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Richard Branson buys Hard Rock casino-hotel in Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Billionaire Richard Branson has purchased the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

The property off the Las Vegas Strip will be rebranded over the next several months as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

Branson announced the purchase Friday at the casino-hotel.

The property has about 1,500 rooms and suites. It will remain open during renovations, which are expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

Virgin Hotels purchased the property with a group of partners, including Los Angeles-based investment firm Juniper Capital Partners. The terms of the purchase from Brookfield Asset Management were not disclosed.

The only Virgin Hotel opened so far is in Chicago. Others are planned for several cities, including New York, Dallas and Washington D.C.

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