Sahara Las Vegas is coming to life with new leisure choices
The promise of excitement in Sahara Las Vegas 2021 has officially become a reality.
The legendary casino resort on the Las Vegas Strip first opened in 1952, changed hands several times as is common in such places, had a challenging period as SLS Las Vegas from 2014 to 2019 and returned to the Meruelo Group two years ago Bought back its original name in 2017.
An ongoing $ 150 million renovation has already drastically changed the look and feel of the casino, lobby area, and various hotel rooms and spaces, but the middle of this year will bring major changes and additions to entertainment, nightlife, and dining. Movie star Channing Tatum’s hit Magic Mike Live show finally reopened last week in Las Vegas in a new 450-seater theater in the Sahara Desert, and the 35,000-square-foot Azilo Ultra Pool is slated to open over the coming weekend Labor Day.
“It’s busy here,” said Yannick Mugnier, a longtime manager of Las Vegas nightlife who was recently named Vice President of Development for the Meruelo Group. “It was really nice to interact with [owner Alex Meruelo] because he is always so enthusiastic about an idea and then pursues and develops it. And he looks at what’s great in the long run. I can’t say enough about all the projects and things that will happen on this property in the next year and a half or two. “
Azilo, an indoor-outdoor entertainment venue that takes up the space of the Sahara’s main resort pool and the former Foxtail day club and nightclub, is outfitted with upscale Moroccan decor and approximately 10,000 square feet of LED screen space designed to be the ultimate home spot and corporate events as well as live music performances, club-style DJ performances, sports watch parties, and more.
Although it opens before the end of summer, the space wasn’t created to rival the big pool parties and day clubs on the Strip, Mugnier said.
“We’re going a different way. We’re not a day club, but a venue that mainly hosts concerts, DJ activities, upscale brunch and [private events]”He said.” It’s a really cool space and it’s scalable. This whole environment can change, so … it’s going to be a pretty unique experience. With a range of 2,000 people, it’ll probably be one of the best places to have a party or a be an event. “
Azilo will be organizing a few concerts and events before winter but will wait until next year to really go into full swing and show his full capabilities, Mugnier said. On September 25th, it will host the after party for the opening ceremony of Magic Mike Live, which held its first public show in the Sahara on Friday night.
The alternative to the traditional Vegas revue for men has grown significantly since it opened at the Hard Rock Hotel in 2017 and has expanded to include tours and resident shows in London, Berlin and Australia. Executive producer Vincent Marini said the construction of the new Magic Mike Theater in the Sahara and the reopening of the flagship production in Las Vegas is the culmination of all the experience the team has had over the past four years.
“We’ve learned a lot since the first time and really figured out what the perfect place to enjoy the experience,” said Marini. “For the first time we have this entire pre and post show lounge experience so you scan your ticket and that takes you to this beautiful bar and lounge where you can hang out, have a drink and chill out before the show, a different atmosphere there to get out. “
Unlike its previous venue in Vegas, this theater was designed and built specifically for this show. There are zip lines that can carry artists around the room in seconds, and stages with glass ledges on the second level that encircle the room, “so even on that level there are people standing inches away from you,” Marini said. “We were able to find ways to ensure that each seat was a truly unique, cool, fun experience, and had access to the cast so you never felt like you’re far from the action.”
He noted that the entire cast and crew of the show were all fully vaccinated to make the audience feel safe and secure as they entered.
Another big Sahara development is expected in September with the opening of Chickie’s & Pete’s, the Philadelphia favorite, voted the best sports bar on the East Coast by ESPN. The bar and restaurant will take over the indoor and outdoor areas overlooking Las Vegas Boulevard and currently have 60 vacancies at the front and rear of the property.
After Chickie’s & Pete’s, a Chinese restaurant called Noodle Den, and chef Shawn McClain’s new Italian concept Ballo, there are two more new dining concepts that have already been announced. Mugnier said the resort is planning to partner with chef José Andrés on another restaurant to match its successful Bazaar Meat, the only remaining restaurant from the SLS days.
Next up is the Sahara Theater, where a full renovation is expected soon to create a new, state-of-the-art venue. Formerly known as the Foundry, the theater is currently the permanent residence of comedian Eddie Griffin Monday through Wednesday.
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