Home » VT News » SLS Las Vegas: Anatomy Of A Press Release

SLS Las Vegas: Anatomy Of A Press Release

By Chuckmonster on Tuesday, 1st May 2012 11:32am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 18


Yesterday, sbe sent out a press release touting their partial funding of the SLS Las Vegas project to the big media. As expected, most gulped down the whole steaming load without asking any questions or trimming the fat. It sure is amazing how easy manipulating the media is. Simply, send them a perfectly written press release chock full of positive declarations, trendy adjectives, dashes of upbeat hyperbole and a cache of easily repeatable factoids and quotes.... voila!

To help further the understanding of sbe's marketing tactics, I've decided that we will reprint the entire press release. For your ease, I've highlighted the portions of the release that are bullshit and annotated my observations below.

Reading this makes me feel like I owe Jim Murren an apology.

Anyways, here's the SLS Las Vegas Funding announcement:


Funding Signals Improved Economic Growth for Las Vegas and North End of the Strip

Set to Open in 2014, SLS Las Vegas will Feature the Design of Global Visionary Philippe Starck and the Culinary Brilliance of Chef Jose Andres

(Las Vegas) - April 30, 2012 - sbe, an industry-leading hospitality, lifestyle and real estate development company, and Stockbridge Capital Group, LLC, a real estate investment firm, today announced that they have secured $300 million in new funding for the redevelopment of the Sahara Hotel & Casino into the highly anticipated SLS Las Vegas. The news of the funding marks a major milestone for Las Vegas and the north end of the Strip, signaling renewed economic growth for the community and the hospitality and gaming industries.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC raised the funds in less than two weeks, underscoring investor confidence in the project and in sbe's track record of operating successful hotel, restaurant and nightlife brands. The redevelopment is anticipated to create thousands of local jobs beginning in the next two years1.

"We see the northern end of the Strip as the future of Las Vegas, and we're pleased to be positioned at the forefront of that growth," said sbe Founder, Chairman and CEO Sam Nazarian. "Las Vegas has recovered steadily in the past year, and we're excited to be able to inject capital back into the local economy through the adaptive reuse of the famed Sahara."

"This is yet another positive step for the SLS Las Vegas development," said Terry Fancher, Executive Managing Director of Stockbridge Capital Group. "This project brings a new energy level to the north end of the Strip and will help drive the continuing economic rebound in Las Vegas."

"Las Vegas is the premier tourist destination in the world and our hotels and accommodations are like no other. The redevelopment of the iconic Sahara hotel2 will continue this tradition and bring new life to the north end of the Strip," added U.S. Senator Harry Reid. "I thank Sam for his work on this important project that will create thousands of jobs and help Nevada's economy."

"Today's news will make an immediate and positive impact in Las Vegas, infusing hundreds of millions of dollars into our economy and creating thousands of jobs," Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval said. "I commend Sam and his partners for their confidence in our state, and I wish him and his team success as they redevelop this property."

The SLS Las Vegas will be created in a high-style collaboration between Nazarian3, renowned design icon Philippe Starck and James Beard award-winning chef Jose Andres. The property will be Starck's first Las Vegas resort and his largest hospitality project to date. Once complete, SLS Las Vegas will feature an all-encompassing, mixed-use resort and casino with more than 1,600 guest rooms and suites and a collection of sbe's acclaimed restaurant and nightlife brands.

"Ultimately, we're taking our proven brands and re-imagining them4 for SLS Las Vegas in a manner that makes them accessible to a broad audience," added Nazarian.

Applying sbe's approach to adaptive reuse of existing properties5 - as evident with SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, The Redbury and SLS Hotel South Beach - SLS Las Vegas will offer a true boutique resort experience on the Strip.

Veteran Leadership

In addition to the funding, sbe named hospitality and gaming industry veteran Rob Oseland6 as President and Chief Operating Officer of SLS Las Vegas. Oseland was formally with Wynn Resorts. In his new role, he will work in conjunction with Nazarian7 and sbe to develop and launch SLS Las Vegas.

"Rob brings more than two decades of development, gaming and marketing expertise at the highest level8 to SLS Las Vegas," Nazarian said. "His leadership and talents have made Rob a valued member of the Vegas community, and his contributions to sbe will be instrumental to our success."

"I'm thrilled to be working with sbe to usher in the next era in Vegas," said Oseland. "Together, we're developing SLS Las Vegas as an integrated resort and gaming destination that will re-energize the north end of the Strip."

Oseland's hiring comes on the heels of the Clark County Commission's recent permit approval of redevelopment plans for the property. sbe enlisted Gensler Architects, an award-winning global architecture firm9, and Las Vegas-based PENTA Building Group to assist in the redevelopment of the property.

