Center for Gaming Research
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Neon Survey

Description of sign(s)

1. Name: Sahara Hotel and Casino

2. Owner: William Bennett

3. Address: 2535 South Las Vegas Blvd.

3b. Additional Site Details: The Sahara lies at the northern most end of the survey, on Sahara, and Las Vegas Blvd. The Sahara was remodeled in the late nineties to create an entirely new façade utilizing a large pylon, a porte cochere and various independent illuminated signs. On the eastern side of the property another porte cochere is located just west of Paradise Rd. across the street from the Sahara's original pylon.

4. Condition: Structure 5 Surface 5 Lighting 5

Notes: See description

5. Form: plyon, fasica, porte cochere

6. Specfic Description: {descrip}

7. Type of Display: neon, incandescent, backlit, ambient

8. Media: steel, plastic

9. Non-neon treatments: graphics, paint

10. Animation: flashing, oscillating

Notes: see specific description

11. Environment: The Sahara utilizes many of the new elements of Las Vegas to create an environment. The western side of the property facing the strip is composed of a giant pylon, a domed porte cochere, and a roller coaster for the themed attraction incorporated into the property. To the north across Sahara Ave. the Holy Cow casino gives way to the distinctly older and smaller venues on the remaining northern stretch of the strip, while the entire heart of the boulevard lies to the South. Palm trees and various foliage surround winding drives which lead up to the open air dome, fore the circular valet. Along the twisting lanes leading to the parking garage, you can see fiberglass figures riding on camels, and various text signage upon the structures. Walking through the lush surroundings toward the north side of the property, you encounter the giant pylon, being able to walk right up next to it. The roar of the rollercoaster is rather deafening as it zooms right over a pedestrians head, as the signage for the NASCAR gives way to human sight.

Artistic Context

1. Manufacturer: Mikhon Lighting and sign

2. Designer: New Pylon: Jack M. Larsen Jr. and Mikhon Lighting and sign

3. Date of Installation: 1996-2000

4. Date(s) of any major redesign/move: During the reconstruction which took place between 1996 and 2000, the original pylon was moved east across Paradise Rd

5. Thematic Influence: The theme of the Sahara is definitely linked to the desert theme so often seen throughout Las Vegas history. The name itself is the name of what is probably the most famous desert in the world. Elements of the design give way to this theme with rather heavy-handed iconography. Examples of this include the image of a camel on the pylon and rear porte cochere, as well as the statuary of men riding on camels. The text is the same classic Sahara text seen throughout the properties history, and definite reference the cure and angle of some Arabic writing, but also are linked to shapes seen in the architecture from that region of the world. Other properties which can be linked to this theme in Las Vegas History include, the Dunes, and the Aladdin. The Aladdin and the Sahara also share the trait of being a Vegas icon, revamped to meet the current trends of Las Vegas. The Sahara falls into that trend of being geared more toward the family theme these days, with the addition of the NASCAR Café as well as the roller coaster. The other property which incorporates a roller coaster is the New York New York.

6. Artistic Significance: n/a

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Last modified Monday, 05-Apr-2010 18:10:14 UTC