Sahara Hotel-Casino Closing

The iconic Vegas hangout will close its doors for good in May.

By Julie Jessup
|  Friday, Mar 11, 2011  |  Updated 5:48 PM PDT
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Sahara Hotel-Casino Closing

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An icon on the Vegas strip for decades, the Sahara will close down on May 16.

The Sahara, longtime hangout of the Rat Pack and one of the oldest resorts on the Las Vegas strip will close in May, the ownership said Friday.

Chief Executive Sam Nazarian said the old casino is simply "no longer economically viable."

He did not disclose what would become of the property.

The Sahara has fallen on hard times in recent years, as has much of Las Vegas. With the closing of the Sahara, the north end of the strip will be left looking as bleak and barren as, well, the Sahara.

When Nazarian bought the resort in 2007, people hoped for a revival. But in Vegas, you just never know. The economy only got worse, and it never allowed for the place to be remodeled and spruced up.

The Moroccan-themed resort opened in 1952 and was a favorite haunt of Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack, with scenes from the original Ocean's Eleven movie being filmed there.

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