The Sahara in Las Vegas closed two of its three towers this week leaving only the Tangiers tower open. That’s the original tower at the casino. The towers will be closed through the holiday season and if demand picks up the towers will, obviously, re-open.
Michael Zaletel, owner of travel site i4vegas.com, said hotels often shut down rooms during slow seasons to help reduce expenses and salaries.
Sahara also shut down its buffet last week, as it does every year at this time.
Room capacity is increasing on the Las Vegas strip this month with the opening of CityCenter. The easiest, short term, way to save money is to lower capacity at the hotel. I wouldn’t be surprised if other casinos follow suit.
Stiffs and Georges mentions that room rates will continue their downward trend until March where they will begin to creep up again. Everywhere, except Harrah’s that is.
Last year we saw Bally’s closed its sportsbook after football season and I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens again this year. It’s part of dealing with the poor economy.
Every casino and hotel that has opened on the strip in the past few years has been high end. When the economy turns around this is going to leave a need to serve the low to middle income customer. There will be plenty of rooms available that will be available fill that need, but the hotels that are looking forward to that time will be the winners.
Sahara has the kind of history that a portion of the Las Vegas tourists will seek. It will be a matter if they clean up and prepare and update enough to capture the interest of those customers.
I’m not sure that, SBE Entertainment, the company that owns the Sahara wants that but they may sell and move on with their investment. SBE buys properties and makes them cool. I’m not sure that the Sahara can be transformed that way – especially in this economy. In fact, I don’t even see the Sahara listed under their hotel properties.