Tag: SLS VegasView All Tags
Renovations / Name Changes / Sahara / SLS Vegas / Construction / Openings / → All Tags
It hasn't even been a month since our last check on the Sahara and already two VegasChatter readers have more striking progress photos to share.
Taken on May 11 by Greg C. and just yesterday, May 20 by Brian F., new snapshots of the aging resort's transformation into the SLS illustrate the further erasure of Sahara's Moroccan-inspired architecture. And, the NASCAR Cafe. Remember that one time when you tried the burrito challenge? Yeah, good times. And, bad heartburn. But, we digress.
This is an aerial photo of how the NASCAR Cafe appeared in mid-April:
And, here it is on May 11:
The photos at the very top of this post as well as below (and in the photo gallery underneath that) show how it stands now:
SLS Vegas / SBE / Sam Nazarian / Sportsbooks / → All Tags
Last week, we attended the RD&E (Retail, Dining & Entertainment) Experience which is a conference about hospitality and non-gaming parts of casinos. One of the keynote speakers was Sam Nazarian who owns SBE and the coming SLS Las Vegas which is currently under construction on the grounds formerly occupied by the Sahara.
Nazarian's goal for the SLS is for the property to earn a whopping 70% of revenue from non-gaming amenities. Last year, Nevada casinos had just under 65% of their revenue come from non-gaming venues. The idea behind SLS is that the casino is on equal footing to every other part of SLS (and most other casinos today).
Hidden between discussions about the shopping, restaurants and nightclubs was a nugget about the sportsbook planned for SLS. A plan that sounds a lot like Lagasse's Stadium. The idea is that the sportsbook will be integrated with Umami Burger and will open out to the street (arrows above point to possible locations). According to Nazarian, the idea is that the sportsbook will be more of a sports bar where you can buy a "$10 burger and $5 beer," bet on a game and watch it.
At Sahara, it's hard to miss the gaping swatch cut through the building as work continues toward transforming it into the SLS Las Vegas. We've been keeping an eye on things, but we're not the only ones. Readers like Greg C. have been chronicling the changes earnestly.
The dramatic panoramic shown above is from the SLS' Facebook page, but Greg recently provided us with a before shot showing the roofline that once was.
Greg has also spied that the de-theming of Sahara's towers has begun. This is what the Tunis tower looked liked before recent changes:
This is it looks like now:
Notice the removal of the green shade structure and green-trimmed glass railing on the penthouse balconies. The windows that once rimmed the suite's walls are now gone, too. Also, some of the ornamental Moroccan-esque roofline is coming down while the entire roof of the building in the foreground has also vanished.
As we've previously reported, Sahara's iconic marquee and dome have already fell in the name of progress. In the photo gallery below, Greg documents the porte cochere's destruction, or as he calls it the incredible shrinking dome.
Our eagle-eyed readers have been keeping a tight watch on the $415 million renovation of the north Strip property. A few weeks ago, the Sahara's iconic marquee and dome came down. Now, a photo by VegasChatter fan Danial Mente (seen above) shows a large swath of the old casino has been erased. Another VC reader, Dan H., reports being able to now "see in and view old exterior walls." Here's another angle of the demolition as posted by SLS Las Vegas on its Facebook page a few days ago:
A third VegasChatter fan, Greg C., recently reached out to us over rumors he's heard about possible implosions ahead, specifically regarding the Sahara's Tunis tower which he explored during the 2011 liquidation sale and whose snapshots of the tower can be seen in the photo gallery below:
If ever a Las Vegas hotel tower needed implosion -- this is it. If they got rid of this one, it would improve the views from the other towers and open up the property some (way too much concrete crammed in there). Have you heard any rumblings of a possible demolition? He (owner Sam Nazarian) has just recently demolished the (even older) portion of the old casino -- the original 1952-era portion was pulped about two weeks ago. So, why not break out the dynamite for this old relic? Why does a boutique hotel need 1600 rooms? Most have about 4-500 rooms. And who would want to stay in the Tunis anyway? --- NO VIEWS. The whole place was musty, crusty and in need of ....well.......nothing that some well-placed TNT couldn't fix.
Snapshots / Sahara / SLS Vegas / SBE / Construction / Renovations / Name Changes / → All Tags
Its iconic marquee was gone in less than a day, but the dismantling of Sahara's just as recognizable dome is still underway. VegasChatter friend Danial Mente took this snapshot earlier today of a dome that now looks more like a plucked flower, with just the center, stemlike support structure remaining.
SBE plans to spend $415 million dollars to renovate the run-down property into a shiny and new SLS by fall of 2014. When it debuts, it will feature 1,600 Philippe Starck-designed guest rooms; all Fred Segal, all the time retail shopping; four nightlife venues including a new version of SBE's original Shelter nightclub and a Sayers Club; and dining options that will include Hollywood hotspot The Griddle Cafe, The Bazaar by José Andrés, Katsuya by Starck and a Umami Burger, a chain of Cali burger joints.
And, just like that, another piece of Vegas has slipped into history.
The good news is that a piece of the Sahara will always live on in downtown's Neon Boneyard where this sign can already be found:
Ok, we have all the info about the hotel, but will the hotel have a casino and if it does, who will operate the casino services? I know that sbe has some kind of rewards program, but that was a bust kind of. Will we see a revamp, maybe a loyalty program and a rewards program in one? -- @breannamstewart
Yes, we repeat, there are already SLS Vegas model rooms in the Sahara. We were just as shocked to hear it. VegasChatter fan Danial Mente wins the smooth operator award of the year after informing us that he was able to talk his way inside Sahara yesterday (and, we're just going to keep calling it Sahara until the sign comes down, fyi) and into being shown model rooms for SLS.
Just don't count on your being able to do it, too. Especially, after this post. Sorry, in advance.
Openings / SLS Vegas / Sahara / Lost Vegas / → All Tags
SBE, the nightlife-hospitality company that bought Sahara (and then, hiccup, closed it down), reports that it (finally) has the money it needs to transform the historic, aging property into the shiny and new SLS Las Vegas. And, that construction begins now. Just when we were beginning to wonder what up with that.
The SLS Vegas is expected to open in the fall of next year after a $415 million makeover. We're still having a hard time believing that timeline, though. When it does make its debut, it will offer 1,600 Philippe Starck-designed guest rooms; all Fred Segal, all the time retail shopping; four nightlife venues include a new version of SBE's original Shelter nightclub and a Sayers Club; and dining options that will include Hollywood hotspot The Griddle Cafe, The Bazaar by José Andrés, Katsuya by Starck and a Umami Burger, a chain of Cali burger joints.
Announcements / SLS Vegas / Sam Nazarian / Sahara / Openings / Fred Segal / → All Tags
The SLS Vegas is moving forward. If only on paper.
In a press release issued today, Sam Nazarian is sticking with an anticipated opening of 2014 for the transformation of the Sahara. And, when it makes its debut, it will be all Fred Segal, all the time.
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.