Potential Hard Rock Hotel sale draws closer

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The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino sale may soon have a new owner. Brookfield Asset Management, the majority owner of the off-Strip property, confirms terms of the sale have been agreed to with the investment group.      

The sale isn’t final yet. 8 News NOW reached out to representatives for the buyers as well as British billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin hotels who may operate it, no one wants to comment at the moment. 

Rumors are swirling that the deal is coming to a close. 

“It’s a good thing. Everybody is looking forward to it,” Demetrius Durr said.

Durr says he’s aware of the potential Hard Rock Hotel and Casino sale.

“I used to work there; 17 years,” Durr said.

Durr still keeps in touch with former co-workers at the off-Strip Las Vegas property. 

Cristen Drummond, Reporter: “What have they said about the potential sale?”
Demetrius Durr: “A good thing.” 

“A good thing” to possibly help the resort return to its prime following financial troubles over the years.  

“When it first opened it was really one of the first boutique hotels; maybe they expanded it a little too fast,” said David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at UNLV. “And just added too many rooms, lost some of that original laser focus on Rock-n-Roll and that kind of product. “

But a new focus may come.  The potential lead buyers in this acquisition include Bosworth Hospitality Partners founder Richard Bosworth and investment firm, Juniper Capital Partners. Branson’s Virgin Hotels may operate it. 

“If you have the possibility of Richard Branson being involved, of course, that’s huge, said Schwartze’s. “He’s one of the most famous entrepreneurs on the planet.”  “Somebody like Richard Branson could really be the X-factor to bring that wider popularity.”

Along with a new crowd and possibly a name change. However, not everyone is on board with it.

“Hard Rock is the Hard Rock, how can they change it,” said Richard Warden, from Las Vegas.

Warden remains hesitant. 

Richard Warden, Las Vegas resident: “If it’s sold, as long as they keep it the same way it is, doesn’t matter to me.”

Cristen Drummond, Reporter: “You wouldn’t want any changes?
Richard Warden, Las Vegas resident: “No.” 

Change though will likely entice Durr to return to the property.

“If Mr. Branson comes in, I’m going back,” Durr said. 

The Hard Rock Hotel opened in 1995.
Brookfield Asset Management assumed ownership in 2011 after the economy crashed.

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