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Seeing SLS Las Vegas Through The Raindrops

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 16th April 2012 4:25pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 8


I'll spare the preamble and cut right to the chase: I don't believe a thing SBE Entertainment says. From the moment SBE announced the purchase of Sahara and their plans to turn it into a $250/night destination hotel to his handwritten promise taped to the front door on Sahara's final day, something about Sam Nazarian doesn't pass the smell test. Perhaps it was the first time I read a PR description of postage stamp sized West Hollywood cafe/bar "The Abbey" which made it seem like they served nectar from the fountain of youth. I had been to The Abbey a dozen or so times previously... it is a postage stamp sized brick terrace with a bar and a semi decent cafe menu. Jesus didn't eat here, nor did Elvis. The SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills is not the most beautiful hotel in Los Angeles or Las Vegas. The vibe is somewhat hoity toity, but without Jose Andres' "Bazaar" this place would be a ghost town. While I'm here, can I complain about how they move diners who enter the dessert phase of their meal to different tables in the goddamn Assouline gift shop? Yeah. This isn't elegant, this is an insulting way of increasing the number of covers Bazaar can do.

The latest round in my SBE questioning came a few weeks ago with the release of nonsensical information by Moody's Investor Service. I ranted about it. Dr. Dave gave a more thorough analysis. Both of us came away with the same conclusion, the Sahara/SLS doesn't add up.

While driving around rainy Los Angeles the other day, I came upon a shred of information that made me understand exactly what SBE is financing.


In the vicinity of the SLS Beverly Hills there are two billboards, one digital (above) and one hard copy (below) which tout the growth strategy of SBE Entertainment's SLS Hotels brand.


For those who can't see through the rain drops or light poles, here is what they say.

Beverly Hills
South Beach May 2012
New York City 2013
Las Vegas 2014

See Luxury Spread

Why would SBE put up this billboard? It doesn't exactly advertise the SLS hotel two blocks away. It doesn't tout the rooms, the service, the bar or the dining, which is essentially what 99.999% of the folks who drive by these TWO billboards - both perched above the expensive-to-advertise-at intersection of San Vicente Blvd/Burton Way/La Cienega Blvd - would be interested in.

I doubt that this is an ego massaging board, intended to puff up Sam & Co as they sit at the light en route to a snack at Bazaar. This billboard, along with the calculated leak to Moody's, is part of a "Look At Us Grow" marketing campaign to entice investors to pony up some cash to get on board either by buying corporate bonds or diving head first into the long discussed SBE IPO.

We'll let you decide if Sam is telling the truth or if this is another one of SBE/Stockbridge's looking for cash roadshows.

Tagged: sls las vegas   sahara   sam nazarian   


Comments & Discussion:

I thought The Abbey was a gay hookup joint. Maybe it was that they tied their brand to GLBT pool parties at Vdara in 2010.

On the other hand, you've opened my eyes as to where the latest crap in town is coming from. As the CityCosmo district has built up next to Bellagio, I've been wondering where the hell they find brands like "Assouline," which makes the Hermes and Prada stuff from the Wynn era sound downright practical. Apparently this stuff flows from Beverly Hills.

everything in west hollywood is a gay hook up joint to some extent. at night it turns into a bar, during the day it is a non-fancy cafe.

Is that Mr. Roboto on the billboard?

I have to admit I like the SLS Beverly Hills. I only spent an afternoon in their cafe/bar area (so I didn't do Bazaar, unfortunately), but I had a good time. The staff/service culture was very Cosmo-like (in the good way, informal/friendly/helpful/funny, which I like), and they made PROPER Long Island Iced Teas (which are illegal in my country unless you make them yourself). All the SLS acronyms are funny, too. I didn't find it hoity-toity at all, but then again I was staying at the Beverly Wilshire and I've stayed at the Peninsula in Hong Kong, perhaps that desensitized me (and on a side-note, Peninsula service is MUCH more "grovel grovel" than Four Seasons service (and the BW is a Four Seasons), although the Beverly Hills Peninsula is less grovelly than the HK one).

They also gave me a 10% discount on my food and booze bill because I had the card of one of their VIP hosts (I met one at Hyde Bellagio).

That said, would I do an SLS Vegas? I'd certainly check it out, but I doubt I'd stay there. The location alone puts it out of the running. But would I want to drop in for an afternoon of eat/drink? I'd certainly do that.

Assouline? Really? That's the name? Sounds like what you get after one too many deep fired dishes.

Dr. Dave's observation question of Mr. Roboto, made me go back and examine the photos more. I think I'm more convinced then ever that we are doomed as a society. "Admin Professionals" week, really? We can't call them Secretary's any more or even the Administration Assistant name we cooked up in the 90's? Sorry for the off topic comment.

Back to point, I agree with your assessment, SBE is full of shit and is reduced to 'corporate panhandling' (begging would be un PC)


I feel like I need some kind of exam after having SBE's luxury spread all over me. Yuck.

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