SLS Las Vegas prepares for grand opening - 8 News NOW

SLS Las Vegas prepares for grand opening

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LAS VEGAS -- A little more than two years after the iconic Sahara Hotel and Casino closed its doors, the SLS Las Vegas is getting ready to take over the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue.

The opening for this newest resort on the north end of the Las Vegas Strip is just 9 days away and excitement is building up both inside and outside the property.

Thousands of new employees have been going through their orientation this week. The grand opening will be at midnight on Saturday, Aug. 23.

Unveiling a new hotel and casino is all about building up suspense, and not just for the incoming guests but also for the nearly 3,500 workers hired to open the property.

"I like to be the first to officially welcome you to SLS Las Vegas," said Arash Azarbarzins, an SLS executive.

SLS managers say they are ready to take over what used to be the Sahara hotel. The hotel opened on that corner more than 60 years ago.

"It's 100 percent different than what the Sahara used to be," said Chrystal Herndon, vice president of human resources for SLS. "It's night and day, night and day."

With the finishing touches still being put in place, hotel executives wouldn't allow cameras inside. They did provide artist renderings. All 1,600 rooms have been renovated, there are 10 restaurants, three nightclubs and a revamped casino area.

Charlotte Summerfield, a supervisor at the World's Largest Gift Shop across from the SLS, is excited to see a property that will attract people to the north end of the Strip.

"Now it's coming alive," she said. "We need to do something with this corner, but let me tell you, with the marquee and what I am seeing on the outside, it's going to be beautiful."

"It's nine days away. There's just a sense of excitement here right now. We are ready," Herndon said,

She says more than half of the staff is currently working on site and the hotel is also been taking online reservations. The theme of the hotel is "affordable luxury." Room rates start around $81 a night.


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