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Though there have been rumblings for the past several months, it has now been publicly announced: Virgin and its enigmatic owner, Richard Branson, has purchased the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. But 2018 Gentlemen’s Club EXPO attendees should be aware, this purchase will have no impact on our upcoming convention. The room rates will be the same as the ones we’ve already announced (just $69 per night, Sunday through Wednesday, and can be booked here), and no major renovations to the property will begin until 2019.

So why did Virgin and Branson purchase the Hard Rock? Here’s what Branson had to say:

“When I’ve come to Vegas over the years my favourite casino has been the Hard Rock. It’s great to walk around and see memorabilia of Johnny Rotten, the Rolling Stones, Bowie and other Virgin bands plastered on the walls. It’s got delightful and dedicated people working there and it has beautiful outdoor swimming pool areas and beautiful rooms. Virgin Hotels opened their first hotel in Chicago and Condé Nast voted it the best hotel in America. They know how to look after customers and their people. With some beautiful design work they’ll bring that magic to the Hard Rock.”

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Branson promised that the upcoming renovations, which will be completed in late 2019, will be “tasteful, fun.” The operation will be renamed Virgin Hotels Las Vegas once the place is transformed, The Associated Press reported. The giant guitar out front, however “may not survive,” Branson warned, and may be replaced with a “giant V.”

Hard Rock Hotel & casino in Las Vegas, NV on January 6, 2010. © Erik Kabik/erikkabik.com

Here’s the more important question: Will the priceless rock, punk and heavy metal memorabilia be saved?“I come from the rock ‘n’ roll business,” Branson told Conde Nast Traveler, and the famous Hard Rock memorabilia is “something that fortunately comes with the hotel. It’s incredible for me to suddenly have this collection.”

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