Hard Rock Reportedly in Due Diligence to Buy The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Hard Rock might be looking to expand to the Las Vegas Strip, according to new round of reports

UPDATE (Nov. 21, 2018): The Cosmpolitan has denied the rumors about its potential sale. The casino said in an official statement that no sale is under consideration at this point.

Hard Rock International is reportedly in due diligence to buy The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas hotel and casino resort. The glitzy Strip property was purchased by a division of multi-national private equity firm Blackstone Group for $1.7 billion back in the spring of 2014.

In a recent tweet, popular blog about everything Vegas-related Vital Vegas said, citing unnamed sources, that Hard Rock is definitely still in due diligence to acquire Cosmo and that delays in the acquisition deal were caused by the “union situation” at the property.

The latest Vital Vegas tweet followed up a report by the blog from earlier this year, according to which the Florida-headquartered gaming and hospitality giant was circling The Cosmopolitan and even entered due diligence to buy it. Vital Vegas also revealed this past spring that lay-offs were taking place at the property and its credit lines were being reviewed to make it more attractive to a potential buyer.

The Cosmopolitan features nearly 3,000 hotel rooms, which were recently remodeled to include modern artwork, improved lightning, and user-friendly technology among other additions. The property occupies a 8.7-acre site between MGM’s Bellagio and CityCenter along the legendary Strip. According to previous reports, MGM itself had eyed Cosmo, but has apparently lost interest later on.

While many would deem Hard Rock a surprising potential buyer of the hotel and gaming resort, its rumored intention to expand its presence to the Las Vegas Strip might not be that unexpected. The Florida-based company has been looking to extend its geographical footprint for some time now. It has expressed interest in bidding for a Japanese gaming license, it was selected earlier this year as the preferred bidder for the development of an integrated resort in the Spanish city of Tarragona, and has reportedly been seeking permission to develop a property in Australia’s Gold Coast.

”Union Situation”

While the recent Vital Vegas tweet does not specify what “union situation” might mean, it should be noted that there have been some union and workers situations at the property in the past. The Cosmopolitan opened doors late in 2010 and back then, it was one of few Strip resorts without a union contract. The lack of such created a tense relationship between Cosmo’s previous owners and the Culinary Workers Union Local 226. That tense relationship escalated in major protests and rallies before the property was purchased by the Blackstone Group.

Late in 2015, or more than a year after The Cosmopolitan had switched ownership, the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and the Bartenders Union Local 165 signed a four-year contract with the casino resort’s new owners that included food and beverage, bar and lounge, housekeeping, and bell department workers.

News emerged earlier this year, that former Cosmopolitan workers were suing the property’s owners, accusing them of “fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and retaliatory termination.” The lawsuit further read that the workers, formerly employed at the Violet Hour salon at Cosmo, had “worked in a noxious cavern of toxic chemicals for years” and that “The Cosmopolitan’s management has repeatedly turned a blind eye to numerous complaints.”

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