Sahara Hotel & Casino Announces Plans to Close

Sahara Hotel & Casino announced today that it plans to close on May 16, 2011.

“We are working with our partners to assess a variety of options for the property, including a complete renovation and repositioning,” said Sam Nazarian, CEO of sbe Entertainment Group, which owns and operates the Sahara. “While no final decisions have been made at this point,” Nazarian said, “the continued operation of the aging Sahara was no longer economically viable.”

“We see the northern end of the Strip as the future of Las Vegas,” Nazarian said. “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.”

Meanwhile, the hotel and casino will remain fully operational until May 16th. The Sahara will be honoring all room reservations and players’ club events until that time.

The Sahara has been working with MGM Resorts International on possible solutions for both customers and employees.

“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,” added Nazarian. “We will also work with MGM Resorts to accommodate Sahara hotel and group customers with reservations following our closure.”

Additionally, customers with reservations after May 16th will receive assistance in finding alternate accommodations.

The Sahara’s human resources department will be working with team members through this transition. The Sahara plans to offer sessions with Nevada Job Connect and provide career counseling.

“We sincerely appreciate the service and dedication shown by the many Sahara team members over the decades,” Nazarian said. “They have been the heart and soul of this iconic property. We thank them for their longstanding service.”

The Sahara Hotel and Casino opened its doors in 1952 and quickly became one of Las Vegas’ most exciting destinations. Home of the NASCAR Entertainment Center, the Las Vegas Strip’s only $1 Blackjack, and The Magic and Tigers of Rick Thomas, Sahara has offered a classic Las Vegas experience with modern amenities and 1,720 classically styled guestrooms decorated in a Moroccan motif.