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The Sahara

 

The Sahara Hotel and Casino closed on May 16, 2011.  The ownership is proceeding with plans to open the SLS Las Vegas on Labor Day Weekend, 2014. 

 

The Sahara was the sixth hotel and casino to open on the Strip--opening in 1952.  Louis Prima and Keely Smith were hired as lounge acts in 1954. 

 
 

The Sahara (like the Riviera) is actually located in Winchester, NV.  It ranks among the few last "old" Vegas Rat Pack casinos on the Strip.

 

 

Video

 

The Sahara sign along the Strip.  Video taken April 22 & 23, 2011.  Several shots of the sign are included.  The iconic sign was taken down on March 12, 2013 as plans move forward to turn the Sahara into the SLS Las Vegas. 

 
 

Speed the Ride on April 23, 2011.  The ride closed during the last weekend in April  

 

More Photos:

 

 

Inside the Sahara casino--looking over gaming tables towards the Thirsty Camel bar.  

 

Looking into the casino from the lobby.  

 

The east side of the casino. 

 

The famous House of Lords Steakhouse. 

 
 

Blackjack and other gaming tables in the Sahara casino.

 

The neon of the Thirsty Camel in the center of the gaming floor. 

 
 

The east end of the Thirsty Camel. 

 
 

This photo is at the entrance of the Sahara. 

 
 

Beautiful stained-glass above the entrance to the Sahara 

 

Rams-head fountains line the valet area of the Sahara. 

 

The Tangiers Tower--built in 1952 with 1,720 rooms--was the last tower to remain open at the time of Sahara's closing; the Tunis and Alexandria towers were closed in late 2009 due to low demand. 

 

The Alexandria Tower of the Sahara Hotel--built in 1963.  

 

 

The elevators to the Tunis Tower.  During the last year of Sahara's operation, the Tunis and Alexandria Towers were closed. 

  

The oasis of the Sahara along the Strip. 

 

The classic Sahara sign.   

 

The roller coaster Speed-the Ride was added during renovations in 1999.  The coaster shoots riders from inside the casino to outside along the Strip, through a 360-loop and up a 90-degree incline--and then reverses.

  

This is the end-of-the-line for Speed-the Ride. 

  

Speed:  The Ride.  was an intense rollercoaster that started inside the Sahara and runs along the Strip.

Here,the train of Speed:  The Ride just before boarding. 

 

Robyn and Jay feeling the intensity of Speed the Ride! 

 
 

The entrance to the Nascar Cafe. 

 
 

A race car on display at the entrance. 

 
  

On closer inspection, one may be surprised at how dinged and dented a race car can become! 

 

Looking deep into the Nascar Cafe--home of the 6 lb burrito! 

 

Just south of the Nascar Cafe is an extra gaming area not is use; the bar is open. 

 
 

The Sahara's Poker Room. 

 
 

Near the front entrance. 

 
 

The opulent entrance to the Sahara Casino. 

 

A monorail at the Sahara station (the Sahara is the northern-most stop on the Las Vegas Monorail).  The Stratosphere Hotel and Tower are in the background.

 
 

 

The Sahara monorail station--which won't appear to get much use while the property is closed. 

 
 

Valet parking at the Sahara at the Paradise Rd entrance. 

 
 

The valet and parking area off Paradise Rd near the lobby.

 
  

A photographic mural covering the wall of a lounge area next to the Sports Book--recalling the Sahara back in it's "hey-day!". 

 

The lobby and check-in desk of the hotel. 

 
 

The minaret and Strip signage of the Sahara--with the 41-story Allure Las Vegas condominium tower in the background. 

 
 

The Sahara Pool. 

 
 

The Sahara pool--located in front of the Alexandria Tower. 

 
 

 

The grand entrance to the Sahara along the Strip. 

 
 

A camel display located along the corridor to the Sahara monorail station. 

 
 

The Strip entrance. 

 

The Nascar Cafe advertised along the Strip  ... and the monstrous 6 lb burrito! 

 
 

When cars were made of metal and had some substance to them!  Maybe somebody will win this 1957 Bel Air before the Sahara closes?  

 

One last look at the Sahara--one of the last hangouts of the Rat Pack ... what does the future hold for the property?  

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