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Jennifer Robison

Former NASCAR Cafe demolished as part of Sahara renovation

13 May 2013

LAS VEGAS -- Demolition work continued Friday at the Sahara where workers began dismantling the former NASCAR Cafe.

The work was just a small part of the ongoing renovation project, which also calls for stripping down and remodeling two of the property’s three hotel towers and demolishing a low-rise hotel building. The 1,620-room property is scheduled to reopen in fall 2014 as the SLS Las Vegas, a rebirth for a storied Strip resort that fell on hard times in the recession and finally closed in May 2011 after punishingly low room rates made it economically viable.

Remodeling at the Sahara began in February, after Los Angeles-based owner SBE Entertainment got the final piece of $415 million in financing to overhaul the buildings.

When it reopens, the SLS Las Vegas will include restaurants such as Umami Burger and nightclubs including Shelter, as well as seven outlets belonging to Fred Segal, an upscale clothing retailer based in California.

SLS Las Vegas will be the largest outpost in a national chain that will also have properties in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami by late 2014.

Gensler Architects and Penta Building Group are overseeing the renovation. J.P. Morgan Securities is financing the construction.

If you’re looking for memorabilia from inside the Sahara and the NASCAR Cafe, you’re a little late: Those items were sold in a 2012 estate sale.