By Steve Kieva
Images by the Las Vegas Information Bureau
The enduring SAHARA Las Vegas lately celebrated its seventieth anniversary. Based in 1952, the resort has seen a storied historical past, together with internet hosting the Beatles throughout their first U.S. tour and serving because the setting for the 1960 Rat Pack movie, Ocean’s 11.
The occasion included a presentation by Dr. Michael Inexperienced of the College of Nevada, Las Vegas, about SAHARA’s origins on Oct. 7, 1952, and vibrant, seven-decade-long historical past, in addition to remarks by SAHARA Las Vegas Common Supervisor Paul Hobson.
The celebration concluded with a seventieth anniversary cake presentation and champagne toast inside SAHARA’s AZILO Extremely Lounge earlier than visitors attended the Epicurean Charitable Basis’s (ECF) MENUS fundraiser at SAHARA’s AZILO Extremely Pool. At that occasion, Alexis Meruelo, chief imaginative and prescient and objective officer for Meruelo Gaming, SAHARA’s guardian firm, made a shock $15,000 donation to the ECF, which supplies scholarships for college students to attend the College of Nevada Las Vegas’ hospitality college.
SAHARA Las Vegas’ anniversary celebration additionally marked the official debut of “70 Years of Extraordinary Photos: SAHARA’s Historical past in Pictures,” an exhibition spanning the resort’s historical past and noteworthy milestones from 1952 to the current day.
Over its 70-year historical past, the world-renowned resort and on line casino has additionally hosted outstanding entertainers, celebrities and world leaders, together with The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor, Eleanor Roosevelt, Johnny Carson, Judy Garland, Liberace, Clint Eastwood, Cher, Nancy Wilson, Bon Jovi and extra. The property’s inside and exterior have been additionally featured in 1960’s Ocean’s 11.
“It’s so satisfying to have fun 70 iconic years of SAHARA Las Vegas historical past with the property in such wonderful type. SAHARA has been utterly reimagined to include terribly elegant design components coupled with best-in-class options to create a boutique property on the Strip,” Paul Hobson, common supervisor of SAHARA Las Vegas informed us. “I’m honored to be part of this new chapter for SAHARA whereas connecting with what makes SAHARA an iconic staple.”
“When the property opened 70 years in the past, visitors would have seen Moroccan desert motifs integrated right into a streamlined, mid-century architectural type,” Hobson defined. “What visitors see as we speak pays homage to that authentic inspiration, whereas now we have up to date that theme for a vibrant, fun-seeking twenty first century viewers. You’ll be able to see this in pictures and artifacts on show all through the property.”
Since developer Milton Prell opened the property on Oct. 7, 1952, SAHARA has undergone a number of expansions and transformations. The property’s first growth so as to add extra lodge rooms passed off in 1954 and, within the years following, SAHARA has continued so as to add new aspects to the lodge. Two new lodge towers have been in-built 1960 and 1963, and a 3rd tower was added in 1988.
In 2011, the property underwent a redevelopment as SLS Las Vegas earlier than reopening in 2014. In 2017, Alex Meruelo and his firm, Meruelo Gaming, introduced the acquisition of the SLS Las Vegas and its rebranding to SAHARA Las Vegas.
Since its grand reopening in 2019, SAHARA Las Vegas has been utterly reimagined due to a $200 million renovation that comes with terribly elegant design components conceived by Nancy Paolino of Las Vegas-based Innovativo Design. The all-new SAHARA consists of a number of eateries, together with Noodle Den, Chickie’s & Pete’s and the newly opened Balla Italian Soul by Chef Shawn McClain, in addition to the AZILO Extremely Pool and Extremely Lounge, a purpose-built theater for the favored MAGIC MIKE LIVE manufacturing, and a spectacular porte-cochere fronting the Las Vegas Strip. The all-new SAHARA Las Vegas gives type, sophistication and a playful sense of risk embodying the spirit of Las Vegas—all whereas bringing the enduring Las Vegas expertise to a brand new era.
“We’re so grateful to have fun 70 iconic years of SAHARA Las Vegas historical past,” mentioned Hobson. “Newly renovated and utterly reimagined for the long run, we sit up for what the following 70 years will convey.”
