-like atmosphere, Carnaval Court at Harrah's features alcoholic acrobatics with flair bartenders, live music, and as much chaos as you'd expect from a Vegas street party to close out your weekend in style.

INSIDER TIPCheck the events calendar to save even more. Freemont Street has major headliners like Nelly and the Wallflowers perform for free throughout the summer. The first Friday of every month, the Downtown Art District puts on an epic block party with live music and food trucks. It's Vegas – there's always something going on!

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