After shutting the doors on the iconic Sahara resort two years ago (see linked article below), property owner SBE Entertainment Group has initiated a $415 million renovation project that will transform the Sahara into the SLS Las Vegas. Interior construction began last week after SBE's procurement of the last component of renovation financing, which came through the federal government's EB-5 program. That program encourages foreign investment in US businesses that will lead to job creation.
The SLS Las Vegas is slated for completion next year, with an anticipated opening date in the fall of 2014. The property will feature more than 1600 guest rooms and suites, at least four restaurants, four nightlife / bar venues, and more than 10,000 square feet of retail space. The new property will complement existing SLS hotels in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, and Miami.
The SBE/SLS theme is referred to as 'contemporary Southland chic', and the SLS Las Vegas plans will follow that theme. According to reports, all the old familiar Sahara environment will be discarded.
The renewal project will initially create about 1600 temporary construction jobs as it progresses. After completion, the SLS will provide employment for 2500 people.
This is great news for the Las Vegas North Strip area, which has been floundering for several years due to tough economic times. Maybe this infusion of expense, activity, and eventual newness will be an initial step in the locale's recovery process.
We just wish they'd salvage and display those old iconic chandeliers...somehow.