A Saturday evening chat with one of the construction foremen (who himself is now living in one of the shuttered Binion’s rooms) confirmed that Binion’s Hotel & Casino downtown Las Vegas is about to remodel all of their rooms and suites in preparation for re-opening the hotel portion of the property. He gave us a sneak peak at some room design photos which he had on his smart phone. Going to be lots of silver and red plus each door will evidently have a steel-plated mildly cross-hatched design (think artsy, not industrial).
Completion is expected to take the rest of the year. It is more than just a room make-over. An antiquated heating/cooling system (consisting of hot and cold pipes in the walls) will have to be completely gutted and modernized. One can assume they are gunning to be open by New Years Eve.
In addition, the infamous coffee shop downstairs is slated to be turned into a Las Vegas location of the famed Velvet Margarita top rated restaurant and Hollywood hot spot which will convert to a club/lounge after hours.
Old Binion’s Horseshoe Coffee Shop:
Velvet Margarita owner Carlos Adley is also partnering with Binion’s owner Terry Caudill to move forward with the refurbishment of the old Metro Police building at 601 E. Fremont Street and the plans announced last year are indeed taking shape:
A strong internet rumor has developed today that the Sahara Las Vegas is closing. This is based on a major pending announcement from property owners SBE. I’m not so sure. The same site reported that less than a month ago, The Sahara was power-washing areas of their (extremely filthy) parking garage. Kind of strange they would be cleaning up one of the first customer contact areas right before they are going to let the place collect dust. The Sahara also has been announcing new services (aimed at more upscale visitors) like Bags To Go (which lets you check our bags in for your flight right at the hotel). Also, Las Vegas tourism is on the upswing. Yes, The Sahara closed down two of three towers about 15 months ago. (A closed tower would be an easy remodel). Would they hang on this long, only to close completely in the wake of slow but steady visitor volume increases? This just does not seem right. I also am very surprised that Robin Leach (who isn’t always accurate but never strays away from attempting a big scoop) has said nothing. Especially since the dearly departed Las Vegas magician Steve Dacri noted in December (on the Vegas Video Network) that Leach had said The Sahara was headed for mothballs. (Note: This was not during his interview with Leach, but something Dacri reported on another one of his shows second-hand). Leach would want to capitalize on any knowledge and as of this writing (12 hours before the official press conference), I can find nothing. The renovation of the Strat has been big news. SBE could easily find $10 million (or more) in private investor money, calculating that upgrading certain rooms could bring a boost in room revenue a la Stratosphere. Investor money coming from their nightclub buddies in L.A. (SBE is primarily a Southern California nightclub operations company) who could be given an ownership piece in return is an easy possibility. $1,000,000 and you own 2% of the property. Permanently. Something like that. Very enticing. When do you get to be a “casino owner” (instead of just someone who owns some stock)? Will I be shocked if it is mothballed? No. But I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if the announcement is that they are tossing a modest amount of cash at the place to keep up with their neighbor. By all accounts, the Strat’s investments are paying off with the higher rates and slightly better customer base (the people willing to purchase the room upgrades). I simply can’t see anything pointing to mothballing this legendary property.
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