Sahara Hotel and Casino closing in May

Posted Saturday, March 12, 2011 5:30 PM | Contributed by Tekwardo

In recent years, The Sahara hotel-casino has sunk to touting $1 blackjack and a NASCAR Cafe known for its 6-pound burrito. Now the 59-year-old-icon of the Las Vegas Strip is shutting its doors, yet another victim of a deep recession that has squelched the city's tourism for more than three years.

Read more from The LA Times.

Monday, March 14, 2011 3:35 PM

I believe Venetian, Pallazo, Bellagio, Wynn, Encore, Aria, The Mandarin Oriental, Trump, Vdara, Skylofts @ MGM, The Cosmopolitan, and The Four Seasons are all 5 star hotels. I'm not sure how much money is made at the clubs, but table service usually runs $1000 per 2 people at the table. That has to turn a profit, although it's probably not as much as a high gamblers. Granted, that's what the problem is here. Big gamblers and young "kids" are not headed to the north end of the strip.

Edit: Can't seem to spell today.

Last edited by GoliathKills, Monday, March 14, 2011 3:36 PM
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Monday, March 14, 2011 3:48 PM
Jeff's avatar

From AAA, for 2010 (number of years):

Bellagio, 9
Encore Las Vegas, 1
Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas, 11
SKYLOFTS at the MGM Grand, 4
The Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino, 1
The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, 3
Wynn Las Vegas, 4

People who do the table service thing are morons. It's purely for appearance. Even a rational person, loaded with cash, isn't that stupid.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Monday, March 14, 2011 3:56 PM

CreditWh0re said:
18-35yo spend money on Booze, clubs, and low stakes gambling.

..and not too mention this is the demo who is more than likely to do things on a whim without thinking where as the older folks tend to plan ahead. Over the weekend I had seen on local Denver television an informercial for the city of Indianapolis and it was clear Indy was reaching that demo. Shots of young people hitting the bars, eating at White Castle, visiting the Circle Center Mall, riding the coasters at Holiday World, gambling at Indy's casinos..even calling the 2012 Superbowl.."..the biggest party for those under 30..EVER !!"...and oh yes the promise of cheap rents and lots of full time high paying jobs for those 20 somethings who are willing right NOW to pack up and move to Indianapolis.

Come to think of it I can think of another city who had done this sort of thing about 10 years ago..LAS VEGAS !!!! And the Sahara was overlooked in that spot.

Last edited by Chriscub, Monday, March 14, 2011 3:57 PM

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Monday, March 14, 2011 3:58 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Shades said:
Tekwardo - when did you change your signature to a Dr. Seuss quote? I like that line - puts a simple, yet different spin on grieving. Guessing this is for Mamoosh?

Yeah, I put it there last week after having re-read it. And yeah, it's for Moosh :). I can't think of a better saying to fit my feelings about Moosh. He definitely would want people to smile because it happened. He was a definite Ham :).

Last edited by Tekwardo, Monday, March 14, 2011 3:58 PM

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Monday, March 14, 2011 5:59 PM

What a shame. Floating on a blackjack table between rides on Speed was a great and unique alternative to the sameness of everything on the strip. Speed was also my favourite ride in Vegas.

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Monday, March 14, 2011 9:38 PM
Jeff's avatar

Other than having a coaster out front, I'm not sure that Sahara was unique in any way. The thing I like about the central Strip places are the combination of nice hotels, great shows and generous servers if you're playing. Sahara had none of that.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011 1:21 AM

Yes, Palms is in trouble. has been for a while. Maloofs are scrambling to keep their empire from going the way of the Fertita's and the Station Casinos.

Sahara had been on deathwatch for years, and Riviera is surely the next shoe to drop. Stateline/Primm has been rumoured to be in deep doo also. After the Herbst Bankruptcy, they emerged with some additional financing, were able to buy the high end furnishings from Fountainebleu for pennies on the dollar, but that still doesn't change the fact that the California Indian Casinos, and $4.15 a gallon gas, are killing Stateline/Primm. Locals don't call that place Barrio Bills/Poverty Pete's for nothing.


