Three months after the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas celebrated its opening on March 25th with a teaser bash, another party is throwing itself – this one louder, longer and “unstoppable”.
Resort executives had discussed hosting a second, larger opening event than they thought it was safe to do. The time has come, according to Richard “Boz” Bosworth, President and CEO of the resort’s group of owners, JC Hospitality, LLC.
The Unstoppable Weekend party kicks off Thursday night with an event directed by Christina Aguilera at The Theater at Virgin Hotels and continues through Sunday with other events, openings and performances, Bosworth said.
Executives waited for the social distancing and capacity restrictions of COVID-19 to be lifted before holding the grand opening, Bosworth said.
“We wanted liveliness. We wanted a party and we wanted it to be safe, ”he said. “And we felt it was irresponsible to have a party at this level when you had to have a social distance of 3 to 6 feet, or 75 percent capacity, or no dancing, or some of the all-natural restrictions that were needed (um ) to keep our community healthy and safe. “
Good time for a party
The party will coincide with what he called the property’s busiest midweek since reopening and the property’s busiest June since 2017. Bosworth said the hotel had “100 percent penetration” in room occupancy and sold out on Memorial Day weekend. Group business is really picking up pace this week, driving up weekday occupancy rates, he said.
Occupancy in June 2018 or 2019 is expected to be higher than the same month’s occupancy at the property – then at the Hard Rock Hotel – he said.
As for business in 2021 and 2022, “in this hotel or any other hotel property or investment I have ever been involved in. I’ve never seen booking rates as dramatic and positive as we have, ”said Bosworth.
Aguilera, Flo Rida and DJ Mix Master Mike will open the weekend party on Thursday. Sir Richard Branson, the entrepreneur behind the Virgin brand, is expected to appear and leave his private island in the British Virgin Islands for the first time since the pandemic, Bosworth said.
Branson is expected to be highly visible during the Thursday and Friday celebrations. He is known for performing or attempting some form of stunt to promote his business. In 2007, the flamboyant entrepreneur remembered the first Virgin America flight with a bungee jump from the Palms. He bounced off the building twice and tore his pants.
How he will arrive on Thursday is a mystery.
“That’s his surprise. He doesn’t even share it with me, “said Bosworth, adding,” We are very honored that he has made us his first trip now that there is a light at the end of the tunnel from a public health perspective. ”
The property is almost complete, said Bosworth. The Italian restaurant and nightlife Kassi Beach House opened to the public on Memorial Day Weekend.
During a phone call on Friday, Bosworth said he watched from his new office as people hauled furniture to the Élia Beach Club, which is due to open on Thursday. The Mediterranean day club in the resort’s pool complex will feature DJs and a thatched roof stage.
Most of the amenities to be operational
By the end of the weekend party, all but one of the property’s upcoming dining options will be up and running, he said.
Sports, restaurant, betting and entertainment venue Money, Baby! will open Friday night and host a UFC viewing event on Saturday night, he said. Afters Ice Cream opens on Thursday. Todd English’s Olives restaurant is expected to open in late June.
The property’s sports betting offer, which is operated by the British Betfred, is not expected to open “at the earliest” before autumn, a spokeswoman said.
It’s not uncommon for a hotel casino or resort to have a soft opening followed by a bigger, grand opening, said Josh Swissman, founding partner of consulting firm The Strategy Organization.
A gentle opening gives a property time to test the operation or the sales outlets with the public and at the same time to build up its public profile. Then, usually a few weeks or a month later, the opening comes with a larger cache of notable names, celebrities and celebrities, Swissman said.
He said the three month gap was atypical but would come in an atypical year. Postponing the grand opening party to this week gave Virgin Hotels Las Vegas a chance to await COVID-19 restrictions, a rebound in the travel industry and the spread of vaccinations, he said.
“That makes total sense to me,” said Swissman.
Contact Mike Shoro at [email protected] or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.