Sahara Las Vegas closing

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After 50 years of operation, the Sahara Las Vegas will be closing its doors on May 16th. SBE Entertainment Group CEO Sam Nazarian shed some light on why the Sahara is closing when he said, “The continued operation of the aging Sahara was no longer economically viable.”

The news of Sahara’s closing marks the end of one of Las Vegas’ most historic casinos since this site saw such performers as Johnny Carson, Bill Cosby, Judy Garland and George Carlin take the stage. Besides the great entertainment, the Sahara was also very popular because of its round-the-clock blackjack and a reasonably-priced poker room; this poker room gained a positive reputation for offering free food and low rake.

Unfortunately, there are no plans for the Sahara’s use in the wake of the closing. Even with this being the case, Nazarian did indicate that the Sahara building won’t be demolished as he said, “We see the northern end of the Strip as the future of Las Vegas. With Las Vegas showing early signs of recovery, we are confident that we ultimately will find a creative and comprehensive new solution for this historic property.”

Another matter that people are concerned with is what will happen to the 1,000 employees, as well as visitors who made reservations past May 15th. Nazarian also gave some information about this by saying, “SBE is fortunate to have a strategic relationship with MGM Resorts International. As a result, we will work together to try to find jobs for Sahara employees in cases where there are open positions in MGM Resorts’ properties. We will also work with MGM Resorts to accommodate Sahara hotel and group customers with reservations following our closure.”

The Sahara’s closing shows just how hard many of Las Vegas’ casinos have been hit by the US recession. Fortunately for Vegas, there are signs of recovery in recent months.

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