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Sahara / SLS Las Vegas / Lost Vegas / Name Changes / Sam Nazarian / Vegas History / Vegas Design / → All Tags
When we heard that SLS Hotels would be closing down the iconic Sahara Hotel back in 2011, one of our first thoughts was, "But what will happen to the Sahara door handles?" Seriously.
During our visit to the down-trodden casino in 2009, that was one of the design details that this writer adored the most. (It's probably because my last name begins with an "S.") We had hoped then that SLS would incorporate the door handles somewhere into the SLS and as it turns out, they have.
Johnny Kats uncovered the whereabouts of the door handles in his LV Weekly profile on SLS honcho Sam Nazarian.
Today, some elements of the property remain at the new SLS, where Nazarian has a design effect that he calls “Sahara-esque.” He has saved 50 or so S-shaped door handles from the old resort and turned them into a chandelier.
We looked high and low for the chandelier during the SLS Las Vegas' opening day but we could not find it anywhere. And it wasn't because our vision was hampered by gin cocktails. (Or tequila cocktails. Or vodka cocktails.) It turns out the chandelier hadn't been installed yet. But now it's up and here's what it looks like.
You can admire the chandelier for yourself when you walk in between The Sayers Club and the 800 Degrees pizza joint. Alas, the jewels in the door handles have been plucked out. We heard that some over eager folks pried them out of the door handles during the Sahara Liquidation Sale. It was probably for the better. Red, blue and yellow don't really work with the SLS color scheme.
Not content with one moment of whoa (and who would be), VegasChatter readers demanded more. And, staff photographer Greg Clarke was happy to dive back into his archives. After sharing this stunner, he's found three more snapshots that define Las Vegas, circa 1989.
Above, a slightly different viewpoint from McCarran Airport looking towards the north Strip. Visible is the marquee for the iconic Stardust. Not visible? It's 32-story tower. The crane you see at screen left is working on that. Greg remembers the tower going up. And, its implosion in 2007.
The south Strip as viewed from McCarran Airport. The year? 1989.
It's hard to imagine this was the scene such a seemingly short time ago. Many of the now iconic resorts that comprise the south Strip of today weren't even in existence a mere 25 years ago.
The under-construction Excalibur seen in this photo opened the next year in 1990. Luxor didn't debut until three years after that as did the green giant, MGM Grand. And, New York-New York didn't bring the Big Apple to Vegas until 1997.
(PHOTOS: Greg Clarke, Justin S. on Foursquare)
Usually in Vegas, history drops away as fast as a few charges of TNT will allow. With the demolition of The Harmon, the center Strip condo-hotel that never opened due to construction defects, it will be a process covering many months. MGM Resorts execs have stated its erasure will take a year to complete.
It's the inevitable question when we talk about the quickly approaching debut of SLS Las Vegas, dreams for the All Net Arena and Resort, or even the coming construction of MGM's City of Rock and Genting's Resorts World. What about that blue hotel? Or, if you know your Vegas history, what about Fontainebleau?
Vegas History / Lost Vegas / Star Trek The Experience / Las Vegas Hilton / LVH / Westgate Las Vegas / → All Tags
No matter the name, whenever the off-Strip property that can be found next to the Las Vegas Convention Center is mentioned, its demise is inevitably traced back by many to the closure of Star Trek: The Experience.
The attraction -- which featured a museum, ride and replica of Quark's Bar -- debuted at what was then the Las Vegas Hilton back in 1998 and lasted ten years before it was shuttered. A failure to agree on a lease was blamed. ThemeParkInvestigator.com details the experience that once was:
Demolitions / Vegas History / Construction / The Harmon / The Crystals / The Cosmopolitan / The Light Group / Vegas Fails / → All Tags
While one Vegas hotel project proudly touts that it's on the fast track to completion another continues to quietly work towards its deconstruction.
As we first told you last week, demolition has finally begun of the failed Harmon Hotel, once destined to be a condo/hotel operated by The Light Group within CityCenter and now the site of disbelief as it slowly fades away into Vegas obscurity.
For the first time in a long while, a press release in our in-box had us doing a double take. The media announcement proclaimed a return for the famed Moulin Rouge. In its heyday, the west Las Vegas casino attracted the top African-American entertainers of the time, including Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, and others. These days, security guards watch to make sure what's survived of the landmark property doesn't attract squatters.
The site of a four-alarm fire in 2009, there's not much left of the Moulin Rouge today. For as significant as its role was in the history of Las Vegas, it's actual lifespan was short. It debuted in May 1955 as the first racially integrated casino in the country, but closed in November of the same year. The hotel rooms were later converted into rentals before it was officially shuttered in 1997.
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.
Lost Vegas / Vegas History / Past Vegas / Fun Books / Coupons / Photos / → All Tags
What's quickly become one of our favorite series, Lost Vegas, is back for another round of PC pics. That's pre-CityCenter, yo. And, today brings the best kind of Lost Vegas contributor, a repeat LV offender! Last month, Patrick Peck sent in a pic
of pickled peppers looking south from Westward Ho. After becoming a VegasChatter celebrity, he dug back into the closet for more Vegas memories.
This set focuses on souvenirs collected from Patrick's first few trips here. Take a look and let us know if you recall collecting similar items and, of course, if you have the photos to prove it, send them to us!
Reno / Off Strip Adventures / Nevada Tourism / Vegas History / Vegas Past / Atlantic City / → All Tags
In part one, we explored how lenient divorce laws helped put Reno on the map. Legalized gambling and a surfeit of live entertainment options allowed Reno to become a top vacation destination during the ‘40s and into the ‘50s. Much like Las Vegas today, the city even found itself the subject of a number of films. Features like Maisie Goes to Reno and Vacation in Reno presented the town in a much more favorable light than more recent titles like Reno 911! Reno was booming, and its growth seemed to have no limits. Few would have guessed that 400 miles to the south, a stretch of empty desert would begin to chip away at everything that had made Reno the success it was.