You are currently viewing Las Vegas Strip: Closing of 2 iconic hotels (and 2 very anticipated openings)

In 2024, 2 of the most famous iconic hotels on the Las Vegas Strip will have closed their doors — 2 that had a similar theme. But a new one just opened in December 2023 too and another one is coming. We’re actually putting together a guide to all the 20+ big resorts on the Strip, so as a teaser, I wanted to talk about what’s gone and what’s new.

There are a lot of changes on the Vegas hotel scene, especially with the new MGM-Marriott partnership (the world’s biggest casino operator and the world’s biggest hotel chain).

Here are the details.

 

2 hotel closings (and 2 openings) on the Las Vegas Strip

The 2 closings affect hotels among the most famous and the reasons for the closings, which I’ll explain briefly below, are quite different from one another:

  • Tropicana
  • Mirage

The 2 openings are also very different: the first, which has just taken place, was eagerly awaited, while the other is only in a few years:

The Tropicana, with its tropical theme, was the most expensive Vegas resort to build when it opened… but that was back in 1957.

Tropicana Las Vegas (photo credit: Tropicana Las Vegas, Official Facebook)

 

The Mirage, with its Polynesian theme, was the Strip’s first mega-resort… and was also the most expensive when it opened, revolutionizing the boulevard when it opened in 1989.

The Mirage Hotel and Casino (photo credit: The Mirage Hotel and Casino, Official Facebook)

 

The Hard Rock is a copy of Florida’s existing guitar-shaped hotel… which will replace the Mirage.

Hard Rock (photo credit: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Hollywood, FL, Official Facebook)

 

Fontainebleau Las Vegas is a huge new resort whose structure was completed in 2008… but which took 15 years to open and has just been inaugurated!

Fontainebleau Las Vegas (photo credit: Fontainebleau Las Vegas, Official Website)

 

Here are more details.

 

Tropicana: permanent closing

The Tropicana closed in April and will be demolished by implosion later this year. If you’ve had the misfortune to stay there recently, you certainly won’t be weeping over its fate. Its best years were far (very far) behind.

Tropicana Las Vegas (photo credit: Tropicana Las Vegas, Official Facebook)

 

Let’s just say 1957 was a long time ago! The resort was excessively outdated, and the 1400 rooms were often considered among the worst on the entire Strip (a category now proudly dominated by the Circus Circus Hotel, Casino & Theme Park).

The reason for the Tropicana’s closure is rather unique: it’s supposed to be the site of the future Oakland Athletics major league baseball stadium and a brand-new resort by the Bally’s chain.

Image of the future stadium (photo credit: Wikipedia Commons)

 

After getting an expansion hockey team and Oakland’s football team, Las Vegas is also stealing the California city’s baseball team. I say supposedly because most people following this are extremely skeptical of the whole thing. 

It sounds pretty sketchy, so don’t bet on it. Yes, “bet” is a pun, it’s Vegas.

But 2 things are for sure: the Tropicana isn’t coming back, and the land will be used someday if the baseball team’s owners fold their hand. 

tropicana las vegas closing good bye sign strip iconic
Tropicana’s “Goodbye” sign (photo credit: Tropicana Las Vegas, Official Instagram)

 

The entire history of the Strip is inextricably linked with the Mafia, but an FBI investigation in the 1970s had particularly marked the history of the Tropicana. There was a bombing in one of the conflicts with the powerful Vegas unions. Also, the longest-running show in Las Vegas, a topless show called “Folies bergère”, was synonymous with the Tropicana for 50 years.

But it’s above all its prime location at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Boulevard, close enough to the airport, that ensures another resort will undoubtedly take its place.

 

Mirage: temporary shutdown

The Mirage still exists but will close in July for good. However, it won’t be demolished — aside from its artificial volcano, which erupts every night (many are sad to see that part of it demolished).

The Mirage (photo credit: The Mirage Las Vegas, Official Instagram)

 

As mentioned, the reason for the closure is that Hard Rock Hotels have purchased the 3000+ room resort. I’ll share information about the future in the next section.

The Mirage was among the largest hotels in the world when it opened and really initiated the trend of Strip mega-resorts that followed. It was also the location of the first Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas. And it was the first casino to use cameras on all gaming tables.

