SLS Resort to Be Rebranded to Sahara Hotel & Casino

Ever since SLS Las Vegas was purchased by developer Alex Meruelo, speculation has run rampant about what the new name of the resort would be. Now, we know.

According to a well-placed source, SLS will be renamed Sahara Hotel & Casino.

And all was right with the world.

Sahara SLS

Best. Rumored. Rebrand. Ever.

Since about the time Meruelo Group acquired SLS in April 2018 (yes, we broke the story, because that’s how we roll), rumors swirled the casino would be named Grand Sahara Resort. Meruelo also owns Grand Sierra Resort in Reno.

In the end, though, we hear cooler heads prevailed, and the name Sahara Hotel & Casino will be announced as the hotel’s official name in the next few weeks.

We are downright elated at this news.

Renaming SLS as Sahara is a brilliant move. It plays upon the storied history of the casino, while saving a metric hell-ton of money by playing up an existing brand rather than trying to create a new one from scratch.

While the previous Sahara went downhill toward the ends of its life (Sahara closed in 2011 after 59 years of operation), there’s a surprising amount of goodwill toward the brand, and we suspect Vegas visitors and locals will embrace the new Sahara’s throwback vibe.

Since acquiring SLS, the resort has had a multi-million dollar facelift, including dramatic changes to the casino and the recent opening of the Casbar lounge.

The original Sahara had a Casbar lounge. Ah, the circularity of the universe. (We’ll share more about the new lounge soon, as it’s incredible. We’re just too Captained to do it justice at the moment. Yes, “Captained” can be used as a verb.)

New Sahara Las Vegas

This is not your grandpa’s Sahara.

Clues about a Sahara rebrand abound at SLS.

For example, the casino’s loyalty club is called Club 52. Sahara opened in 1952. The loyalty club’s logo features a design flourish used in the original Sahara’s advertising.

SLS Sahara

Those aren’t ovaries. They’re a design flourish! Freak.

Oh, and while we’re delivering the scoop, here’s another juicy item: We hear Alex Meruelo has purchased another Las Vegas casino.

Mind blown.

Now, we can redirect our speculation from the new name of SLS to which casino he’s acquiring. Treasure Island? Planet Hollywood? Another Caesars Entertainment casino?

We’ll get an official announcement soon.

Also, expect more news out of SLS/Sahara soon, including official confirmation of scoop we’ve already shared: Cleo is closing. Umami Burger is closing. 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria is closing. Bazaar Meat is staying and getting an expansion. “Magic Mike Live” is moving in.

Oh, and expect an announcement of a major renovation to the resort’s pool complex. Are you not entertained?

In the meantime, let’s just bask in the magnificence of a new name for SLS: Sahara Hotel & Casino.

We can’t wait to have her back.

Update (6/27/19): It looks like the official-official name of SLS will be Sahara Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. Big thanks to Fernando D. on Twitter for the find.

New Sahara Las Vegas logo

Boom. A little past, a little next, it’s the new Sahara Las Vegas.

33 thoughts on “SLS Resort to Be Rebranded to Sahara Hotel & Casino

  1. LA WB

    It’ll be interesting to see if the sentimentality of the Sahara name makes an impact on their business. I like the name because I’m 60, and stayed at the Sahara. But, my contemporaries and I are far from the Las Vegas target demographic of the strip and near-strip establishments. Good luck!

  2. Doug

    Will he bring back the glory days by dumping the giant and annoying Britney etc. slot machines in favor of panguingue tables and resurrecting Buddy Hackett in the showroom? Now that would be something.

    I get it, that’s wishful thinking. How about at least bringing Cook E. Jarr and the Crumbs back to the Casbar?

  3. Boulder Steve

    I could give you a long list of reasons why the new Sahara will fail, and what they need to do in order to have a chance at success. SLS was a spectacular failure, and it’s nice to see that sad chapter of the property’s history come to a close, both in ownership and in name.

      1. Johnnie Vegas

        Boulder Steve knows all, thats why he’s in the Hotel business and not posting random rubbish on a web site.

        Oh wait!

  4. Chris

    I love the idea of bringing back the name! They have an opportunity to reel back in some of the regulars if they’d do the following 3 items:
    Get rid of 6/5 blackjack!
    Nix the “resort fee” we all know it’s smoke/mirrors.
    Don’t charge for parking.

    1. Tom

      If they did those simple things, and they’re very simple, I will return. The old Sahara, the pre Nascar era, was great. Bring back some of that old school vibe and the customers will return. And don’t play it up like you’ve reinvented the wheel, 3/2 blackjack, no resort and parking fees should be standard. Let MGM and Ceasars die a slow death and do the right thing.

  5. DmR

    FINALLY! First time I can remember, the ownership/management of a Strip casino did something right for a change!

  6. Tom

    And if you’re going to bring back the original name, go all the way and bring back the original neon sign (design wise – not necessarily the original sign) . Retro is in!

  7. Scott

    I love this so much. It’s sad we’ll never get the Dunes, Aladdin, Hacienda, Vegas World, Stardust, Silver Slipper, Castaways, etc back… But the Sahara came back! It’s a miracle.

  8. Pamela Motton

    I just wish someone from the catering Department would call me back I’m trying to schedule an event there in September but I missed the first phone call and yet to hear back from them so what can I do?

    1. Scott Roeben Post author

      Not yet, but I’m predicting by Labor Day, or whenever the rebrand is announced officially.

  9. SJ Lee

    This is awesome! I hope for the return of the Casbar, Congo Showroom and how about the deli by the sports book that had some of the best matzo ball soup in town? Would love to see the time and temp clock and big S adorn the top of the building again too!

  10. Howard

    I would just like to see the original door handles put back (which were sold at the liquidation sale),


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