Las Vegas' Sahara Hotel and Casino closing after more than 58 years
The Sahara Hotel and Casino opened in 1952. The landmark’s final guest is scheduled to check out around noon Monday.
May 16th, 2011
07:40 AM ET

Las Vegas' Sahara Hotel and Casino closing after more than 58 years

The Sahara Hotel and Casino, a fixture on the Las Vegas Strip since 1952, closes Monday for good.

The Sahara was the sixth casino built on the Strip, the Las Vegas Sun reported, and cashed in as Las Vegas grew as a gambling mecca.

"It would be nothing to go to work and make 300, 500, 2,700 [dollars] in four hours. You know that's just the way it was in the old days," John Law, who worked as a dealer at the Sahara 31 years ago, told CNN affiliate KTNV.

The hotel once showcased some of the biggest stars on the Strip, including comedians Don Rickles and Johnny Carson and singers Dean Martin and Tina Turner. The Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon originated from the Sahara for 20 years. And the Sahara in 1964 brought the Beatles to Las Vegas for $25,000, though it hosted their show in the Las Vegas Convention Center because the hotel's 600-seat showroom couldn't handle the crowd, according to the Sun.

But newer, bigger resorts have eclipsed the 1,720-room Sahara.

While high rollers moved on to newer properties, the Sahara featured dollar deals.

"Dollar blackjack, dollar beer, dollar craps, dollar everything," local resident Chris Lamb told KTNV in his praise of the Sahara.

In March, Sahara owners SBE Entertainment of Los Angeles and private equity firm Stockbridge Real Estate of San Francisco announced it was "no longer economically viable" to keep the facility open, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.

The final guest is scheduled to check out around noon, the Review Journal reported, and 1,050 jobs will be lost.

The hotel's website said it was transferring all reservations to its partner Circus Circus.

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Filed under: Gambling • Las Vegas • Nevada • Showbiz • Travel
soundoff (190 Responses)
  1. Joey

    As nostalgic as this decline and passing is, it is the pattern of life.
    The strong survive.

    May 16, 2011 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. Hans Blix

    I lost my virginity there. Also had my pinky removed there by the casino manager in 1972.

    May 16, 2011 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cesar

    The world is an oyster and I am its pearl.

    May 16, 2011 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      that just makes you crap covered by a shiny surface 😛

      May 16, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    "The hotel's website said it was transferring all reservations to its partner Circus Circus" Sahara was bad, not even remotely as bad as Circus Circus. They are closing the wrong one. The roller coaster at Sahara is the best one on the strip.

    May 16, 2011 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  5. skytag is a pvssy

    Let Nevada keep the Sahaara and use the dynamite to blow up Harry Reid instead!

    May 16, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. GeoCentric

    That's too bad, seeing another old Vegas landmark shutting down. The Sahara that exists today is just a shadow of her former self, so it's just as well I guess. The north end of the strip is dead, with virtually nothing left between Riviera and Stratosphere. And, yeah, Circus Circus is a DUMP (IMHO).

    May 16, 2011 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ryan Hicks

    I love it when people put "IMHO" or "Just Saying" or "That's what they say" as if it absolves them from any responsibility of what they just posted. First, if you're posting a comment we know it is your opinion. Second, if you're "just saying" it or repeating what someone else says and you do not necessarily agree with it, WHY ARE YOUR REPEATING IT.

    May 16, 2011 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
    • tcp

      Can we add "it is what it is" to this slag heap?

      May 16, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • jim

      Good you love it.

      May 16, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy

    I suppose they'll televise the implosion.
    Another one bites the dust.

    May 16, 2011 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Ro

      I don't think they are imploding it. Just closing for now. I work across the street.

      May 16, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Linari

    @Ryan Hicks:
    Why do you care?

    May 16, 2011 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
    • I Was There

      Why do you?

      May 16, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  10. Cesar

    @8:00 fake Cesar, oh? Is that so?

    May 16, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  11. FletcherGR

    I know Las Vegas is all about living in the moment, but shouldn't someone from Nevada be trying to save at least one of the original Las Vegas hotels? They represent an era that was transitional, and unique in our American history. Besides which, when there are only one or two of them left, if they are properly maintained, that in itself will be a tourist draw... "Stay where Frank Sinatra / Eddie Fisher / Don Rickles / Mae West / fill-in-your-favorite-old-Vegas-celebrity performed."

    May 16, 2011 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  12. Richard Cheese

    Been there. Nothing special. Level it. In fact, level Vegas.

    May 16, 2011 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. former Vegas Local

    The Sahara and Circus Circus are both dumps. They should both be closed, imploded and allow for new buildings, revenue, and jobs to come in.

    May 16, 2011 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  14. MCR

    It wasn't really a dump, just aging. Last time I was there I paid $50 per night, less than the Super 8 motel on Koval (now THAT's a dump!). It was a reasonable place to stay while attending trade shows at the Convention Center. Sorry to see it go, mostly because it was a reasonable option for me when I had to be in Vegas.

    May 16, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  15. Joey

    Hi, banasy.
    Yeah, implosions are always fun: I'm waiting till they do Hagen.
    I've never been to Las Vegas. Gambling is not enough fun to do it for a vacation; the casino always wins in the end.
    I played Lotto a few times, but then I decided I'd rather spend those few dollars on some other foolishness or give them to a beggar who could at least act (con) believably.
    Awareness of the casino principle is extremely important in my business.

    May 16, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
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