Monday, May 16, 2011

Sun sets on the Sahara

The Moroccan-themed Sahara Hotel and Casino closes Monday, ending a 59-year run. Once a hangout for Elvis Presley and the Beatles, the Las Vegas resort was stricken in recent years by the recession.

In its heyday, the Sahara was a favorite haunt of the Frank Sinatra-led Rat Pack, featuring Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., who also performed there. The resort even had a cameo in the original "Ocean's Eleven" movie.

In 2007, Los Angeles nightclub impresario Sam Nazarian took over and vowed to reinvigorate the property. But in March, his company, SBE Entertainment, announced that continuing business was "no longer economically viable."

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