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At The Corner Of SLS And Desolation Way

May 22, 2012 at 8:08 PM | by | ()

A rendering for the SLS Vegas shows what we should expect come 2014 (fingers crossed.. toes, too) -- a sleek, contemporary new place for us to hang while we toast Lost Vegas. (will always pour one out for Sahara)

But, a recent visit to the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue reminds us of what is not shown in that glossy mock-up. What all those hipsters who will flock to its rooms, nightclubs and restaurants, et al, will need to drive by. And, gaze upon from its windows.

First, a look at the Sahara as it stand now. Coaster-less. In some places, sign-less. And, completely less than the icon it once was.

Around it, and expected to remain like this pretty much forever, are sights like this...

The vacant site of a mothballed MGM Resorts mega-resort project. And this..

The world's largest souvenir store. (Sorry, future SLS gift shop. Even Angelina shops here.) And, like this..

Holy cow! The long-abandoned Holy Cow brewery-slash-casino is gone! And, while a fenced-in lot does not offer any clues as to what is coming in its place, VegasChatter friend Ted Newkirk at Access Vegas reports that he hears a, wait for it, Walgreens is coming soon. And, why wouldn't it be?

To the north and slightly behind the old Holy Cow site, the Fun City Motel (once cited as the place to stay where no one will know your name.. or care) appears to be in the process of being torn down, too.

And, let's not forget about the possibility of the Lucky Dragon coming to that part of the city, too.

So, while SLS may stand for "Some Luxurious Surprises" or "Secret Little Sanctuary," it could also stand for Sahara Limping Sadly or Sad Lost Strip, too. We hope that won't always be the case.

(PHOTO: slshotels.com, VegasChatter, Lucky Dragon)

Archived Comments:


There is so much history on this spot.  The Bonanza gift shop used to be a casino, the original El Rancho was on that vacant lot, the Sahara obviously, and I know a lot of people have a soft spot for the old Holy Cow.  It's really sad to see how desolate the area has become.

Nice plan!

I'm glad to see them doing something with the Sahara. Although I'm not a fan of the current hotel design trends as the hotel designs just don't look at all inviting (cough CityCenter cough) but glad to see renovations rather than another empty husk on the Strip.

Holy Cow

When I was over shooting some video of the Holy Cow being torn down a month or so ago, I got to talking to some of the construction workers doing the demolition...  They had told me that guy that owns the land over there, own's other Walgreens in town as well.  They also said that they had heard whispers of the building being multistory Walgreens building (similar to the one over by PH) and could have a casino on the second floor. That'd be an interesting concept...  They also said construction wouldn't start for at least another year.  


Wow, that's great info! Thanks for sharing!

I also didn't even mention Fontaine-bust in this piece and should have. You'll definitely be able to see the failed project from SLS' tower.


By developing at and around the Saraha, it would encourage them to do something with the Fount. Bl.

I like the idea of the 2 story Walgreens. I love the Walgreen near PH. Their makeup dept. looks like Sephora!

You forgot one thing

That black building opposite of Sahara (northeast corner I think) that says they are zoned for something.


That black building was the Holy Cow :)

I have an idea...

I get that the vacant lots are private property but why not put in some parks on them?  Don't need to be green, irrigated parks, but nicely done (can't spell it--xeroscaped) desert landscaping with cheap gravel trails, a few benches and shade coverings.  

Make them into relatively inexpensive public spaces pending further development.  Then, the property owners could get a property tax credit for doing so.

It would dress-up the strip, provide urban oaises to rest at, and be less of an eyesore; also, it would show that the property owners are concerned about the community and its appearance.

The only real recurring cost would be maintenance and security (can't have bums and dope fiends taking root) but that would also be part of the tax credit.

Good Idea

SLS is a great idea that hopefully will not get slammed by economic reality.

As for putting in parks around there...it would be nice, but that costs money and money has to come from somewhere, whether that be the city or private investors. Without a casino or other development in the area there simply is no incentive.

This is sad

jg...I always wondered why there were not more park-like areas given all the vacant lots.
On my last trip to LV I was talking to someone who works for the city and they told me security is an issue. The landholders and even the city are apprehensive to develop a project such as a public park setting in that area due to the large number of homeless in and around the strip. Not only a problem with folks sleeping on the benches or panhandling, but that they would have to insure the place and provide security.

Things are Looking Up

An excellent job bringing together the different elements of the LV Blvd and Sahara Ave intersection, Rebecca.  The major press occasionally reports on some of the pieces, but doe not tie together the package at all.  Here's to hoping the North end of The Strip becomes everything it should and could be.

Perfect timing!

I pass this intersection at least twice a day as I commute to and from work. The building that was on the NE corner of Sahara/LVB that had been passed through so many failed owners was gone one day and I started to get curious; especially after I nearly wrote a story for former Vegas'-own Casey Hendrickson regarding the Sahara's 'coaster coming down. This was a nice update for me as I'd been wondering for sure!

@702Becca - I did have two quick questions for you if you wouldn't mind taking the time to help out - though definitely not new to the city, I am new to the site; if I missed a PM option I apologize.


If you send a note to tips@vegaschatter.com I can respond to you from there!

Another Same old Same old

If they are going after the young party crowd, which is a mistake. Aria and the Cosmo are going after the same graphics, but they're losing money. The young crowd don't have money to spend they want to party.