The hotel has 18-carat gold exterior windows and a huge aquarium with hundreds of fish in the lobby (it also once had white tigers and dolphins outside).

iconic stip hotel mirage aquarium fish tank las vegas
The Mirage’s 20,000-gallon saltwater tank (photo credit: The Mirage Las Vegas, Official Instagram)

 

An interesting tidbit on the Mirage, given the timeline we live in, is the lawsuit that alleged an employee conspired with one Donald Trump to steal guest lists and send them to the future president’s hotels. That was settled out of court.

Finally, I guess it’s because of the similar theme, but the Mirage was also known for a nudity-related attraction. The topless Bare Pool Lounge was quite popular, but no longer allows toplessness (except for men, of course).

 

Hard Rock: far-away opening

The Mirage will be completely renovated and renamed. The hotel won’t reopen until 2027, though, so it’s really a huge project and not just a little cosmetic surface patching. 

It’s essentially going to be a brand-new hotel. All the thousands of rooms are going to be refurbished, for example. And it’s going to have the addition of a brand new tower where the volcano is.

Image of the future Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas (photo credit: Hard Rock Hotels, Official Instagram)

 

Yes, another guitar-shaped tower like the one Hard Rock has in Florida. If you haven’t seen the guitar-shaped Hard Rock Hotel, it’s really impressive, even just taking off or landing at Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL).

It’s the kind of kitschy architecture and concept that’s so Las Vegas. The big guitar next to the big ball.

 

Fontainebleau: highly awaited opening 

Another copycat from the Miami area, in a way. If you’re a Miami fan like me, you may be familiar with the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach luxury hotel. 

Now there’s a Vegas version, the Fontainebleau Las Vegas, which just opened in December 2023.

 

It looks really beautiful. Not surprising with its $5 billion price tag (more than the GDP of many countries, like Belize for example).

It seems that the resort, which has no particular theme, is trying very hard to make its mark and become THE new trendy destination — as it should be as the newest hotel to open. But it doesn’t seem to have been particularly popular since it opened, strangely enough. Although they are trying to buy the adjacent land, possibly to expand. There are mixed signals.

The hotel’s rocky history is very peculiar. With over 3,000 rooms and 67 floors, the tallest building in the entire state of Nevada has been standing there on the Strip for 15 years without ever opening, which is still pretty crazy.

Partially completed building (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 

The hotel structure had been completed in 2008, but the effects of the financial crisis got the better of the developer when the project was 70% finished, in 2009. Finally, 8 years later, work resumed… only to be interrupted by the pandemic, but also by the developer’s financial troubles due to the governmental response to the pandemic.

Finally, in November 2021, the project was relaunched by the original developer. They had to completely redo the 1800 rooms that had been completed, even though they had never been used. What a waste.

Rooms (photo credit: Fontainebleau Las Vegas, Official Website)

 

Don’t miss our guide to the 20+ resorts on the Las Vegas Strip soon!

 

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Summary

The famous Tropicana is no more and will (maybe) be replaced by a baseball stadium. The equally famous Mirage will close this summer for major renovations. Hard Rock will replace it in a few years’ time, with a tower in the shape of a guitar. The Fontainebleau Las Vegas has also just opened to compensate for the loss of the 2 hotels.

 

What would you like to know about Las Vegas hotels closing? Tell us in the comments below.

 

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Featured image: Mirage and Hard Rock (photo credit: Mirage, Official Instagram and Hard Rock, Official Instagram)

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Andrew D'Amours

Andrew is the co-founder of Flytrippers. He is passionate about traveling the world but also, as a former management consultant, about the travel industry itself. He shares his experiences to help you save money on travel. As a very cost-conscious traveler, he loves finding deals and getting free travel thanks to travel rewards points... to help him visit every country in the world (current count: 71/193 Countries, 47/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Craig

    This article barely gives any information at all, which casinos closed, when they closed, which casinos are opening, or when like this can’t be a fully grown and employed adult that wrote this no way

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Craig, sorry to hear that.

      Would love to understand what you mean. The first section of the post is literally a summary in bullet points, which casinos closed and which opened. I’m not sure how that can be any clearer.
      casinos overview

      The dates and details are below, but we could have added the dates in the overview for sure though, that’s good feedback for next ones. But is there anything else?

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