While surfing the internet today I saw that the Sahara Hotel and Casino is closing its doors for good at the end of business today and this is sad to see. I feel like a piece of Americana is being lost with its demise.
My buddy and I stayed at the Sahara three maybe four times over the years during our trips to Las Vegas because the rooms were the cheapest we could find (usually less than $30 per night) compared to the outrageous room prices most of the larger hotels offered. Part of the allure of the Sahara was the fact that there were no families with kids staying there, the casino offered table games for five dollars or less, plus they had a really good cheap buffet.
Our first trip to Vegas we flew in dropped our bags off at our room then went straight to the casino and gambled all night til eight in the morning. The craps table staff offered us helpful pointers and I learned the basics of playing craps there (in the beginning my buddy and I were betting the “field” bet which after reading a book on the fundamentals of craps I found out is the worst bet you can make). When we finished gambling they gave both of us a voucher for a strip steak and egg breakfast which made us feel like VIP’s not just your average Joes.
In 1952 the Sahara was the jewel of the strip, but like the Bob Dylan song says “and the first one now will later be last, for the times they are a changin”. Fond memories indeed.