LAS VEGAS-The Sahara Hotel and Casino, the site once immortalized by the Rat Pack and the setting of the original “Ocean’s Eleven” film starring Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, will have new owners. Los Angeles-based SBE Entertainment Group LLC and San Mateo, CA-based Stockbridge Real Estate Funds will acquire the property from Gordon Gaming Group for an undisclosed amount.

“The Sahara is one of the last remaining original properties on the Las Vegas Strip, and we are thrilled with the possibilities that it presents,” says SBE’s CEO, Sam Nazarian, in an official statement.

Developed in 1952, the Moroccan-style property is the northern most site on the Las Vegas Strip. The Sahara totals 1,720 rooms and has been managed by Gordon Gaming since it was acquired by William Bennett in 1995 for nearly $200 million. Estimates have Bennett having put another $100 million into the property since that time.

Once the deal closes, SBE will manage the hotel and its food and beverage operations through its subsidiaries–SBE Hotel Group and SBE Restaurant and Nightlife Groups, respectively. Larry Woolf’s Navegante Group will operate the casino business under a lease arrangement.

The new owners plan to reposition the property once it takes control. While specifics were not released on what would be done with the property, Nazarian says the owners would be updating it for “a new generation of travelers, while preserving its existing scale.”

As for the new investment, Terry Fancher, the managing partner of Stockbridge, says that as a private equity investor, his firm looks for certain factors before pulling the trigger on a deal and “The Sahara represents many of these characteristics.” He says that it’s a property with “a proud tradition” but also one that “will clearly benefit from a substantial capital investment.”

Fancher added that “the strong fundamentals of the Las Vegas hotel market should also help assure the success of this investment.”

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.