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Visitor Misty Davis of Las Vegas came to the Sahara one last time Monday because she had such fond memories of the place: It was the first casino she visited when she was 21, with her husband and mother to celebrate her one-year wedding anniversary.

She became teary as she remembered the casino’s friendly atmosphere, she said, and she talked with a dealer who she remembered from years ago.

“It’s kind of visiting the past,” said Davis, 35, who made sure to buy four decks of souvenir playing cards from the Sahara on its final day.

Unlike other casino closings in Sin City that make way for newer projects, it’s not clear what the future of the site will be. Past hotels, including the Stardust, Landmark and Boardwalk, were razed to make way for new developments. SBE Entertainment has not announced its plans.

Nazarian said SBE’s development plans have been delayed by the economy, though he remains optimistic for future years.

The Sahara sits near the site of the Fontainebleau Las Vegas, a project that was 70 percent done before it fell into bankruptcy. Nearby, Boyd Gaming Corp.’s Echelon project has been delayed indefinitely.

“It has not kept up with the Joneses and this is a problem for a Las Vegas casino, and frankly, for our community’s history,” said Green, who said his parents honeymooned at the Sahara in 1964.

“Las Vegas blows up its history,” but only part of it,” he said.


Oskar Garcia can be reached at