The Sahara Hotel and Casino has been operating for nearly 50 years... so naturally, like all great things in Vegas, the old resort will be shutting down operations in May. The current owners planned to renovate the resort to make it relevant for the current (douchey) Vegas trends, but at this point the plan is to close the doors of the Rat Pack era resort. While the casino will not be imploded any time soon, that's probably because there's no money to start building a new mega-resort in its place.
The failure of The Sahara to attract visitors can be attributed to the economy, but that should have helped the resort in some ways as they offered some of the lowest room rates on The Strip. Equal blamed can be placed on the fact that The Sahara exists in a bit of a no-man's land, across from the empty lot where The Stardust once stood proud, and to the fact that the Sahara's style can't keep up with the slicker current trends. It's sad to see a classic go and it's just proof that what seems hot, sexy and state of the art right now will seem outdated and faded in a few short years.
I've already written enough in my Stardust piece about the changing face of Vegas the loss of old-school, Rat Pack style hangs. I'm not going to bemoan the sad loss of The Sahara... instead I'll celebrate it, with this slideshow of vintage images from the famous hotel, including a couple from when The Beatles rocked the resort.
And If you want a Sahara-style Vegas experience, your best bet at this point is to head Downtown.