SLS Buyer Alex Meruelo Could Also Acquire Lucky Dragon

You want scoop, you’ve got it. We’re hearing Alex Meruelo, buyer of SLS Las Vegas, is working on a deal to acquire the ailing Lucky Dragon.

A source shares that Meruelo goes before gaming next week related the SLS sale, but is expected to also express his intention to buy the Lucky Dragon.

Lucky Dragon

The potential of SLS and Lucky Dragon being owned by the same company opens up some fascinating possibilities.

Lucky Dragon closed its casino and restaurants in Jan. 2018, and was supposed to go on the auction block on Feb. 6, but the auction was pushed back to Feb. 22, 2018.

That new date could very well have been impacted by discussions between Lucky Dragon, its lenders and Meruelo Group.

In an interesting twist, it was the closure of Lucky Dragon that apparently shook loose the stalled sale of SLS.

SLS Las Vegas

Dibs on this guy. Again.

The sale of SLS has been a tad bumpy, with investor lawsuits flying and the powerful Culinary Union taking jabs at Alex Meruelo because he might oust the union as a cost-saving measure.

In SLS news, a source with direct access to SLS insiders says the rebranded resort is likely to be called Grand Sahara.

It’s believed all the existing SLS restaurants will be out when the new ownership takes over, with an eye toward mirroring amenities of Grand Sierra Resort in Reno.

There’s more to come, so stay tuned, a saying we fully acknowledge is now about as relevant as “bee’s knees” and “cat’s pajamas.”

17 thoughts on “SLS Buyer Alex Meruelo Could Also Acquire Lucky Dragon

  1. Vegas Todd

    Jeez, back in the day (there I go again) the north end of the strip was fun. $1.00 imports and cheap eats, with the Frontier, Stardust, Riviera, Desert Inn, Slots O Fun, Circus Circus, Westward Ho, Sahara, Holy cow and Silver City.
    I need to find a time machine.

    1. VegasSlushy

      Testify, my good man. I never found my way to Holy Cow back in the day. Might have been closed before I made my first visit to Vegas.

      1. Vegas Todd

        Owned by a cheesehead. The only place west of the Mississippi to get an Usinger’s brat and scotch egg.
        Great beer, too!

    2. Annster

      Those were the days. Had a set of grandparents-in-law who returned many times to Westward Ho, just loved it and would not consider any other “resort.” We were all a lot less spoiled folk with simpler needs.

      1. Vegas Todd

        That’s where my grandparents stayed too. Gramps would whip out a couple of rolls of dimes and practice his BJ game with me and my brother. Grandma would come back with socks filled with silver dollars, quarters, ect., before Ted Binion burried them.

    3. William Wingo

      On my first trip to Vegas as an adult,49 years ago this month, we stayed at Westward Ho and played single-deck 3-2 Blackjack–there wasn’t any other kind–at Stardust and Thunderbird. If you find that time machine, please let me know.

  2. JeffinOKC

    I see Sahara Ave as the “Value Axis”. In an alliance with the Golden Gaming owned Stratosphere; Lucky Dragon and Grand Sahara could become the north Strip buffer between the overpriced, touristy Las Vegas Strip and the “old Vegas”, stone gambler Downtown. Well bought properties providing old fashioned value.

  3. Mike L

    If this does go through, he should find a way to connect the two properties to the rest of the strip. Maybe a loop shuttle between SLS, Lucky Dragon and Caesar’s or just one back and forth between Lucky Dragon and SLS and include monorail passes with hotel rooms.

  4. Coop

    Certainly an overhead walkway to the useless concert area and then over to Lucky Dragon? With the existing pot shop right in between them this could be a hippie’s dream. How are we gonna get the monorail to stop Fountainblah instead of Westgate?

  5. Davendish

    I’d be thrilled to see the Sahara onion dome sign back on the north strip. Some great times there with great craps crews and questionable 4 am meals at the Caravan Cafe. Love the resurrection of the name. SLS didn’t exactly evoke glamor.

  6. Doug Bergman

    Lots of wishful thinking in these comments. I’m right there with you all, as the Sahara has a special place in my heart, being the first hotel I ever stayed at in Las Vegas as a non-child. I would love so much for it to return to its 1991 glamour, book Shecky Greene in the showroom and Cook E Jarr in the always-free Casbar lounge, turn off the video screens and blaring noises so I can enjoy the standards from the PA and maybe even hear myself think once in a while, and bring back games like Panguingue and Pineapple, but I don’t really see that happening. I’ve stayed in the Grand Sierra a couple of times over the years, most recently in 2012 or thereabouts. A perfectly nice hotel, without a lot of character. If that is the blueprint, it won’t evoke many memories of the Sahara.

  7. Wally Marshall

    Muerelo sure seems to have a lot of money, i mean a ton of money. From a pizza parlor owner to buying casinos and dumping millions into them, just sure seems strange. Regardless, he will do better with the SLS than the current owners. They have done everything wrong there. Just goes to show that when these non gaming people come to town, they can get their butt handed to them thinking they know how to yield a room rate or throw a party. HA. If the MGM owned the SLS, it would have gone bankrupt too. The only thing the mgm has is location and a bunch of accountants running it, gouging all who dare enter. Muerelo in vegas, will be interesting. He is not scared to spend marketing dollars.


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