SAHARA Las Vegas is an all-encompassing resort and on line casino with 1,613 visitor rooms and suites in three distinctive towers—together with the AAA 4 Diamond Alexandria Tower, greater than 95,000 sq. ft of versatile assembly house, AZILO Extremely Pool, two rooftop swimming pools, and a set of acclaimed eating places, bars and leisure venues. The inviting on line casino occupies 60,000 sq. ft and options roughly 600 of the newest slot and video poker machines, 50 basic desk video games, Infinity – a premium gaming lounge, The Poker Room at SAHARA Las Vegas, and a sportsbook operated by world gaming chief, William Hill. A powerful collection of culinary and cocktail choices consists of Bazaar Meat by José Andrés, named “Greatest Restaurant in Nevada” by Enterprise Insider; famed Philadelphia sports activities bar Chickie’s & Pete’s; The Noodle Den from famend Chef Guoming “Sam” Xin; CASBAR Lounge; Uno Más; Prendi; The Tangier; Zeffer’s; and, the newly opened James Beard Award–profitable Chef Shawn McClain’s Balla. SAHARA Las Vegas can also be proud to function residence to “MAGIC MIKE LIVE” Las Vegas introduced by Channing Tatum. SAHARA Las Vegas gamers may take pleasure in the advantages of an Infinity Rewards membership, a joint loyalty program between SAHARA and its sister property Grand Sierra Resort and On line casino Reno, which provides gamers the chance to earn and redeem rewards throughout each locations.
I had a possibility to ask Common Supervisor Paul Hobson a number of questions on Sahara Las Vegas.
1 – What similarities are there with the “new” Sahara and the “outdated” SAHARA?
Each the brand new and outdated SAHARA epitomize the timeless soul of Las Vegas. From its official opening on Oct. 7, 1952, to as we speak, the world-renowned resort and on line casino has served as Las Vegas’ most iconic property, welcoming dazzling entertainers, world superstars and different notable visitors from world wide. Paying homage to the basic design of and inspiration for the 1952 SAHARA, the brand new property references horny Moroccan components and is a contemporary desert sanctuary within the coronary heart of Las Vegas.
In contrast to different Las Vegas resorts that infamously demolished their historical past, SAHARA Las Vegas embraces its previous, bringing the enduring expertise to a brand new era.
2- What three options does the “new” SAHARA supply that the “outdated” Sahara didn’t?
Due to a $200 million renovation, the all-new SAHARA Las Vegas gives type, sophistication and a playful sense of risk embodying the spirit of Las Vegas, together with the brand new AZILO Extremely Pool and Extremely Lounge. The all-new SAHARA additionally features a totally customized theater for the manufacturing present “MAGIC MIKE LIVE,” and a number of other new eateries comparable to Balla Italian Soul by chef Shawn McClain.
3- If somebody requested you to call the highest three options that the Sahara gives, what would they be?
Briefly, SAHARA gives an uncommonly intimate scale by Las Vegas requirements, world-class nice eating and a number of other distinctive leisure venues. Visitors who keep at SAHARA take pleasure in a chic and up to date atmosphere exemplifying a kind of recent nostalgia in contrast to the rest on the Strip. Our boutique-style lodge not solely distinguishes us from the mammoth megaresorts down the boulevard, but in addition permits us to supply a model of customized service a lot bigger resorts can not ship. All of our eating is greatest in school throughout all of our eating places, from informal to gourmand. Lastly, SAHARA options among the greatest leisure on the Las Vegas Strip. From a rotating roster of world-renowned DJs at AZILO Extremely Pool to the illustrious manufacturing of MAGIC MIKE LIVE, SAHARA gives visitors one-of-a-kind memorable, entertaining experiences.
4- Are there any on line casino or room upgrades deliberate?
We lately accomplished the on line casino renovation in addition to the disclosing of our all-new spectacular porte-cochere fronting the Las Vegas Strip. As a part of the property’s $200 million renovation, we shall be including high-end suites to our prime flooring, incorporating lots of the terribly elegant design components conceived by Nancy Paolino of Las Vegas-based Innovativo Design.
5- Why do you assume the SAHARA made it to its 70-year anniversary?
All through its seven a long time of historical past, SAHARA has frequently embraced the spirit of Las Vegas with its world-renowned on line casino, five-star eating choices, distinctive leisure, noteworthy bars and luxurious lodging and facilities. SAHARA helped set up Las Vegas as a significant resort metropolis upon its opening and continues to take action as we speak, welcoming hundreds of visitors to the Las Vegas Strip every week. Most lately, in 2018, due to the imaginative and prescient and management of proprietor Alex Meruelo, the previous SLS Las Vegas was bought and rebranded into SAHARA Las Vegas, catapulting the property right into a rebirth simply in time for its historic seventieth milestone celebration.
