SLS Las Vegas takes a big step with groundbreaking

By fall 2014, there will be 1,620 more hotel rooms for travelers visiting Las Vegas – as well as a Fred Segal-branded retail experience.

Construction of the SLS Las Vegas, which is part of the exclusive SLS Hotels brand by sbe, is beginning today at the southeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue. It’s where the remains of the former Sahara Hotel & Casino, which closed in May 2011, stand awaiting a massive makeover.

SLS Las Vegas rendering

A rendering of SLS Las Vegas (photo courtesy of

Sbe describes SLS Las Vegas as “an all-encompassing, mixed-use resort and casino.” A Los Angeles-based hospitality company that develops and operates award-winning hotels, restaurants and nightlife venues, it has teamed up with the equity firm Stockbridge Capital Group of San Francisco to revitalize the property. In fact, the remainder of the more than $400 million in financing required for the project was secured earlier this week.

“It’s a proud day for sbe, our partners at Stockbridge and the Vegas community as we embark on a historic chapter for SLS Las Vegas,” said Sam Nazarian, the visionary founder, chairman and CEO of sbe. “We’re very excited to deliver a new idea to Vegas in terms of brands, approachability, operations and infrastructure, and to achieve our goal of helping to revitalize the north end of the Strip.”

Additionally, sbe has enlisted the talents of several leaders in the hospitality industry – such as design icon Philippe Starck, the globally acclaimed Gensler Architects and award-winning chefs José Andrés and Katsuya Uechi. All of them are pleased to celebrate the start of construction as well.

SLS Las Vegas logoPlans call for SLS Las Vegas to showcase a collection of unique restaurants including The Bazaar by Andrés, Katsuya by Starck, Umami Burger and The Griddle Café, which is revered in L.A. for its oversized pancakes. Among the four nightlife experiences being created for the resort, sbe will reinvent Shelter, its original nightclub concept. The Sayers Club, considered L.A.’s most exclusive live music venue, will also have a presence. And, as mentioned above, there will be a 10,000-square-foot Fred Segal retail experience, featuring seven of the esteemed brand’s boutiques – so guests can expect to shop from a wide range of stylish merchandise.

SLS Las Vegas is becoming a member of sbe’s family of existing hotels comprised of the SLS Beverly Hills and SLS South Beach, along with The Raleigh (in South Beach) and The Redbury (in L.A.). More hotels are being developed in the U.S. in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Austin, Seattle and Washington, D.C., as well as in the Middle East and Asia.

“Sbe and SLS Hotels properties will be operational in every core urban market in America by the time SLS Las Vegas opens, which is an advantage no other hotel-casino owner on the Strip has,” said Sam Bakhshandehpour, the president of sbe. “Through our strategic expansion into markets like Miami, Philadelphia, Seattle, Boston, Houston and New York, we’re able to build considerable consumer awareness for the SLS Las Vegas product on a national scale.”

Indeed, SLS Las Vegas is a wonderful project. It’s expected to be a magnificent hotel and great addition to the city’s hotel scene. Located close to both Interstate 15 and downtown Las Vegas, the resort will be targeting everyone from young adults and hipsters to residents and traveling professionals.

“With our proximity to a resurgent downtown community and the convention center, and our mix of nationally relevant brands, SLS Las Vegas is ideally positioned to appeal to locals, destination tourists and conventioneers,” said Rob Oseland, the president of SLS Las Vegas. “Today is a day we’ve all been waiting for, and we’re thrilled to be a part of reinvigorating a legendary section of the Strip.”


I’m a Las Vegas native. By profession, I write at Mostly about the city’s hotels, but on other topics – gaming and transportation – too. I really love staying at hotels. And the ones here are among the biggest and best in the world. Some key things I’ve learned: Resort fees are inescapable (frustrating but true), a friendly attitude at the front desk may score you a great view and over-the-top room amenities – bath butlers, Japanese tea service, menus with “intimate” items – do exist. What else should you know about me? Well, I’m comfortable at a blackjack table. And I like eating late-night pancakes in hotel coffee shops. A lot. Follow Renee on Google+.