SLS Las Vegas has already promised change this year, but who could have guessed that they’d opt for the old and familiar. A June 27 announcement by the casino indicated that it will change it’s name back to The Sahara, the name the property previously had between 1952 and 2011.
The Las Vegas Sun reports the announcement was made after a fireworks and drone display above the pool area. SLS’s general manager Paul Hobson told the media that this isn’t an attempt to return to a past glory:
“I drive to work every morning on Sahara Avenue. It’s a name that’s embedded in the city and in the lore of the city, but we’re not looking back so much as looking forward.”
The idea to change the name dates back to early 2018 when the casino changed ownership to Alex Meruelo and Hobson was hired. “It was one of the first conversations we had,” Hobson said. “We landed on Sahara as being a very appealing option. A lot of people speculated that it was going to be Grand Sahara Resort because that would match Mr. Meruelo’s Grand Sierra Resort property in Reno. We just thought that Sahara, without any modifiers, was powerful.”
In a dramatic reveal, the drone show revealed the name in lights floating in the air above the resort property. Hobson noted that some redesigns will be necessary, but expects all the new signs and lights to be installed by October, when they will officially start advertising the property as the Sahara once again.
These plans will be included in the previously announced $100 million renovation that is currently ongoing. Those plans called for a new gaming floor, new hotel rooms and a new Mexican restaurant.
When the renovations were first announced, it was speculated the SLS Las Vegas might be renamed to the Grand Sahara Resort, but those plans were ditched because it would be too similar to the Grand Sierra Resort which Meruelo also owns. Opting for the simpler and more historic Sahara name just seems to make a lot more sense, too.