Sahara Las Vegas Says Closure Rumors Unfounded

Sahara Las Vegas and its legal representatives say a rumor we shared about the resort closing later this year is unfounded.

Which is why you won’t find the original article here, because while the story was clearly framed as a rumor, life it too short to talk to lawyers.

How you “retract” a rumor, we aren’t entirely sure, but consider this that. Because we really like drinking and playing video poker at Casbar Lounge.

Sahara to close

We love Sahara’s new Casbar Lounge, and we’re not just saying that to make the lawyers go away.

In case we haven’t said it often enough, we share news on our site, but we also share rumors, speculation, opinions and industry chatter.

We clearly state when rumors are rumors. Rumors don’t always turn out to be true. Often they do. If this one turns out to be true, we trust Sahara will retract its denial and send us an edible bouquet.

Here’s another photo of Sahara’s casino.

Sahara casino closing

We retract our former photo caption where we noted how empty Sahara is.

For posterity, here’s Sahara’s denial of the closure rumor via its Twitter account.

Sahara closure denial

Trust us, this isn’t the first time we’ve disappointed someone.

It’s never our intention to knowingly share false information, and Sahara is adamant this rumor has no validity. Which would mean we just made the whole thing up, for no reason and based upon no information whatsoever. That’d be weird, but let’s go with it.

We definitely apologize if this rumor caused employees any unnecessary concern. Trust us, they hear rumors long before we do.

This isn’t our first dance with Sahara and it won’t be the last.

Update (8/8/20): Apparently, Sahara wasn’t satisfied with removal of our original post and this update/retraction. We’ve been sued by Sahara (Las Vegas Resort Holdings). The news coverage has been extensive, find stories at Channel 3, Channel 5 and the Las Vegas Sun. The story by Channel 13 contains the full complaint. We aren’t going to get into why we believe this legal action was misguided, but here’s what we have said to media outlets: “This was a rumor clearly presented as such. Threatening legal action to try and intimidate and silence writers is so 2001. It doesn’t really fly in 2020. How is the rumor that a struggling casino is struggling even more during a pandemic surprising or controversial?” More to come.

Update (9/28/20): On Sep. 28, 2020, we filed an anti-SLAPP motion to fight Sahara’s frivolous lawsuit. Wait for it.

Update (10/20/20): On Oct. 20, 2020, arguably the wisest judge in the world, District Judge Trevor Atkin, granted our motion and the case was dismissed. Fun fact: Sahara has to pay our legal fees. Free speech for the win.

55 thoughts on “Sahara Las Vegas Says Closure Rumors Unfounded

  1. Markus

    I’ve been to the SLS/Sahara once or twice in recent trips. It’s not a bad casino but it’s too far away from everything.
    I used to hit it years back when I wanted to stop at the old Riviera and play craps at Slot-O-Fun (Before they ruined it).

    make you wonder how Circus Circus is still open

  2. Loo the Looker

    One of your readers use to defend the chill vibe of SLS.

    He seemed to be the only one who liked that.

    Major investment to overhaul the property followed by a major investment to remake the place. And if it closes again: Wow.

    1. Scott Roeben Post author

      I loved the fact both places were quiet! Great for customers like me, but not great for the bottom line, obviously.

    2. chao yoong

      SLS used the investment visa and sold 800 visas at $500,000 each. The investor would then be eligible to apply for “permanent residency” if there are 10 US citizens employed. So with “free money” SLS renovated but guess how many workers were hired -2,800 and that was pre-covid. So only 280 investors would get their residency while the rest – oops too bad you made bad investment. The visa is a scam which helped unscrupulous con men who milked the investors out of their money. Since this EB visa program is not a guarantee, many will end up with no residency n losing out their money. If SLS closes it is karma

      1. Brett

        A couple of thoughts. Went to Sahara in June after it reopened. I had a free food voucher. The only place in the afternoon I could use it was Starbucks. Everything else was closed. After I stayed and gambled a couple of hours, I could get a cab, Uber or Lyft back to Wynn. I had to walk back. They were the casino of the 10+ I visited that was not doing anything at the door for Covidien checks. Place was dead too. Won’t be back. No energy. Closing won’t surprise me.

