The Sahara Casino and Hotel and Las Vegas announced today that they will be closing their doors on May 16, 2011. They will layoff about 1050 people. Even though the casino is almost 60 years old and has not had much in the way of renovations it is sad to see it go.
I hate seeing old school landmarks go. If I had it my way Stardust, New Frontier and Westward Ho would still be around. Part of the Las Vegas appeal is its history. Losing a themed classic is not good for the city at all.
This leaves the intersection of Las Vegas Blvd and Sahara Ave with only one functional corner. The NW corner has a large tourist shopping area. The NE corner is a closed nightclub type building, the SE corner is where Sahara now sits and the SW corner has been a vacant lot for years. At one point this part of the strip was going to be the next boom. Now it is littered with unfinished construction, vacant lots and abandoned buildings. It is a true representation of how bad things are in Las Vegas.
This will also affect several other entities. First the Stratosphere can’t be happy to lose its only casino within walking distance. The souvenir shop, the only remaining business at the intersection can’t like losing their only draw, and last but certainly not least the bankrupt Monorail can’t possibly like that its furthest point north will now be just a vacant building. The Monorail has said that the station will remain open.
Hopefully this is the last casualty in the Las Vegas gambling industry although I have a feeling that this is just the beginning.