Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

March 3, 2007

Sahara Sold to CA Businessman

Posted by Hunter

The Sahara on the Las Vegas Strip, which has been up for sale and looking for the right buyer, has finally been sold.

The Bennett family, now former owners, had been shopping it along with two other land parcels adjacent and across the Strip. They decided to sell the property and hold on to that land.

Technorati Tags: , , ,


Read archived comments (10 so far)
March 3, 2007 1:00 PM Posted by mike_ch

The price is supposedly a lot less than what they wanted for it. I'm not surprised. Whether that property will be a boom or bust with the busy convention crowd nearby will depend greatly on if they're going to build anew and if then what firm they hire.

March 3, 2007 1:50 PM Posted by detroit1051

"...25.84 acres directly across from the hotel on Las Vegas Boulevard, and 11.31 acres east of the Sahara on Paradise Road. The Bennett family is retaining the other two parcels in the current transaction."

The two parcels the Bennetts are keeping will be worth a great deal in five or so years as the north Strip is further developed and some of the current developments (Echelon, CityCenter) are digested. Turnberry may eventually want the 11 acres on Paradise to expand its Turnberry Towers project. The Map at Vegas Today and Tomorrow is helpful to me:

March 3, 2007 7:32 PM Posted by Chris

I saw this story today as well, IMO this is some of the most interesting news about the Strip I've seen in awhile. SBE is not as well-known as Starwood's W brand or Morgan's Hotel Group, but SBE's hospitality venues target that same market, and they are a company diverse enough to support a large capital investment in the Sahara site.

SBE Entertainment Group

The spokesman says a lot without really saying anything when he says: "We have not yet finalized our redevelopment plans. Capital investment, timeline of improvements, what will be upgraded, theme changing -- none of these can be answered right now."

To me that implies they made this purchase with serious redevelopment in mind, not just as an asset to sit on like previous owners.

This news to me is the tipping point for the strip between Sahara-DI one day becoming a more viable version of the hyped "Harmon Corridor" that never materialized, where the young hip and wealthy L.A. crowd will live and play.

Allure, SBE, Las Vegas Tower, Sky, Maxim, Fontainebleau, Mondrian, Delano... All it would take to reach critical mass for this neighbourhood is for MGM to announce implosion & redevelopment of Circus-Circus and/or Riviera to announce a deal that would replace it with a high-end property.

March 4, 2007 7:32 PM Posted by BrianFey

Good news. Something needs to happen with that property. I am really hoping Riviera and Sahara can be leveled or greatly improved. Both are just an eye sore on the north end of the strip. If we can get some new nicer things on that end, the rest will take care of itself I think. I really hope these rumors about CC being taken down by 2010 are right, and it gets remade as well. I really think Echelon Place should set the tone for the north end.

March 4, 2007 7:36 PM Posted by Christian

excellent commentary chris. i like that approach.

March 7, 2007 1:31 PM Posted by Gregory_Zephyr

I would be surprised if they leveled Sahara to start anew. Although Nazarian and his partners have some deep pockets, it might be difficult to swing financing of the purchase and then have to forgo hundreds of millions in earnings for a few years while the property is torn down and rebuilt. My guess is they'll approach it similarly to Tropicana or Planet Hollywood (let's just hope they don't try painting it blue). MGM, Wynn, Boyd, Harrah's, Sands, etc. have other income generating assets so they can afford to do something like that. These investors that come in with the need to keep up cash flow will be hard-pressed to make major changes.

March 7, 2007 4:06 PM Posted by mike_ch

If they want to compete with any fish bigger than Riviera and Imperial Palace, then I'm sorry but they're going to have to build anew.

March 11, 2007 4:51 PM Posted by Chris

This link was posted in another thread but I think it is worth referencing in this topic as well -

It goes into more detail along the lines of what I posted earlier about the Spring Mtn-Sahara district.

Of course like the Harmon Corridor, interest could fizzle out. While Echelon Place seems like a sure thing, the Fontainebleau plans are hanging over this area just like the much-hyped W hangs over Harmon - a grand cornerstone project announced years ago that has nothing to show for itself today but a trailer (and even W has a bigger trailer than Fontainebleau).

March 11, 2007 6:21 PM Posted by John

Chris, Fontainebleau, from what I have seen is a GO. They're digging a huge hole and are getting ready to drill for foundation (I last saw pics about three weeks ago). The development is being kept under, almost, Wynn-tight security. Honestly, the resort has moved ahead with little more than a few Planning Commission details. However, I'm really excited about this development and can't wait to see the redering that the webmaster over at VTAT has, when he can post it.

March 12, 2007 2:45 PM Posted by mike_ch

With a renewed hope for the Sahara, Fountainebleau underway, and Turnberry as as successful as they've been, one can only hope that this joker with the plan for an 1800ft hotel tower will give up already and makes a nice profit on his Wet n Wild property. The only question is will Schaeffer or Nazarian buy it first.

I can only assume this is what will happen. It would seem the reason that developer released such early sketches of his ridiculous tower is because the residents nearby were petitioning the county to condemn the property as an eyesore as the remaining structures from the water park have been vandalized to the point of being unrecognizable anymore. If there had no announced plans for the property, the county would have been at right to take action.