  3. Vegas Todd

    Having stayed at the Sahara back in the ’90’S, I have a soft spot for the old gal.
    IMO, the problem they have, much like the Riv did, is there’s NOTHING around there, hence, no foot traffic.

    1. Matt Sexton

      There’s not really any foot traffic around whatever the Las Vegas Hilton is called now either, yet somehow they survive.

      I don’t have an angle here, just lobbing out talking points.

      1. Jason Ghiselin

        Westgate, a.k.a. Whatever the LVH is called now, survives/survived on convention business…it ain’t comin’ back anytime soon… Stay tuned for further developments…

  4. Adam

    They really cut costs on their radio stations back in Los Angeles, so it’s of little surprise they are giving up so quickly. I really do believe this could be a great hotel once the conventions return. Would love to see The Hard Rock get back into business taking this over. Or some operator.

  5. Tom

    The industry has changed a lot there are so many different revenue streams needed to keep these places going. Not saying they couldn’t make it but to get all those formulas correct is a tall task not to mention the money you will burn through to get there.

  6. EnuffBull

    It’s a shame. Was there last August 2019 as it was still the SLS but making major overhauls getting ready for the Sahara rebrand. You could tell it was getting a stellar makeover. Enjoyed some glorious (i.e.”expensive”) bourbon in a secluded newer bar behind some hi-roller (i.e. “VERY expensive”) blackjack tables. Salute!

  7. Tim

    I was there last year and loved it. I also stayed at the old Sahara back in 2010 for the APA 9-ball team national championships that were held at the Riviera. Loved that as well. Going to miss the history of the place. ??

  8. Laura Vegas

    I drive Lyft in Vegas . I pick people up from Sahara daily- I have literally NEVER dropped anyone off.
    The clientele seems to be younger – which is great if they are dropping money on the casino floor.
    I think they are using it for the nicer new rooms at a bargain cost (especially with the no resort fee deal they have going right now)
    Man, this is sad. I myself have only been there once since it went back to being Sahara. It’s very pretty, but it doesn’t give the same vibes as the old old Sahara
    Bummer man.

    1. mike dacosta

      I would think $1 blackjack players are not the demographic they are hoping for, and won’t help keep the lights on

  9. Deborah,Adams

    I visit Vegas at least three times a year I’ve stayed at the Sahara back in the day loved it hot slots free buffets love the room then when SLS took over the rooms are beautiful I hope they stay in business I would stay there at any given time don’t go away

    1. Jenn In Las Vegas

      I regret I was unclear, at least to you, Raven. I was mocking the “do it for others” at Deb’s expense. I was being sarcastic. Though I am a fan of punctuation, I can assure you I am no Karen. #nomasknevada

  10. Ray Evans

    The rumors do not surprise me at all. They have discontinued their menu for locals and are now charging ridiculous prices at the Northside Cafe for breakfast served in a plastic tray with tiny plastic utensils which is then dumped on your table in a plastic bag by the busboy! Uno Mas Tacos Restaurant is basically the same and the cocktails are served in a plastic cup. Every other restaurants at casinos and noncasinos in Vegas serve your meals on china and with proper utensils. Additionally they don’t have a proper pool or any type of showroom. Their “we dont care” attitude warrants the rumours floating round town! Unfortunately their really nice cocktail servers in the casino suffer.

  11. Jeremy

    I’ve only been to SLS/Sahara once before. A group of us got tickets to the March Madness viewing party at Umami Burger. We were staying at Linq or Flamingo but took the monorail up to SLS. It was a pretty nice casino and the viewing party was a good time, we stayed around all day and did quite a bit of gambling taking breaks from watching the games. The next year we looked at getting tickets to go again and saw that they raised the prices of the tickets up to the same price that we would have to pay for mid-strip property viewing parties, so we went somewhere else. It didn’t make sense to me from a numbers perspective why they felt the need to increase the prices so drastically, common sense would suggest to give a bit of a discount to draw in clientele but it seems like some of these casinos don’t subscribe to that kind of thinking. They hadn’t even sold out the viewing party the prior year at the significantly better deal and thought they would drum up more people by raising the price? Like I said the casino was nice but there are tons of nice casinos on the strip and much more conveniently placed. Places like this that are not in the heart of the strip have to figure out ways to differentiate themselves from the “norm” not do what everyone else is doing.

