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Future Vegas / Openings / SLS Las Vegas / Preferred Hotel Group / Sahara / Name Changes / Renovations / → All Tags
Lost Vegas / Vegas History / Past Vegas / Photos / Sahara / Barbary Coast / MGM Grand / Caesars Palace / Circus Circus / → All Tags
It's official. We've always enjoyed turning back the clock on Las Vegas through stories, books and videos, but Lost Vegas is our favorite series as it provides a chance to relive "the good ol' days" through the lenses of our doubly amazing readers.
VC fans have been filling our in-box with personal Lost Vegas photos and we've proudly been featuring them here. The latest to dust off his prints and show off his Sahara is Chazzy Gator. This shutterbug even captured the Casbar Theatre marquee. Fun fact: Who was the first person to get married at Caesars Palace? If you guessed a 20-year-old Charo (to 60-year-old bandleader Xavier Cugat in 1966), you're not only wicked smart but maybe spotted our tie-in. Feel free to leave David Brenner trivia in the comments below.
Lost Vegas / Vegas History / Past Vegas / Sahara / Elvis / Tropicana / Snapshots / → All Tags
VegasChatter readers continue to insure their amazing photos won't have the same fate as their subjects and fall between the cushions of Lost Vegas forever. And, we're finding out that some of you have no shame in showing off those Lost Vegas photos. Or just have no shame, at all.
Reader Jason G. sent in that classic Sahara shot above. We didn't ask but are going to go ahead and assume he was in the passenger seat while shooting. We also didn't get to ask if he went for the soda pop or beer. Soda pop! Nowadays, we have to head to Colorado for that stuff.
Openings / SLS Las Vegas / Renovations / Sahara / → All Tags
Fall has been the long-stated target for the arrival of the SLS Las Vegas, but now it's ready to get a lot more specific.
Reps just posted their intentions to open the renovated and re-imagined resort on Labor Day Weekend on the SLS Las Vegas blog. (Labor Day is September 1.)
The photo above snapped by photographer Greg Clarke shows the state of exterior construction as of a few days ago. SLS, formerly the Sahara, will offer 1,600 rooms and suites, a casino, and a range of nightlife and dining experiences as well as retail offerings by Fred Segal.
The Sahara closed on May 16, 2011.
Checking back up on the SLS Las Vegas led a VegasChatter reader to do some poking around of his own.
Tim K. of Germany (holla!) emailed us today after finding an SLS convention sales sheet featuring a rendering of one of the guest rooms to come. Check it out:
Construction / SLS Las Vegas / Sahara / Renovations / Future Vegas / Vegas Transformations / → All Tags
Things have been fairly quiet on the SLS Las Vegas front with the PR drip system set to keep it in the headlines every few weeks or so. December saw an announcement that Hollywood outpost Cleo would join the resort's restaurant lineup, news of its $5 million LED system and the addition of a new executive to its fold as well as a carefully chosen interview or two.
Still touting a debut of this fall, the site of the old Sahara continues its slow metamorphosis. VegasChatter friend and Sin City shutterbug, Greg Clarke, recently captured new images of the progress and shared them with us for this post.
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.