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Sahara: SLS Las Vegas To Be Just Below Luxury

By Chuckmonster on Friday, 6th April 2012 9:38pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 15


This must be an April Fools joke.

VegasInc reporter Steve Green, known for kick ass coverage of the legal beat, turned in this incredibly strange story outlining bits and pieces of non-news surrounding the post-Sahara development by sbe entertainment.

First, Moody's confirms that the post Sahara property will be called "SLS Las Vegas," something we posted about over a year ago, long after the renaming of Sahara's porte cochere as "SLS Way." They also trumpet that the new SLS Las Vegas will open in 2014, which is what Sam Nazarian said when the Sahara closure was originally announced. Finally, the headline of the non news "Financing details unveiled for Sahara renovation into ‘SLS Las Vegas’" isn't accurate... SBE/Stockbridge is kicking in $329m, but they are still looking for another $300 from investors. Those aren't details of financing, that is a typically Nazarianish usage of the media to pump hot air into his low flying balloon. This is akin to saying "I've got $15, if someone comes along with another $10, I'll be able to buy a hardcover copy of Atlas Shrugged." Hogwash.

Perhaps the most entertaining piece of information in the Moody's report is this little nugget:

The project is targeted at what Moody's believes is an underserved market segment on the Las Vegas Strip - ''just below luxury.''

So, there are turds to be polished and people to polish them, but only to a mediocre shine. Is this worth the effort? If Sam were smart, he would've limped along for another year or so and sold the whole kit n kaboodle. Just below luxury isn't going to cut it when your neighbors are Circus Circus, Riviera and Stratosphere no matter how many Umami Burgers, Papaya Kings, Abbey cafes or beer gardens you install.

Why fix Sahara for $629M when ~$750m, could buy you Cosmopolitan?

Tagged: sahara   sls   cosmopolitan   sam nazarian   


Comments & Discussion:

I've had two Vegas Gang listeners email asking that we discuss this on our next show... so we will!

is there a good time to be had at an SBE entertainment venue?

Is the new Trop 'just below luxury'?

I figured that most of Caesars Entertainment's properties were "just below luxury"......

Not exactly "Just the right amount of wrong," but it is a catchy slogan.

Endlessly amusing. Sam Nazarian is the Tommy Wisseau of Las Vegas.

I suggest the VegasGang ignore sbe entertainment until Sam agrees to a interview. Then just ask him stuff about the camel lamps.



SBE just opened a hotel in Miami, so I think that might have triggered this story. I agree with your assessment of the financing; although I'd wager SBE's $329M contribution has only a token cash component.

750M for the Cosmopolitan... Yowzas. True story or sarcasm?

I have never stayed in one, but isn't SLS supposed to be a hip luxury brand? According to their own website...
"Challenging every traditional convention of luxury hospitality, SLS Hotels continues to examine and rethink every possible aspect of the luxury hotel experience to create an entirely new paradigm that is truly in tune with what sophisticated travelers want today."

So, the new luxury paradigm is....just below luxury???

Moody's generated the "just-below-luxury" quote, amirite? I don't think that was Nazarian.

Eck. I'd almost think it would be cheaper to lease a portion of the Frontier site and do a small "ultra exclusive" property that would fit in more with what the SLS brand is supposed to be about. I am sure ELAD would be happy to give the land away at this point.

Do something like a 40,000 sq foot casino, a pool complex, a cafe' and one signature restaurant. Of course one of Sam's nightclubs over looking a beach club or something. Throw up 300 to 400 suites in a low rise hotel tower, complete with balconies. Go after the upper crust patrons of Wynncore.

It wouldn't be plausible though, but I don't think doing anything with the Sahara other than turning it into a parking lot is more plausible either.

@johnd, yes it was moodys, obviously based on what they heard from sbe/stockbridge's doers or due diligence.

@jonasjones deutsche bank has written down gobs of the cosmopolitans value on their balance sheet. i'm just spit ballin' but reasonably convinced that they'd sell it for quite a bit less than $1b.

If they really want "Just below luxury", why not buy up Fontainbleu? It's basically at that level now anyway.

Wow, that is a ridiculously bad name.

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