Virgin Hotels Las Vegas is scheduled to open in November 2020. Plans for a Tough Rock hotel had been announced in 1991, and the resort opened on March 9, 1995, as the world’s first rock and roll-themed hotel. The Tough Rock Hotel began as a joint venture among Difficult Rock Cafe founder Peter Morton and Harveys. Following disagreements, Morton bought out Harveys’ share of the resort in 1997.
Further restaurants and nightclubs were among the new attributes added in the course of the expansion. Particulars for a $750 million expansion and renovation project had been unveiled in March 2007. The project would double the size of the resort with added hotel rooms, convention space, and a larger concert venue. The hotel expansion would consist of a 15-story tower with 550 rooms and a separate VIP tower with 400 suites.
The expansion was scheduled to begin construction in October 2007 for completion in mid-2009, even though renovations to the existing hotel rooms and restaurants started immediately. The Hard Rock remained open for the duration of the renovation project. In July 2004, the Challenging Rock was considering a buy of 23 acres situated directly west of the resort. The property was occupied by the Paradise Bay Club apartments, with almost 550 units.
Morgans ended its involvement with the resort in 2011, when it was sold to Brookfield Asset Management with Warner Gaming as the operator. Virgin and a group of investors bought the Difficult Rock in 2018 and announced plans to renovate and rebrand it as a Virgin hotel. The Hard Rock closed on February three, 2020, for about eight months of renovations.
The land would be utilised for an expansion of the Difficult Rock. Morton bought the adjacent house in September 2004, at a expense of $86 million. That month, Morton announced plans for a $1 billion condo hotel addition, consisting of four towers with a total of at least 1,500 units, to be constructed on the newly acquired house. At the time, Las Vegas was experiencing a condominium boom. Construction was expected to commence in 2005, with completion of the first phase in 2006.
A new 11-story hotel tower was added in 1999, as portion of a $100 million renovation. Morgans Hotel Group and DLJ Merchant Banking Partners purchased the Challenging Rock in 2007, and Morgans handled operations at the resort.