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. angela bolus

    Schade, war zweimal dort, war nicht das sauberste aber ich verbinde schöne erinnerungen mit dem sahara

    June 21, 2011 at 4:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jack

    I went to Vegas for the first time a few years ago and stayed at the Sahara. When picking hotels on Travelocity, I could tell it wasn't in the same caliber as some of the other newer attractions like the Luxor or Planet Hollywood but I wanted more money for fun, and less on the hotel. I won't deny that part of the Strip with the Stratosphere, Riviera and Circus Circus feels much more seedy than its counterpart, but I laugh at the people who felt unsafe and reversed direction. Welcome to big cities. However, I can see why someone forking out thousands of dollars would prefer the safer feeling down the strip. I can also see the point of view from people who say the Sahara had turned into a dump. It really was rundown but I also agree with people who say it had more history. I can honestly say I paused in the hallways to look at the pictures of the Beatles, Johnny Carson or whomever had once made that THE place to stay. It's nowhere near it's past glory though because next to that picture would be an elevator door with broken buttons and scratches. LOL. Sahara had a buffet on par with Golden Corral. I went ahead and forked out the extra money for buffet passes at the MGM Grand or other places that offered much better dinery experiences. The Sahara was only good because it still made you feel at home and not forced to spend as much money. They catered to the lower spending gambling crowd and the dealers could be much more frank and honest compared to the higher roller hotels (which don't get me wrong, you still found some fun people to talk to) which were much more about the business. I think downtown is the last place for folks who enjoy a Vegas experience but don't want to have to break the bank for a fun gambling experience. The biggest and best hotels on the Strip are really only for people who either want to spend big on gambling or enjoy the attractions more than the gambling.

    June 27, 2011 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. David Rojas

    i wonder what will happen to the rollercoaster? i hope the manufacturer doesnt relocate it because it was my was way better than the NYNY coaster...RIP Sahara you were ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) AWESOME!

    July 30, 2011 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
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