Accessible Luxury

In recent years, the influx of ultra-luxury brands to the Strip began to limit the general consumer's accessibility to dining and entertainment diversions. With this in mind, sbe will create a guest experience at the SLS Las Vegas that is just as accessible as it is appealing.10

"We're seeing demand11 for a different experience - a refreshing, fun and accessible take on Vegas luxury - and the hospitality brands that we've developed over the years lend themselves very well to the classic timelessness that Vegas has always been known for," said Nazarian. "With SLS Las Vegas, we're bringing those brands to the Strip and creating a refreshing new experience that's designed for everyone."12

Once complete, SLS Las Vegas will feature an imaginative mix of sbe brands, including The Bazaar by Jose Andres, Katsuya by Starck, a reinvention of sbe's original nightlife concept, Shelter and new brands currently in development.13

Expanding the sbe Hospitality Platform

With a thriving hospitality footprint in Los Angeles and beyond, sbe has been able to harness the global appeal of Southern California and Hollywood to help fuel its rapid growth and critical acclaim.

In the past 18 months14, sbe has launched a widely popular new hotel brand in Hollywood, The Redbury; opened two of Los Angeles' top-rated new restaurants, Cleo and Mercato di Vetro; and has expanded the Katsuya brand nationwide to Houston, San Diego, Orange County and Miami. In the nightlife world, sbe has launched The Sayers Club and Greystone Manor, which have become Hollywood's most exclusive destinations; as well as announced a partnership with the Miami Heat to open Hyde AmericanAirlines Arena later this year. Crowning the recent surge in growth is SLS Hotel South Beach, set to open in the coming weeks.

"The sbe platform has allowed us to create a new vocabulary in lifestyle hospitality, with a seamless integration of hotel, restaurant, nightlife and entertainment through one voice," added Nazarian 15. "With Los Angeles being Vegas' No. 1 feeder market, we're anticipating SLS Las Vegas will resonate powerfully with a clientele already familiar with our brands and uncompromising level of service."16

To learn more about sbe, please visit sbe.com or download the sbe App here. To friend sbe on Facebook click here and to follow us on the Twitter click here.

--- - --- - - -- --- ---


1: What jobs? Construction jobs? Or actual hotel operations jobs within two years?

2: Senator Reid refers to the project as the "iconic Sahara hotel" not as SLS Las Vegas... a slap in the face.

3: Ego mention of the Nazarian brand. Perhaps he needs a logo?

4: Equals lowering the price tag and/or decreasing quality. The first expectation managing escape clause.

5: Buying the Cosmopolitan and turning it into an SLS could constitute "adaptive reuse" as well.

6: Rob Oseland was the COO of Encore who worked under Andrew Pascal's umbrella at Wynn. I've met him numerous times... he was a super nice guy. This is a great hire.... not so sure if he counts as "veteran" though. I doubt he's over 40. Tom McCartney is a veteran.

7: Another ego mention.

8: I doubt Jim Murren appreciates this commentary from his partner at Bellagio.

9: Known in Las Vegas for their stellar job organizing CityCenter.

10: Aka "Just Below Luxury." Again with the expectations management escape clause.

11: While you're looking in the crystal ball Sam, do see who is gonna win the 2012 World Series?

12: The "something for everyone" line doesn't jibe with the abstract Starck design aesthetic. Unless a "prison sex" craze is sweeping the nation.

13: "It slices, it dices, it juliennes.... But wait there's more!"

14: Nazarian is the master brandsturbator. Welcome to the obligatory section where sbe trots out the names of all of their other things they've given clever names and hip logos to. While we've got you held hostage, please allow us to tack on a bunch more brand awareness for you to swallow. Proctor & Gamble got nuthin' on this, bitch.

15: There is absolutely no way Nazarian said this. This sentence is too clever to be spoken by a guy who proved in his VT comment that he can't spell for shit. Also, it is total bullshit. Hotel, nightclub, restaurants all organized by one team? He might as well take credit for inventing the egg shell while he's at it.

16: "a clientele already familiar with our brands and uncompromising level of service" I'm familiar!

Tagged: sls las vegas   sbe   sam nazarian   sahara   


Comments & Discussion:

Ummm, are you taking a shot at Jose Andres? That line's about the only bit here that isn't total BS.

Follow the money. Was this $300M really new money or refinancing? Did JPM sell bonds? at junk rating? at what interest rate? or was it private investment w/ or w/o collateral?

There are some interesting details about reducing the number of rooms and skeletonizing a couple towers.

@weatherman nope. good point tho... i will edit that back.

I guess JPMorgan Chase will be owning a resort in Vegas within a few years. Sammy Boy seems to like to talk out of his ass, as evidenced in the following Bloomberg piece on this:


"The casino at SLS Las Vegas will be on a single floor, unlike other new developments on the Strip, which have multiple gaming levels, Nazarian said."

