The Sahara Hotel and Casino nearly made it to 60 years — the same lifespan as the Riviera hotel-casino — before closing in 2011. While it isn’t usually remembered for star-studded galas and the typical “glitz and glam” of Las Vegas next to the Riv or the Sands, the Sahara definitely left its mark in Strip history.
As one of the last “Rat Pack” casinos, the Sahara helped turn lounge performances into the norm. Don Rickles was brought on and performed for multiple years, along with Louis Prima, the legendary swing musician.
Between 1961 and ’63, the Sahara was purchased, redesigned, opened a Don the Beachcomber restaurant and built the tallest tower in Las Vegas (at least, for the time).
The hotel closed at 2 p.m. in May 2011, and in August 2014, the SLS Las Vegas debuted in its place.
Check out the gallery above.
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