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Construction Underway on SLS Las Vegas | News

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Construction Underway on SLS Las Vegas
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LAS VEGAS - One of the Strip's most iconic hotels is undergoing a makeover. Construction has begun at the former Sahara to transform it into the SLS Las Vegas hotel and casino.

Crews this week removed the old neon lights from the Sahara and put up new billboards that showcase what's to come.

A spokesperson for SLS Las Vegas says the property will be transformed inside and out to become more like the swanky boutique hotels SLS has across the country.

The basic structure of the building will remain intact, but all ties to the Sahara will be removed. The Sahara closed in 2011 after nearly 60 years on the Strip.

Nearby businesses like the Strip Gun Club say the redevelopment is great for the neighborhood. They hope SLS Las Vegas thrives and expect more foot traffic once the hotel and casino is finished.

"Hopefully, it spurs some development," said Justin Michaels with the Strip Gun Club. "I don't know if the city needs more hotel casinos on all of those vacant parcels, but other types of development would be a good thing. It's more construction jobs, more money going into the payroll taxes, the property taxes, so it would be a benefit to the community as a whole."

Managers at Bonanza's Gifts, the self-proclaimed "World's Largest Gift Shop", across the street say this new property won't change their business in the long run, but will be nice when the doors first open.

"Newest and brightest and best on the Strip always attract that discovery factor, that wow factor," said Angie Hurt with Bonanza's Gifts. "I do expect if they open up, that we'll definitely have an up-click in business, just from the looky-loos, the people who want to see the new thing on the Strip."

The project is expected to be done by fall 2014. A spokesperson for SLS Las Vegas says the redevelopment will create 1,600 temporary construction jobs and 2,500 permanent jobs once the casino is finished.

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