Looking at new resort development on the Las Vegas Strip, the south and central parts have certainly garnered the lion’s share of attention in recent years. But as 2014 approaches, it seems the winds of change are blowing in another dire...
Looking at new resort development on the Las Vegas Strip, the south and central parts have certainly garnered the lion’s share of attention in recent years. But as 2014 approaches, it seems the winds of change are blowing in another direction – to the north.
SBE, a company helmed by nightlife and entertainment impresario Sam Nazarian, has undertaken a $415 million makeover of the former Sahara Hotel & Casino that will transform it into SLS Las Vegas. Ground was broken for the project in February 2013.
SBE has a stellar reputation for developing and operating hotels, restaurants and nightclubs that are usually characterized by excessive lavishness. The company’s portfolio even reads like a who’s who of food and hospitality heavyweights: Katsuya by Starck, The Bazaar by José Andrés, The Sayers Club…and the list goes on.
A rendering of the exterior of SLS Las Vegas (courtesy of SBE)
SLS Las Vegas is an exciting concept because it will bring many of these revered names from Los Angeles to Sin City and put them all under one roof. Located on the southeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue, visitors are sure to flock to this shining beacon of luxury in an area that’s otherwise been overlooked in terms of glitz and glamour.
“We view our location on the north end of the Strip as an advantage. Las Vegas is rich with history, especially downtown and on the north end of the Strip,” said Rob Oseland, president and COO of SLS Las Vegas. “As the city is continuing to evolve culturally and economically, this is a prime location for growth and we’re proud to invest in the development of the north end. We’re ready to show Las Vegas that north is the new south.”
Having spent more than two decades working in the hospitality and gaming industries in Las Vegas (including senior management positions with Wynn Resorts at Wynn Las Vegas and Encore, MGM Resorts International at Bellagio and Station Casinos at Boulder Station), Oseland is more than ready to launch the city’s next all-encompassing hotel, casino and entertainment property.
Construction on SLS Las Vegas is progressing steadily. While transforming any existing building is sure to be difficult and bring surprises, SBE is trying to preserve the bones of the historic Sahara, once a hangout for the Rat Pack and the place where Elvis Presley stayed numerous times.
“Things are going smoothly with construction. The project is on track with timing and budget, and we look forward to opening in fall 2014,” stated Oseland. “SBE has a philosophy geared towards adaptive reuse in which we reinvent properties instead of tearing them down. Tremendous progress has been made with construction, and by opening you will see a completely different property.”
A rendering of SLS Las Vegas' main entry (courtesy of SBE)
SLS Las Vegas will also be very different from the SLS properties in other markets. SBE’s family of existing hotels is comprised of the SLS Beverly Hills and SLS South Beach, along with The Raleigh in South Beach and The Redbury in Los Angeles. In addition to Las Vegas, more hotels are being developed in the U.S. in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Austin, Seattle and Washington, D.C., as well as in the Middle East and Asia.
“The DNA of the SLS brand is always there, but we really shape the brand and experience to reflect the local communities in which we’re located,” said Oseland. “SLS Las Vegas will provide the same caliber of style and service that SLS is known for in a more approachable, playful setting that perfectly fits Las Vegas.”
For example, in late August SLS Las Vegas announced a partnership with one of the world’s leading betting and gaming companies. William Hill has been tapped to create and operate the resort’s state-of-the-art sports book. It will feature innovative wagering technology (like mobile betting) and boast an expansive HD video wall for viewing the day’s big games.
In another impressive move that displays innovative thinking, SLS Las Vegas will bec