6- Giving freely my age, I bear in mind the Home of Lords steakhouse as top-of-the-line eating places in Las Vegas. What’s your featured restaurant now and what are your favourite menu objects?
SAHARA Las Vegas options eight unbelievable eating places and eateries, together with the lately opened Balla Italian Soul by James Beard Award–profitable chef Shawn McClain, named “Greatest New On-Strip Restaurant” by Eater Las Vegas. Our most notable featured restaurant for a few years has been Bazaar Meat by José Andrés, a groundbreaking culinary expertise and celebration of all the pieces carnivorous. This restaurant is memorable and made to impress, the place visitors can take pleasure in nuanced, playful delicacies and cocktails for which Bazaar Meat by José Andrés has turn out to be identified on each coasts, in a strikingly seductive setting. My favourite menu objects are the Caviar Cone (caviar and crème fraiche in small waffle cone), Butter Potato Puree (butter, butter, extra butter, some potatoes), and the Wagyu Ribeye (essentially the most wonderful steak I’ve ever tasted).
The Sahara Las Vegas Timeline
1952 Developer Milton Prell opens the property on Oct. 7; SAHARA welcomes Marilyn Monroe, Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen for the filming of The Edgar Bergen Present.
1953 Sugar Ray Robinson visits SAHARA along with his two younger kids; Marlene Dietrich performs on stage.
1954 SAHARA undergoes its first growth, including extra lodge rooms to the property.
1954 Louis Prima and spouse Keely Smith open new act at SAHARA.
1955 Grace Kelly visits SAHARA; Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Wilding go to SAHARA.
1956 Doris Day visits SAHARA.
1958 Eleanor Roosevelt visits Las Vegas and SAHARA to talk on behalf of the United Nations.
1960 SAHARA provides new lodge tower to property; filming begins for Ocean’s 11 at SAHARA starring Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra; King of Rock ’n’ Roll Elvis Presley arrives at SAHARA; Paul Anka visits SAHARA; George Burns and Ann-Margret carry out at SAHARA.
1961 Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme open at SAHARA.
1962 San Francisco Avenue renamed as Sahara Avenue.
1962 Donn Seaside opens a Don the Beachcomber tiki bar at SAHARA.
1963 SAHARA provides second brand-new lodge tower to the property.
1964: The Beatles keep at SAHARA throughout their go to to Las Vegas to carry out on the Las Vegas Conference Heart.
1965 Judy Garland performs on stage at SAHARA; Don Rickles performs on stage at SAHARA.
Liberace performs on stage at SAHARA; Liza Minnelli opens at SAHARA.
1967 Nancy Wilson opens at SAHARA; Johnny Carson performs at SAHARA.
1970 Flip Wilson and Kim Weston carry out at SAHARA.
1972 Cher visits SAHARA.
1974 Miss World auditions happen at SAHARA.
1975 Barbi Benton, Hugh Hefner and Marty Robbins go to SAHARA.
1977 George Carlin performs on stage at SAHARA.
1978 World’s first blackjack match hosted at SAHARA.
1983 George Burns, Tom Smothers, Carol Channing and Robert Goulet go to SAHARA; Sandy and Buddy Hackett go to SAHARA.
1985 Leroy Neiman, Phyllis Diller and Tommy Smothers go to SAHARA.
1988 SAHARA provides a 3rd lodge tower.
1997 Development of the SAHARA dome begins.
2006 SAHARA signal is moved to The Neon Museum in Downtown Las Vegas.
2011 The property undergoes renovations to turn out to be SLS Las Vegas.
2014 SLS Las Vegas opens to the general public.
2017 Alex Meruelo and his firm, Meruelo Gaming, announce the acquisition of SLS Las Vegas.
2019 The property rebrands as SAHARA Las Vegas.
2022 SAHARA Las Vegas celebrates its seventieth anniversary and completes a $200 million renovation incorporating terribly elegant design components conceived by Nancy Paolino of Las Vegas-based Innovativo Design. The all-new SAHARA consists of a number of eateries, together with Noodle Den and Chickie’s & Pete’s, in addition to the AZILO Extremely Pool and Extremely Lounge, a purpose-built theater for the favored MAGIC MIKE LIVE manufacturing, a spectacular porte-cochere fronting the Las Vegas Strip, and James Beard Award–profitable Chef Shawn McClain’s Balla Italian Soul.