Hard Rock International announced Wednesday that Joe Lupo, the current president of the company’s Atlantic City casino, will be in charge of its planned Las Vegas Strip property.
The move is subject to Nevada regulators approving the Florida-based company’s purchase of The Mirage Hotel and Casino from MGM Resorts International. Last December, Hard Rock agreed to buy the casino for more than $1 billion.
Lupo has served as president of Hard Rock Hotel & Atlantic City since November 2018. Before that, he worked two years at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa. He’s also a veteran of Nevada gaming, having worked for several Boyd Gaming properties in Las Vegas and Laughlin. That experience includes a stint as the race and sportsbook director at the former Stardust Hotel & Casino.
Hard Rock Chairman Jim Allen said Lupo has posted “amazing results” during his tenure in Atlantic City.
Thanks to his dedication and expertise, financial results continue to outperform expectations, while our team members share an unmatched commitment to guest service and satisfaction,” Allen said. “I am confident Joe Lupo will achieve even greater success at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas.”
At the time of the sale, MGM said it expected it close during the second half of this year.
Guitar-Shaped Hotel Planned
The Mirage property is expected to go through several changes once Hard Rock takes possession. For starters, Hard Rock plans to build one of its signature guitar-shaped hotels on the property. It’s also expected to take down the iconic volcano that has been a signature attraction on the Strip for decades.
MGM will give Hard Rock a license to use the Mirage name for three years. Hard Rock has announced that an expansion on the Strip property would open in 2025.
Faranca Hired to Lead Hard Rock Atlantic City
Taking Lupo’s place in Atlantic City will be Anthony Faranca. He will take over as the Hard Rock casino’s president in New Jersey on Sept. 1.
Faranca brings more than 17 years of gaming experience to Hard Rock. Most recently, he served three years as the executive vice president and general manager for Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover, Md., near Baltimore. Among his accomplishments there were opening a FanDuel retail sportsbook and a 5,000-seat entertainment center.
He also served as the vice president and general manager for Station Casinos, where he was responsible for the Palms and Red Rock casinos.
His experience includes serving as an executive for Caesars Entertainment in New Jersey and Parx Casino in the Philadelphia area.
“Anthony’s deep knowledge of the Atlantic City and Northeast region is an invaluable asset to the company,” Allen said. “We are confident that Anthony will continue Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City’s legacy of success and impactful leadership in the community.”
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