In an interview with the LA Times, Sahara 'operator' Sam Nazarian claims that the plan all along was to close the hotel for renovations and for it to re-open in 2014 as "SLS Las Vegas, with six restaurants and two nightclubs".
"We've spent $30 million in design development drives; we're shovel-ready," said Nazarian, who formed his company in 2002 with proceeds from real estate investments as well as a wireless telecommunications company he sold. "If we were admitting defeat we would have admitted it."
Uh-huh. A few questions:
- What exactly has he spent $30 million on designing?
- Why no mention of the secret plan when the resort's closing was announced?
- How much will this renovation cost? He's only got three years so unless he's not going for major upgrades, work had better start by the end of 2011 if he wants to make 2014.
- Who is going to lend him this money and put cash into a North Strip property that is neighbors to a dirt lot and the ugliest unfinished building in America?
As Jeff said on Twitter - "I'm skeptical. Very."