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Seven Out: Vintage Sahara Hotel-Casino to Close

Last updated: March 11, 2011 at 2:19 pm. Posted by in Gaming, Las Vegas Casinos, Las Vegas Hotels. Comments Off on Seven Out: Vintage Sahara Hotel-Casino to Close.

One of the Las Vegas Strip’s most iconic landmarks, the Sahara, has announced it will close on May 16, 2011.

Representatives of the Sahara have stated it’s no longer “economically viable” to operate the classic hotel.

Sahara hotel Las Vegas

Oh, great, now we're getting a little weepy.

The Moroccan-themed Sahara is one of the few remaining Rat Pack-era hotels in Las Vegas. It opened in 1952, just the sixth resort to be built on the Las Vegas Strip.

Among the historic hotel’s most memorable moments were when it hired musician Louis Prima as a late night lounge act in 1954, and in 1956, it was the last place Abbott and Costello appeared together before the comedy duo parted ways for good.

The Sahara has hosted some of the biggest names in entertainment over the years, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli and a slew of comedic talent like George Carlin, Imogene Coca, Bill Cosby, Don Rickles and others.

The Sahara was one of the five hotels featured in the original “Ocean’s Eleven” movie, made in 1960.

Ocean's 11

A still from 1960's "Ocean's 11," complete with an even-toed ungulate, whatever that might be.

Bonus thing you probably didn’t know about the Sahara: The hotel was originally called Club Bingo.

Another big moment in Vegas history: The Sahara hosted the very first blackjack tournament in Las Vegas, back in 1978.

Closing, too, will be the hotel’s 75,000-square-foot casino, and its familiar roller coaster, “Speed: The Ride,” as well as its House of Lords steakhouse and NASCAR Cafe.

Read more about this sad news at the Las Vegas Sun and Las Vegas Review Journal.

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