One of the older hotels on the North Las Vegas Strip used to be known as the Sahara. A few years ago the casino was purchased by new owners who upgraded the casino. The complete remodel was at a cost of $415 million and the casino was then called the SLS Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported the Meruelo group had agreed to buy the SLS Las Vegas although the purchase amount is unknown and has not been released. The casino is being purchased from Stockbridge Capital Partners.
The Meruelo Group currently owns a casino in Reno called the Grand Sierra and feel purchasing the SLS Las Vegas is an opportunity that only comes along once in a lifetime. The acquisition of a casino that is located directly on the Las Vegas Strip is a premier property and the Sahara was always well known with an excellent reputation.
The Sahara casino was a victim of the financial crisis that occurred in 2008 and it was closed in 2011. The casino originally opened in 1952 and was one of the major assets of the Las Vegas Strip. Even with the complete renovations, the SLS Las Vegas began struggling immediately and in the first six months of 2015, the casino showed a loss of well over eighty million dollars. The casino has a wide variety of games available for their patrons including 60 table games and 600 slot machines.
The reports indicate the SLS Las Vegas may change their name back to the Sahara. The consensus is the old name may bring back some of the original clientele and the casino may be able to draw more customers with the original name. According to the most recent reports, this rebranding is quite likely. The SLS Las Vegas is close to the Stratosphere casino which is a major Las Vegas attraction. Nevada officials must give their regulatory approval for the SLS Las Vegas to be sold.
The land owned by Crown Resorts was originally part of a plan to build a casino called Alon although this land is now for sale. The location of this land is also on the strip, at the north end not far from the Wynn Las Vegas. In 2007 the land traded for $1.2 billion and Crown Resorts are trying to sell it for one-third of this price. In the middle of the land formerly allotted for the Alon casino and the SLS Las Vegas is the site in the planning stages for the Resorts World Las Vegas. The building of this $4 billion casino has already seen several delays.
The opening of Resorts World Las Vegas was again delayed this month and has now been rescheduled for 2020. If this casino ever opens this will be the first mega resort the strip has seen in more than ten years that was actually built from scratch. This site once housed the Stardust casino and was the proposed site for an Echelon development for Boyd Gaming. The recession in 2008 caused the site to be abandoned.