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Strumming a New Tune: The Mirage’s Iconic Volcano to Give Way for Hard Rock’s Guitar Hotel

Time and progress never rest, and this rings especially true for the ever-evolving Las Vegas Strip. For decades, it’s been a place where the old regularly gives way to the new, often with a bang – quite literally.

Many of the classic hotels that once added charm to the strip have been dismantled to make room for contemporary establishments. The Dunes, a vintage icon that opened its doors in 1955, made way for The Bellagio in 1993. Similarly, The Sands, the playground for the Rat Pack back in the early 1960s, was cleared in 1996, making room for The Venetian. Mandalay Bay stands where Hacienda once did, after its implosion on New Year’s Eve 1996.

Following this trend, The Aladdin launched in 1962, was replaced with a new Aladdin in the late 90s, which eventually metamorphosed into Planet Hollywood. The Desert Inn, another beloved establishment, was demolished to give way to Wynn Las Vegas and the Encore at Wynn in the early 2000s. The Hawaiian Marketplace, a once iconic shopping center, was razed recently to construct a sprawling mixed-use project, slated to feature retail, dining, entertainment spaces, and possibly even a hotel.

Hard Rock International recently announced its plans for another transformative project on the strip. The Mirage, purchased from MGM Resorts International in December 2021, is set to undergo a metamorphosis. Hard Rock intends to build a 660-foot-tall, 600-room Guitar Hotel on the property, mirroring its iconic hotel in Florida.

This ambitious venture, however, calls for the demolition of The Mirage’s much-loved Volcano attraction. The Volcano, which has been ‘erupting’ multiple times a day since the hotel opened in 1989, has been a magnet for millions of visitors. There were even failed attempts to declare it a historical landmark to save it from closure.

However, Hard Rock remains committed to its vision of adding a new face to the Las Vegas skyline. The company has plans to retain the Mirage towers while renovating the property, and the space currently occupied by the Mirage Volcano is earmarked for the new Guitar Hotel.

It’s noteworthy to mention that Hard Rock, owned by The Seminole Tribe of Florida, had no connection with the previously existing off-strip Hard Rock hotel in Las Vegas.

In a pre-demolition move, Hard Rock has already transferred the last three dolphins from Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden Habitat at The Mirage. The aquatic creatures have found a new home at CoralWorld Ocean Park’s Sea Sanctuary at Water Bay in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.

With the closing of The Mirage’s habitat in December 2022 and the impending eruption of construction at the site, it’s clear the strip is ready to strum a new tune with the addition of the Guitar Hotel. Las Vegas Strip continues to renew itself, always promising something new, exciting, and unexpected for its visitors.