The bones and history of the Sahara are worth preserving. What we want to create is a resort that is as charming as it is elegant, that reflects the new era of Las Vegas while honoring its history.
And, evidently, that's ALL he had to say or surely Kats would have told us.
That that's the extent of Nazarian's remarks is bizarre and telling because, allegedly, he has a much more specific super-secret plan that, for reasons that can only be clear to him, he chose not to share with the solace-needing Las Vegas readership.
You see, this is an excerpt from a stunningly idiotic and obsequious L.A. Times piece on him five weeks ago:
A month ago, industry observers thought that even the bullish Nazarian wasn't immune to the ravages of the recession when he announced plans to shut down the iconic Sahara Hotel in Vegas, acquired in 2007 for an estimated $300 million. At the time, Nazarian would not comment on the closure, but he now says the plan from the beginning was to close the hotel for renovation. He said he was committed to reopening it in 2014 as an SLS Las Vegas, with six restaurants and two nightclubs.
"We've spent $30 million in design development drives; we're shovel-ready," said Nazarian, who formed his company in 2002 with proceeds from real estate investments as well as a wireless telecommunications company he sold. "If we were admitting defeat we would have admitted it."
So in April, he was telling the LA media that he's "shovel-ready" with a new scheme that will be open in 2014 with six restaurants and two nightclubs. Why, exactly, would he not tell Kats the same thing? Why would he suddenly be so vague when speaking to the local press? (Also, as an aside that tells you just how lost the L.A. Times was on this one, what industry observers thought Nazarian's Sahara had not succumbed to the ravages of the economy?!?)
Mayor Monster of VegasTripping nailed it in his blog post on that inane article, and it bears repeating:
Where's the public release of mouthwatering renderings? Where's the facts and figures? Who is the architect of record? Where's the big press conference with suited bozos carrying silver shovels and SLS branded chrome hard hats? What about the presentation before Clark County Planning Commission? Where's the press release touting where the money to build this - $3,4,5,6 Billion dollars? - is coming from? Is it possible to destroy and cart away Sahara and build a gigantic new place in 3 years? Where's the SLS Vegas website, with countdown clock, construction cam and sultry photos arranged in a sexy, 'this should be your life' kinda way?
It doesn't exist. None of it. Like nearly everything Sam Nazarian and SBE have said about their goings on in Las Vegas, this is all a magic trick.
The speculation is Nazarian is puffing himself up in advance of an IPO for his nightclub conglomerate. What he -- like his new BFF Jim Murren before him -- seems to forget is that whatever he says now will be measured against . . . what actually takes place. So when 2014 rolls around and the tumbleweeds continue to blow -- and why would any bank put up the billions necessary with so much decay in that neighborhood? -- we'll know.
Odds are good by then he'll feed the L.A. Times some further malarkey, believing that that, too, won't ever make its way across the Mojave.