The SLS Las Vegas is no longer an island. New neighbors are moving into the old neighborhood at the northern end of the Strip.
The old Sahara’s location at a somewhat desolate intersection at Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue was a disadvantage, said SBE Entertainment CEO Sam Nazarian.
Nazarian said the reopening will revitalize the location. Also, the property has additional security measures to protect resort patrons.
“We always planned on being a destination, and the area is now building up around us,” he said.
When it closed, the Sahara’s nearest neighbors on three sides were vacant lots and a boarded-up stand-alone casino building. The nearby shuttered Fontainebleau Las Vegas project loomed over the old resort, a ghost of the bust.
Now the area is showing signs of life. Just north of the SLS a large Walgreen’s store and pharmacy is taking shape. Across the Strip, on 33 now-vacant acres, MGM Resorts International plans an open-air, year-round concert venue.
Just south along the Strip, Malaysia-based Genting Berhad will soon start construction of the $4 billion Resorts World Las Vegas, and Australian billionaire James Packer bought majority ownership in the old new New Frontier site with plans to build a new hotel-casino there.
Even across Paradise Road behind the SLS the former Las Vegas Hilton/LVH Las Vegas has been given new life through its purchase by Westgate Resorts.
The Fontainebleau still casts a shadow over the area, and the old Wet ‘n Wild water park site adjacent to the SLS on the south remains a vacant lot, but at least a developer has proposed a sports arena there.
“A lot has changed,” Nazarian said. “We’re in a great spot.”