LAS VEGAS -- The SLS Las Vegas arrival comes seven years after the Great Recession ravaged Las Vegas.

Now, our economy is in a recovery and the team that brokered the SLS property deal says more economic progress is on the way.

The street will always be named Sahara, but the legendary hotel that stood here for 58 years is history.

Once Friday night becomes Saturday morning, the doors at SLS Las Vegas open to the public, ushering in a new era on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue, and experts say for this part of the Strip, a new economic era.

Las Vegas knows how to reinvent itself. Julia Rothwell has been coming for 15 years, and each visit is new and different.

"Lots more hotels, shops, everything," Rothwell said.

But one thing is constant.

"It is like a big kid's playground," tourist Rob Hall said.

That playground gets new, hip attractions. The latest is SLS Las Vegas.

"For the north end of the Strip, it has turned the lights on," John Knott with CBRE said.

Knott says his company represented both the seller, the Bennett family, and the buyer, Sam Nazarian, in a deal that transformed this prime property.

"You have an owner who leads the nighttime market in Los Angeles for where people go," Knott said.

SLS will be chic not your common casino, according to Knott.

"SLS is a little bit of a different entrant into the marketplace, which I think is great. They're not trying to compete with Bellagio and Wynn. They're trying to be more of something different than the Hard Rock and the Palms and the Cosmopolitan, but in that kind of younger, happening crowd," Knott said.

In the entertainment capital of the world, it's not all about gambling anymore.

"Over the last 20 years, revenue on the Strip has grown about six percent, but if you look at the mix, gaming revenue has grown at four percent and non-gaming revenue has grown at eight percent," gaming consulting for CBRE Brent Pirosch said.

The modern Las Vegas patron enjoys socializing in other areas than the casino floor and Las Vegas has embraced that change, with outdoor venues, retail, and nightlife from the Strip to downtown.

"The current trends are moving outdoors, and far more social, and I think that's the trend we're seeing right now," Pirosch said.

The north Strip will be stimulated by SLS's opening.

The Asian-themed Resorts World Las Vegas is expected to open in 2016 at the site of the old Stardust. The Frontier site is set to become a high-end resort by 2018.

For now, SLS will be the crown jewel on the north end for awhile.

"I've been through the SLS property, and it is actually gorgeous," Knott said.

By the way, for guest coming out for the midnight opening on Aug. 23, parking is only available in the lot south of the property via Paradise Road.

Metro Police will be out here directing traffic.


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