LAS VEGAS

High-flying billionaire Richard Branson added Sin City to his Virgin Group portfolio following the acquisition of Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas.

The approximately 1,500-room off-Strip property will be rebranded to The Virgin Hotel Las Vegas and will remain open during renovations that are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019, according to Virgin Group. As of April 2018, the hotel offers 115,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

Virgin operates a hotel in Chicago with others planned for New York, Dallas, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, New Orleans and other major destinations. The former Hard Rock was purchased by a group of partners that included Los Angeles-based investment firm Juniper Capital Partners.

“Virgin Atlantic has flown to Vegas for years and it’s only a hop and a skip from the airport to the Hard Rock,” said Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, in a statement.

“Close by the hotel we have the Virgin Hyperloop One test site operating out in the desert, Virgin Orbit getting ready to send satellites into space and Virgin Galactic is gearing up for powered flight," he added.

"An exciting part of America for Virgin and its wonderful people. Exciting times, too!”