On Thursday, August 28, the SLS Las Vegas, which was originally known as the famous Sahara, has been officially re-named back to the Sahara once more.
Owner of the property Alex Meruelo said, "We'll change the floors, the restaurants, bars, nightclubs, the theater the rooms... every detail whether it be small or large will change."
The Sahara Hotel and Casino first opened its doors on October 1952, and it was the sixth resort to open on the Las Vegas Strip. At the time, it was an iconic place in Las Vegas, considered a favorite casino of celebrities and the home base for the ‘Rat Pack' which included legends like Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. The Sahara was regarded as the epitome of class during its heyday. Imagine mid-20th century Las Vegas, and that's when the Sahara was at its prime.
However, the Strip eventually became home to even more luxury mega casinos, which led to the Sahara being shoved aside in terms of popularity. After changing ownership multiple times, on March 2011, Sam Nazarian who was the owner at that time announced that the Sahara would close in two months, stating that "the continued operation of the aging Sahara was no longer economically viable."
The hotel and casino finally shut down on May 16, 2011.
Over three years later, the place was re-opened after a renovation worth $415 million was done and it was renamed to SLS Las Vegas. The abbreviation stands for "style, luxury and service".
The Meruelo Group acquired SLS in April 2019.
On June 27, 2019, Meruelo held a celebration to announce they will rebrand the place back to Sahara and the property will be officially called ‘Sahara Las Vegas' beginning August 28.
To commemorate the re-branding, a short ceremony was held for the removal of the 32-foot ‘Sam by Starck' statue last Tuesday evening. Designed by Phillipe Starck, the statue was a tribute made for Sam Nazarian.
The brand new lounge was also renamed back to Casbar Lounge, in honor of the Sahara's old music area. However, the new Sahara shall not revert back to its former Moroccan theme.
The changes are all part of the hotel-casino's $150 million renovation.