Other than The D (nee Fitzgerald's), I cannot think of another property in Las Vegas with gaming on multiple floors (unless you want to include the high roller salons at a few properties).

"The casino at SLS Las Vegas will have one main entrance, unlike other new developments on the Strip, which have multiple entrances"

The one main entrance will be via the Monorail station.......

Via the future!!!

When this monorail hits 88 miles per hour, you're going to see some serious shit....

Wow. Good stuff, Chuck.

I wish I could give every young business reporter a couple of grand to sink in to some kind of scheme like this so they could find out just how much truth there is in this kind of release.

If you were going to spend that much money, that far up the Strip, wouldn't you just buy the Fontaineblow and finish it up?

The last strip property to try a multi level gaming experience was when the second version of the Aladdin had the London Club on a second floor..how did that work out?

The only other multi floor experience in North America that I'm aware of is at Mohegan Sun..where the gaming is on a ground floor, and a smattering of bars and eateries are on a second floor..if that's what they're thinking of it might work...

But is what is 300 million going to get them? That's more than what the Tropicana had to work with, and they were able to do some casino and room renovations...

The future of the Strip is the north end? Anybody ask Boyd what they think about that one, since Echelon is still just a sign and a fence?

To finish up Fontainebleau would require someone with at least several billion dollars at their disposal. I remember hearing at the time Icahn acquired the property that the estimated cost to finish the property at that time was somewhere in the $1.5-2.5 Billion range. This was with everything that was in place in the structure as well as the furnishings that were already purchased. Now that Crazy Carl held his clearance sale and sold off the furnishings as well as stripped the structures of anything of value scrap-wise (leaving the skeleton and the skin of the buildings), it may be cheaper to tear the place down and build anew.

First, let me state the obvious and say that any SLS property isn't for me and I'm clearly not who they want for a customer. But, I think this can work.
It seems to me that this over the top hyperbole sounds like the stuff we have been reading over the last 20 years from Wynn and every other operator who has chased that market. That type of business requires that level of B.S. I don't like the empty, Paris Hilton, Kardashian, Beautiful People kinda "thang", but I think it can be very profitable.
Now, let me look at their business model and make speculative guesses about much of how they operate. I'm gonna say that their Los Angeles business is solid and has matured enough to cover the shortfall in the purchase of the Sahara. They have been able to secure funding and partners fully able to underwrite their expansions into Miami and New York. The only question mark is the Sahara redo.
I'm gonna say that the SLS Las Vegas will open with one tower redone (something like 800 rooms) and less than the entire footprint of the casino and dining open.

This just in: Leisure/Tourism/Nightlife company uses excessive hyperbole in a press release. The shocking truth exposed!

fwiw there are places out east that have gaming on multiplre levels. The casino at Deleware park has two levels, as does the smaller building at PARX, I think, and the Mohegan Sun in Wilkes-Barre.

I'm not certain if Maryland Live wil lbe dual level. Given the number of slots and hte size of the building, it might be.

More on target, Sam;s full of shit. Anyone surprised? Anyone? No? Good.

Both Sands and Claridge in AC were multi-level, as was the Playboy/Atlantis/Trump World's Fair. (Seeing a pattern? None of these still exist, though the Claridge's rooms are part of Bally's AC.) The Tropicana AC (when I was there last) had gambling on multiple levels, but most of its action is one one floor.

Fitzgerald's in Reno was on two floors. It's been closed for 4 years.

In Downtown LV, the Plaza has a few slot machines in front of its bingo hall on the 2nd floor, which might make it technically a multi-floor property but not really. Sam's Town, Palace Station, and the Orleans also have a few machines on their second floors, if I recall correctly.

Technically, you could call Encore a multi-level casino property, since it has the Sky Casino.

Outside of what's already been mentioned, I can't think of anything to add.

I wonder why the story didn't mention the fact that Sam the Sham cant get a gaming license? Or that the Sahara likely finally shut down because the NGC wouldn't issue an extension (again) for Navagante gaming to run the casino due to Sammy's lack of said license? This guy Rob Oseland? Why does he look so much to me like old style clueless frontman Allen R Glick who "operated" the Stardust while Lefty also couldn't get a gaming permit? This property will likely never have a casino again as long as Sam has anything to do with it. I hope he spends all this 'newly found' money on refurbishing then get denied by NGC for gaming and have it go to waste.

Actually, I forgot...Cesar's AC is dual story as well.

FWIW, there are some properties in Tunica that are multi-level as well. Probably a function of the previous river barge only rules, trying to cram as many machines into a riverfront building as possible.

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