  12. Coop

    Sure looks closed to me!! Matter of fact it hast looked closed for years now. Please don’t bow down to our evil overlords. Its why we like you. Lawyers be damned. If your info is screened through PR firms and lawyers like everybody else your no good to us. LOL

    1. Coop

      That may be unduely harsh towards our very entertaining moderator. What I should have said was…
      OK Sahara…Piss off the 1 person that is trying to bring people to Vegas. He even recommends your casino and restaurants…Bad move…HUGE. Might as well close now that Mr Las Vegas will never mention you again.

  13. Boulder Steve

    Problem it really does not give a reason to make a special trip to the north strip. its another cookie cutter hotel casino. Already plenty of those in a better locations

  14. clueless

    You’re more than a little naive if you sincerely believe those who work at Sahara haven’t already heard the rumor, along with several hundred variations of the tale. I hadn’t heard it yet, because this blog is my only connection to Las Vegas rumors. Thanks for keeping me in the rumor loop, Scott. I’d be clueless, otherwise.

  15. Shawn

    If there is one thing I have learned over the years about this website, it is rumors are very likely to become truth. I guess there is only one way to find who is telling the truth…..we sit back and we wait.

    1. RatPacker

      Sahara has a point. Spreading unfounded rumours is the same as spreading unfounded gossip.
      Imagine for instance if say a blogger posted a rumour like another blogger’s girl friend was fooling around, posted a picture of that person hugging a guy, and said per my sources.

      If you can’t provide proof the rumour is true, , it’s merely speculation that can injury people depending on the subject. Speculating a whole resort is gonna close is a pretty big rumour to put out there. Not one you want to spread lightly since it could have a meaningful financial impact on operations / staffing. Not to mention the internal shit storm. I think from a legal perspective the WARN notice would have to include a lot more people. Not surprised this drew the ire of Sahara.

      1. Jenn In Las Vegas

        Scott, I greatly appreciate your blog. I especially appreciate your wit. Saying that, IMO what you should have done before publishing the previous now-deleted Sahara post was contact them (Sahara) seeking a comment. Before you hit that post button about a significant rumor, at least attempt to get a comment from an official source first. Not as fun, but prudent. If they don’t get back to you timely, just write “Our attempts to contact Sahara Tuesday were unsuccessful” or something.

        1. JJ

          I’m sure Judge Judy would have a good laugh over that legal advice. Self-perceived expertise apparently knows no bounds.

        2. Scott Roeben Post author

          Ha, I have long history with their P.R. folks. Vegas casinos don’t like anyone talking about their business before they do. I share things before they’re confirmed, that’s what makes it fun.

          1. Jenn In Las Vegas

            Fun, yes. I get it (and my thanks to you again). Saying that, I hope you carry Media Liability Insurance.

          2. Scott Roeben Post author

            Why would I need to? I clearly present rumors as rumors. I wouldn’t knowingly share something I know is false, as that would be wrong, irresponsible and create liability. This is industry chatter, it’s not presented as confirmed news or a psychic prediction. People who don’t find value in rumors (a small part of what I do here) should find other sources they enjoy more.

          3. Scott Roeben Post author

            I will also add the only entity saying this rumor is baseless is the subject of the rumor. These are the same folks who misrepresented and denied information in the past, later confirmed (such as when they came after me for saying their show was in trouble–the show closed almost immediately thereafter). Having a lawyer call is bullying and intimidation, and I toss cease-and-desists like they’re Kleenex.

      2. Coop

        Sahara has no point. They do not sponsor this blog. (Or much else from what I see.) They want to take advantage of their employees, customers, and that erroneous wedding referenced above. Anyone here stating the opposing opinion is a shill of Corporate greed. Your board of directors makes plans for the future right? So do us normal human beings!! Thank you Scott for being one of us!

