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Construction / Future Vegas / SLS Las Vegas / Sahara / Vegas Transformations / Renovations / → All Tags
Work is still progressing to transform Sahara into SLS Las Vegas, but it seems the pace has slowed quite a bit. Where the aging hotel's iconic dome and sign were gone like that and visible demolition once moved along at a quick pace, change is occurring much more leisurely now.
A stop by the construction site last Thursday found not much different from a visit in mid-September. The most noticeable change is the addition of bright white paint which we hope is just step one in a multi-step plan since they're simply painting over large sections of the exterior and not making any structural or design changes before they do. Just check out those now white diamonds above. Hashtag ugh. We just hope that beautiful aqua tile work (seen below) isn't about to receive the same treatment. (SLS, just send it to us. We'll think of something crafty for it, for sure. Thanks.)
An article this weekend in the Las Vegas Review-Journal reveals just how different the new resort will be from the icon of the past. Gone will be the Moroccan influences and in its place "an ultramodern look and style with elements reminiscent of Hollywood Boulevard and the Sunset Strip." To achieve this goal, the pool will be rebuilt, an additional rooftop pool added atop a "party tower," the Alexandria tower will become all-suite, the monorail entrance already "torn down and rebuilt" for easier accessibility, the lobby will be revamped, the NASCAR Cafe and Congo Showroom will morph into clubs, and more.
Construction / Sahara / SLS Las Vegas / Monte Carlo / New York-New York / Openings / CityCenter / Double Barrel Roadhouse / Vegas Transformations / → All Tags
On Las Vegas Boulevard, Bill's continues to turn into Gansevoort, slowly. And, as you know and as we've been documenting for months, it's not the only major construction project on The Strip. All the cause of motor and pedestrian traffic woes and, for some, sleepless nights as well. All, also due to end in 2014.
It won't be until fall 2014, though, until we see the bow of SLS Las Vegas, currently still gutting the Sahara. Or, at least that's the
stated plan. The photos in this post, courtesy VegasChatter friend Greg C., show the current state of things as of Thursday, September 12.
Greg relays that the gutted hole (shown in the photos above) where the old 1952 Sahara casino once stood is now being rapidly filled with new steel framework. Meantime, the Tunis tower has been "opened up like a sardine can, completely open to the sky," according to Greg. Meantime, the Presidential Suite atop the Alexandria tower is now just a gaping void.
The construction suggests to Greg that nightclubs or restaurants could be slated for some of these rooftops. More than $400 million is being spent to renovate the Sahara. Details of what's to come, as well as a rendering of the transformed property, can be viewed here.
We're not sure if
Sahara SLS Las Vegas is testing out giant swatches of new exterior paint color or if these multi-colored neutral stripes are a permanent addition, but they're one of the most visible signs of change at the property since our last check almost a month ago.
The stripes are painted on the Strip-facing side of the old Tunis tower. They're seen in close-up here, as well as evidence of the complete gutting of both Tunis and Alexandria towers:
Construction / Bill's / Gansevoort Las Vegas / The Linq / Sahara / SLS Las Vegas / Openings / → All Tags
On The Strip, future Vegas isn't now, but it's getting closer.
A sweltering morning walk by Bill's (soon to be Gansevoort Las Vegas) on Friday provided some unexpected shade as the pedestrian brides and walkways that flank its south and west sides have now been enclosed for the safety of passers by.
Update: In a quarterly earnings report, Caesars Entertainment is revising its timeline on Gansevoort. Where execs once hoped for a phased debut beginning this New Year's Eve, they are now citing an "early 2014" opening with the dayclub/nightclub "expected to open in the first half of 2014."
VegasChatter fan, whom we should just dub our (un)official photographer at this point, Greg C. has captured a new set of images of the changes underway. If you've been following his photo essays (see here, here and here) the progression is now subtle. For others, who remember the aging hotel from its glory days, the changes will be more obvious.
Construction / Vegas Transformations / Monte Carlo / New York-New York / SLS Las Vegas / Sahara / Hotel Renovations / → All Tags
A few days ago, we warned that you may have missed your chance to photograph Monte Carlo's fountain and all those oversized scantily clad statues. Now, it definitely is. Huge swaths of the resort's Strip-facing facade have been ripped out as a $100 million dollar reimagining gets underway.
VegasChatter friend @John_Nissan on Twitter has sent us new photographs today that reveal the rapid demolition work now being conducted. An overarching plan will add new dining and retail venues to Monte Carlo, its sister property New York-New York as well as to the space between the two (where that old CityCenter sales office is now). The first venues will begin to come online early next year. Read full details, here and here.
Renovations / Name Changes / Sahara / SLS Las 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:
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 Las 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: