Last Friday, SAHARA Las Vegas celebrated its 70-year anniversary. The original developer, Milton Prell, opened the hotel on October 7, 1952. The first expansion happened in 1954, adding more hotel rooms. Three new hotel towers were later added in 1960, 1963, and 1988, receptively.
The anniversary celebration also includes an exhibition “70 Years of Extraordinary Images: SAHARA’s History in Photographs,” which includes historical images of SAHARA from 1952 to present. The collection of iconic images sourced from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) Archive includes vintage images of entertainers and public figures, including Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra.
In 2011, the property underwent a redevelopment as SLS Las Vegas before reopening in 2014. In 2017, Alex Meruelo and his company, Meruelo Gaming, announced the purchase of the SLS Las Vegas and its rebranding to SAHARA Las Vegas. Since its reopening in 2019, hotel underwent a $200 million renovation.
At the celebration event, Alexis Meruelo, chief vision and purpose officer for Meruelo Gaming, made a surprise $15,000 donation to the Epicurean Charitable Foundation, which provides scholarships for students to attend the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ hospitality school.