  16. David

    Love reading your blog Scott. Many years ago I used to make the trip to the Sahara to enjoy the prime rib at the buffet. It was one of the best around. The rest of the buffet was just fun, I mean white cake is still white cake no matter what colour icing you put on it. For a few dollars it was an awesome deal. I used to gamble just because I felt bad about eating so cheaply. Everybody used to be having a good time customers and employees alike. Ah, the good old days.


    The ironic thing is you’ve been nothing but positive about the renovation in all your previous tweets. You’ve clearly hung out there a lot. They gained WAY more from your tweets about them that they could possibly have lost. Guess @SAHARALasVegas didn’t read all those tweets…

  18. Mike Alexakis

    I smell a blame game, Sahara is going to try and blame Scott for ring around the collar, I’m next in line, I have a slew of golf shirts I am ready to sue someone over…

  19. David

    I heard a rumour that Sahara is possible going to sue Scott. This is just a rumour but I think if it is true the go fund me page would be very busy indeed to support Scott. I agree he has probably done more to support the Sahara than anybody. Anybody who has followed Scott for years would know he has never intentionally hurt anybody. He just put out in print what everyone is talking about anyway.

    1. Scott Roeben Post author

      Thanks, David. Not a rumor, I’m being sued. I appreciate the support and sentiment behind a GoFundMe page, but it’s not necessary.

      1. Mike Alexakis

        Fifteen thousand dollars? Reminds me of Dr. Evil asking for “one million dollars” in Austin Powers… Someone could fart near a craps table at a casino and cause more damage than 15 grand, their in house lawyer might get taken into the Judges chambers for a well deserved over the knee spanking…

  20. BST

    I thought I had read it incorrectly when said suing for 15 thousand. they ought to be embarrassed .
    I personally think any casino suing for that amount kind of says a lot more about it then any rumor.
    I have been in the Sahara when it was still SLS and a few times since it was Sahara once again.
    Always only a handful of people inside ( with the exception of Superbowl which was the most people I had ever seen in the place .) And this emptiness was during busy summer mths prior to pandemic.
    I have often wondered how they kept their doors open and that thought occurred to me all by myself without reading a thing .
    I liked it there because I actually like smaller casinos and it was clean and less smoke to deal with.
    But it doesn’t take a financial genius to know casinos need more then a handful of people !
    I hope they will drop the crazy lawsuit Scott .
    You have my support as well .

  21. Willard White

    The probably figure they can settle out of court and get a some $$$$ out of Vitalvegas to try and keep the ship afloat.

  22. Michael Bluejay

    Well, screw the Sahara! What jerks! I added a Vegas Hall of Shame to my own site specifically to induct the Sahara as the first member.

    Good for Scott for not backing down.

    If you enjoy reading free sites like Vital Vegas, and want to be able to continue doing that, then think twice before staying at or spending any money at Sahara.

  23. xmarksx

    Scott, anyone? What is the status of the legal action Sahara filed against you?

    I was looking at Sahara or the new Downtown Grand tower for a suite stay in early November. If they continue with that Chicken sh.. response I have no desire to stay there.

    I am not a whale, just a measly grinder but I do have disposable cash. It’s unfortunate that they don’t realize some of the unintended consequences to their sugar-high move.

    1. Scott Roeben Post author

      Appreciate the support. Pending and nothing to report yet. The initial discussions didn’t go particularly well, and I’ve been 86’d from the casino, so not happy about that as I liked the place. Past tense.

      1. xmarksx

        Well that’s unfortunate for all of us, including Sahara. I booked Downtown Grand as a result.
        Some might say my decision is a drop in the bucked and that they likely don’t care.

        My response, they felt your blog had enough pull to take take the legal action that they took. They cannot have the argument both ways.

  24. Ken Houghton

    I will never visit the Sahara Casino again until Scott is exonerated and invited back. 15k, what a joke. Just enough to make hiring an attorney cost more than paying them and admitting guilt by settling. Old time ploy. BOO Sahara


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *