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Mirage

MGM Resorts International to Sell Operations of The Mirage for $1B

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Dec. 14 2021, Updated 12:12 p.m. ET

It’s another big sale in Las Vegas! MGM Resorts International has recently announced that they came to an agreement on plans to sell operations of The Mirage for $1.075 billion. Details of the sale have Las Vegas talking, because another Vegas hospitality titan is taking the reins. In the past year alone, seismic shifts have been happening behind the scenes at some of the biggest destinations in Las Vegas, and it’s making for a streamlined, sleek city ready to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s hospitality needs. So who’s the big name behind the purchase? 

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The Mirage Goes for $1B

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With MGM Resorts International passing on the reins, who’s taking control of The Mirage operations? None other than Hard Rock International. The sale purchase price will be $1.075 billion in cash, subject to customary working capital adjustments. 

Bill Hornbuckle, CEO and President of MGM Resorts International said in a statement, “This transaction is a significant milestone for MGM Resorts, and for Las Vegas. As part of the team that opened The Mirage in 1989, I know firsthand how special it is, and what a great opportunity it presents to the Hard Rock team. I want to thank all of our Mirage employees who have consistently delivered world-class gaming and entertainment experiences to our guests for more than three decades.” 

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Jonathan Halkyard, CFO and Treasurer of MGM Resorts International added, “This is a fantastic outcome for the Company, as we are able to re-prioritize future capital expenditures toward opportunities that will enhance the customer experience at our other locations in Las Vegas. We appreciate VICI, as the real estate owner of The Mirage once its acquisition of MGM Growth Properties closes, working constructively with Hard Rock to facilitate a new lease agreement.

As it relates to use of proceeds, we will remain disciplined allocators of our capital to maximize shareholder value. This consists of maintaining a strong balance sheet, returning cash to shareholders, and pursuing targeted growth opportunities that advance our vision to be the world’s premier gaming entertainment company.”

Under the terms of the new agreement, MGM Resorts retains The Mirage name and brand, licensing it to Hard Rock royal-free for three years. During these three years, MGM will finalize plans to rebrand the company. The sale is expected to wrap up in the latter half of 2022. 

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History of the Mirage

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The Mirage opened in 1989 on what was once the site of The Castaways. Developer Steve Wynn brought the resort to life, with the help of architect Joel Bergman. At the time that it was built, the Mirage turned out to be the most expensive hotel in history, going nearly $100 million over budget for a total of $630 million. 

The hotel was designed with a white and gold exterior to make it stand out on the Strip, and the windows shimmered with actual 24 carat gold dust. The Mirage became the flagbearer of Las Vegas’s future, the first new resort built on the strip in over 15 years. In a time when tourism was flagging in Vegas, The Mirage was a shining promise and helped reinvigorate the city.

Over the years, The Mirage became known for its over the top entertainment events, including a 13-year exclusive run with animal trainers Siegfried and Roy. With animal exhibits and gold, The Mirage was a true standard for what Vegas entertainment would grow to become in the ’90’s and ’00’s. 

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MGM Resorts’ Most Recent Purchase

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MGM Resorts has been busy in the buying and selling department this year, after closing on a deal to purchase The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas for $5.65B. 

CELEBfollowed the announcement of the sale when it became public in September: “MGM Resorts announced that they had reached a deal to purchase The Cosmopolitan. Although there’s been rumors circulating for a few years, this is the first sign that anything substantial was happening. The deal will total a stunning $5.65 billion, with $1.6 billion purchasing the right to Cosmopolitan’s casino and hotel operating rights and $4 billion purchasing the property’s assets.

Assets belonging to the Cosmopolitan that will transfer in the sale include:

  • The 3,000-room resort.
  • Marquee Nightclub.
  • Multiple restaurants.
  • A fourth-floor swimming pool that overlooks Vegas BLVD.
  • The Chelsea, a 3,200 person theater.
  • 21,000 square feet of retail space.
  • 40,000 square feet of spa and wellness.”

It’s a year of moving and shaking in Las Vegas and this plan to change directions for The Mirage promises to be another exciting new chapter. 

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