Checking in On the Construction at SLS Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

The iconic Sahara Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas is slowly transforming into SLS Las Vegas. Yes, against all odds, this is actually happening.

The Rat Pack-era Sahara (rhyming sold separately) operated from 1952 to 2011, and many, including this blog, were skeptical when plans surfaced for a new resort at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue. We’re pleased to say we were wrong. Just this once.

We recently stopped by to see how the construction of SLS Las Vegas is progressing.

SLS Las Vegas
We miss you, Sahara. Your mustiness, not so much. Trivia: The original casino on this site, built in 1947, was called Club Bingo.

The plans for SLS Las Vegas include 1,600 rooms, restaurants, nightlife, shopping and a convention center. Sorry, no roller coaster.

SLS Las Vegas
The SLS will have a patio area, burger restaurant, beer garden and sports book where the Sahara’s roller coaster, Speed – The Ride, once stood.

Of course, SLS Las Vegas will have a shiny new casino, with 80 table games and 800 slot machines. This Las Vegas blog fully expects to put a hurting on some of those very same games when SLS opens.

The renderings for SLS Las Vegas are impressive (see below), including an upscale facade that’s already starting to take shape at the site.

SLS Las Vegas
Bonus: The SLS will certainly be prepared in case of air raids.

There’s a fairly tall construction fence along Las Vegas Boulevard, but those have rarely been a deterrent when we want to see what’s up inside.

SLS Las Vegas hotel
Nice try, fences.

Soon, all traces of the Sahara will be gone, but as construction takes place, there are still some Moroccan-inspired flourishes visible over the 10-foot-tall fence.

SLS Las Vegas
Your days are numbered, Moroccan-inspired flourish.

Here’s a good look at the entire Las Vegas Boulevard-facing part of the SLS Las Vegas.

The future home of oontz.
The future home of oontz.

The Sahara’s porte-cochere, with a distinctive onion-dome minaret, has long since been demolished, and a new porte-cochere is taking its place.

SLS Las Vegas
An onion-dome minaret sounds delicious right about now, doesn’t it?

Here’s a look at where the porte-cochere is headed.

SLS Las Vegas
This may actually be the Starfleet Academy, we’re not entirely sure.

The high-end SLS Las Vegas is gambling that the north end of The Strip is ready for an infusion of glitz.

The $415 million project, which will have a look inspired by Hollywood Boulevard and the Sunset Strip, is expected to open in 2014. Read more about plans for SLS Hotel & Casino Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

SLS Las Vegas
SLS is a palindrome which stands for “style, luxury and service.”

If you’d like to keep tabs on what’s transpiring at SLS Las Vegas, the hotel’s developer has provided a convenient Webcam. Find out more about SLS Las Vegas on the official site.

Here are a few more photos of SLS Las Vegas, soon to bringing style, service and luxury (although not necessarily in that order) to the much-neglected north end of the Las Vegas Strip.

SLS Las Vegas Construction