In $300M Makeover, Sahara Will Be Reborn as SLS Las Vegas

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor Once famously associated with the swinging Las Vegas of the Rat Pack era and the original “Ocean’s 11″ movie, the Sahara Hotel & Casino closed in 2011 after falling on hard times. But the 60-year-old property is getting a new lease on life thanks to a $300 million makeover planned by the property’s [...]

Once famously associated with the swinging Las Vegas of the Rat Pack era and the original “Ocean’s 11″ movie, the Sahara Hotel & Casino closed in 2011 after falling on hard times. But the 60-year-old property is getting a new lease on life thanks to a $300 million makeover planned by the property’s owner, Los Angeles-based SBE Entertainment Group L.L.C., and its financial partner, Stockbridge Capital L.L.C. JP Morgan Securities L.L.C. arranged the financing for the renovation in less than two weeks.

The owners will renovate and re-brand the aging hotel as SLS Las Vegas Resort, a property that the owners promise will be marked by stylish guest rooms and trendy, high-end dining.

“We see the northern end of the Strip as the future of Las Vegas, and we’re pleased to be positioned at the forefront of that growth,” said Sam Nazarian, SBE’s chairman & CEO. In 2007 SBE and Stockbridge Capital acquired the hotel for an price estimated at between $300 million and $400 million.  The renovated Sahara would be the third property to carry the SLS brand name.  A Miami property, SLS Hotel South Beach, is scheduled to open this month.

French designer Phillippe Starck, who created guest rooms for the SLS properties in Miami and Beverly Hills, Calif., is providing designs for the property’s 1,600 guest rooms.  Nazarian will collaborate with chef José Andrés on developing the property’s restaurants. Also on board for the project are Gensler Architects and PENTA Building Group.

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Photo courtesy of user Johnwalton via Wikimedia Commons.