Virgin Hotels Las Vegas has been open a little more than a month and is continuing to grow, with a swimming pool set to open in a few weeks. This growth is part of a surge in casino projects in the Las Vegas Valley.
Virgin Hotels opened March 25 on Paradise Road, just east of the Las Vegas Strip. The resort was renovated and rebranded at the site of the former Hard Rock Hotel, which occupied that location for 25 years. The hotel-casino is near McCarran International Airport and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
The swimming pool, slated to open May 21, is among other amenities expected to become available soon, said JC Hospitality President and CEO Richard “Boz” Bosworth.
Also in May, Todd English’s Olives and Afters Ice Cream are set to open, along with other restaurants and attractions, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The Elia Beach Club is scheduled to open in June.
A sportsbook to be managed by Betfred, a British operator, is awaiting regulatory approval. On its website, Betfred bills itself as “one of the world’s biggest independent bookmakers, with over 1,550 retail outlets.”
The Virgin Hotels Las Vegas sportsbook is expected to be in operation by the end of September.
Bosworth told the newspaper this “building period” is what the company expected, “knowing that we were opening up into a market that was going to grow and we would grow with the market.”
Hiring Spree Underway
In addition to these developments at Virgin Hotels, other projects are underway involving hotel-casinos in Southern Nevada. This is occurring as the hobbled Las Vegas economy shows signs of recovering from a severe pandemic-related slump. On March 17, 2020, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) ordered casinos to close statewide. They remained closed until June 4.
This year, with vaccinations and stimulus checking rolling out, some key indicators point to a rebounding tourism economy.
The most recent airport numbers show an uptick in passenger travel in March. Also, casinos in the area, including MGM Resorts and the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, are conducting job fairs this week to fill employee vacancies.
In addition, a sports-betting and entertainment site at Virgin Hotels, “Money, Baby!”, is hiring 150 employees, the newspaper reported.
More visitors have begin to enter casinos this month. The Gaming Control Board permitted Las Vegas casinos to begin operating at 80 percent capacity on May 1. The social distancing requirement has been reduced from six feet to three feet. Masks are still required.
Areas of Concern
This post-pandemic optimism is also reflected in construction projects on the Las Vegas Strip. The $4.3 billion Resort World Las Vegas, the most expensive hotel-casino in the area’s history, is slated to open June 24 at the site of the now-demolished Stardust Casino. Resorts World is the first new hotel-casino to open on the Strip since the Cosmopolitan began operations in December 2010.
The Clark County Commission has given developer Jackie Robinson approval to move ahead with a long-delayed hotel and entertainment complex in a vacant 27-acre location at the northeast end of the resort corridor.
Other projects on the Strip include renovations at Sahara Las Vegas and a proposal to build a multilevel retail and restaurant complex on two acres at CityCenter.
South of Las Vegas in Henderson, a renovated and rebranded casino, The Pass, recently opened in the historic Water Street District.
Areas of concern still exist. With conventions and international visitors lacking, the Southern Nevada economy could sputter, experts say. Since 1999, Las Vegas resorts have made more money off conventions and hotel amenities than gambling, according to the Wall Street Journal.