The SLS is Learning a Hard Lesson – There’s More to LiFE than Money

It looks as though $415 million just isn’t enough to turn a Sahara into an oasis. The SLS is coming up on its 1st birthday and well let’s just say it hasn’t been a banner year. Reports show a $35 million loss in the first quarter of 2015, with things not looking much brighter for the second. The SLS has certainly seen more downs than ups since its highly anticipated grand opening, but it’s making some changes that will hopefully start to turn things around.

One of the first signs of trouble came just a few months after the hotel opened. In October, 2% of the staff was laid off, followed by a replacement of the hotel’s president. In the next month SLS made the decision to close is faltering buffet.

SLS Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

SLS Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

None of that can compare to the blow that came about in December when the founding father of the hotel, Sam Nazarian, had to take a step back due to problems with the gaming regulators. Still, that is not nearly as shocking as the sudden news that this 4th of July weekend celebration will serve as the swan song for LiFE. The upscale nightclub will be officially closed, with the focus being turned towards making the smaller Foxtail larger than life.

Other Changes on the Horizon

The SLS is certainly not going to go down (hopefully at all) without a fight. The closing of LiFE is a strategic move to help stop the bleeding of money. The space will be left as is, for special events, to be resuscitated once the hotel gets back on its feet.

Will LiFE Nightclub at SLS rise from the dead?

Will LiFE Nightclub at SLS rise from the dead?

For the summer, they have scheduled a concert series for Foxtail featuring artists like Sir Mix-a-Lot, Young MC, and Matt and Kim. Tickets are cheap for Vegas, setting you back only $20.

Realizing that they can’t keep visitors from wanting to hang on the main drag, they are also planning on a putting a shuttle system in place. This will bring guests straight to and from the airport as well as the Miracle Mile Shops. This will help in luring in the tourist who likes the feel and prices of the SLS, but doesn’t like having to schlep to the strip in a taxi.

The Las Vegas Monorail is a great option for those coming and going. 

The Las Vegas Monorail is a great option for those coming and going. 

The casino is another big issue for the SLS, which is currently raking in only $3 million a month (others can make that in a night). To try and kick that up a few million notches, they have adopted a tier loyalty program which gives a player more perks the more they play. They have also added a Sayer’s Club styled party pit to the casino floor, complete with a platform for the go-go dancers. That should keep gamblers at the blackjack tables longer. Or maybe they’d prefer the new lounge that has suddenly sprouted off of the casino’s main bar.

The SLS is proving the golden rule of real estate to be true – Location is everything. A lot of money went into turning the old Sahara into something new and spectacular, but that gets old fast in Vegas. We hope the powers that be at SLS hurry up and figure out what the magic formula is for getting visitors to come down from the strip, so that we all can get back to enjoying LiFE.

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