The closure was announced last March, when Los Angeles nightclub mogul Sam Nazarian announced the property was no longer economically viable. At the time of the closure, the casino’s owners, SBE Entertainment, have not revealed any official plans for the hotel.
Opened in 1952, the Sahara was only the sixth resort and casino to open on the Strip and one of just three still standing hotels and casinos from the “Golden Era”, along with the Flamingo Las Vegas and Riviera Hotel & Casino.
Remembered as one of the Rat Pack’s favorite Las Vegas hotels and casinos, and portrayed in many iconic movies including Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas”, the Moroccan themed hotel and casino was popular with Hollywood and International stars and showcased some of the biggest celebrities in the entertainment industry, including comedians Don Rickles and Johnny Carson, as well as singers and actors Bobby Darin, Dean Martin, Tina Turner and Sonny & Cher.
Before officials shut the doors, visitors gathered for the last time at the property to take a few pictures, drink morning cocktails, swap stories and gamble for the final time in the casino before padlocks and chains were wrapped around the Sahara’s S-shaped handles on the glass doors.