Rio was a fine/successful operation before Harrah's got ahold of it. Of course, 25,000 hotel rooms opening since the Rio's 2nd tower opened can't help, but Harrah's has killed whatever appeal it had. Their cheapening of the Carnival World buffet will be the final nail in the coffin. In a downturn the Rio's location hurts, but Harrah's overall mis-managment is what will officially kill it. Look for Harrah's to dump the Rio by 2012.

MGM will take another huge hit on City Center, those condos are sitting empty and no one is buying. Vdara just closed its only restaurant (Silk Road), forcing any one staying there to walk (the short distance) to Aria for food. (Granted, these are condo/hotel rooms, but there was no grocery store there until last month. Who the hell cooks in Vegas?)

About the only success in Vegas now is Caesars, which Harrah's is defending with all its might, and Wynn. Wynn is firing on all cylinders, after giving up on the discounting.

Venetian/Palazzo aren't doing too bad, but they're not getting the convention business that their business model is predicated on, and their leased restaurant spaces are closing also. The retail at Palazzo is hurting. Sands and Wynn are thankful they're making coin in Macau.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011 2:34 AM
Jeff's avatar

I wonder what the deal is with Sands' convention business. The conference I go to most years (one of "our" conferences) moved to Mandalay Bay last year, and it remains there this year. It had a good four year run at Venetian, and I was shocked when they moved it. Haven't been able to get the inside scoop on that, but Venetian really seemed top of their game hosting that. I believe the room discount was better, too.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011 9:04 AM
Jerry's avatar

The Sands still hosts a lot of huge shows - my trade industry show is there every year - *optometry/eyewear.

They always talk about moving it but never do - our company pays a pretty penny as well to host a booth there.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011 12:23 PM
Jeff's avatar

By "Sands" I mean the company that also owns Venetian/Palazzo. Venetian's conference space is easily the most impressive I've ever been to. Their grand ballroom rivals a lot of full blown tradeshow spaces I've seen.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011 1:42 PM
kpjb's avatar

I've been to the Sands for a couple things for work. It is a nice place. One time I accidentally paid $85 for lunch, though. Probably why they had to sell the park.


Hi

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011 7:41 PM
Jerry's avatar

It is still referred to as the Sand's convention center - I understand about the $85 lunch - I had a $9.50 Latte there too.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011 8:39 PM
Jeff's avatar

Did IAAPA do their one year at Vegas there? One of the frequent complaints I hear about doing any kind of convention or tradeshow business there is the insanity of the unions. Imagine being a ride manufacturer and some schmuck telling you they're going to set up your ride. Yeah right.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011 8:52 PM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

Whoa! Easy there Jeff. You don't want anyone picketing in front of your website now would you?

Yeah, I've never been to Vegas. Once 2008 rolled around I figured I missed out on the specialness that it was and I don't want to be one of "those people" that bring their kids along.

~Rob

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011 9:26 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Thats why you drop the young'un off at the grand parents. Or aunt/uncle, whatever ;).


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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011 9:59 PM
Jerry's avatar

The Setup charges at the Sands are outrageous - we had to pay a daily cleaning charge for the booth - $175. All they did was empty two trash cans. Setup charges were handled via Nomadic display - which was equally outrageous - A 4 day trade show with a 10x20 booth cost about 10K by the time it all was said and done. Dreyage, carpet/furniture rental and setup charges were over the top.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011 6:33 PM

I now enjoy just heading to downtown for my fun.. The main area now is way over priced and way over rated. It is sad to lose a coaster, but I was there in Oct. I went to the 4 hour all you can ride over at Speed.. It was like 16 bucks and the coaster ran every 15 mins.. The monorail is the real mistake!


No I don't have a kid, but I still want to ride!

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011 6:40 PM
Jeff's avatar

How is the monorail a mistake? I find it very convenient, though it would've been better right down the middle of Las Vegas Blvd.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011 6:59 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Convenient to you...but not the casinos you're forced to walk thru ;).

I'm guessing by mistake he's alluding to the financial woes of the Vegas Monorail. I personally enjoyed using it on my visits.


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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011 10:32 PM
Jeff's avatar

The problem is that I don't think the casinos really wanted it. None of them want you moving around, they want you to stay put. You're right that there was one stop that I felt like you had to walk forever to get to the station. I bet it was the Sahara.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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