After the sale of the SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino to The Meruelo Group, LLC was given the green light by the Nevada Gaming Commission last month, on April 5 the casino resort was officially sold and Paul Hobson was named the new senior vice president and general manager of the property.
“Paul Hobson brings extensive experience in gaming and hospitality and valued insight into the ever-evolving North Las Vegas Strip to SLS Las Vegas,” said Alex Meruelo, owner of The Meruelo Group. “We are thrilled to have him lead the team in ushering in this exciting new era for the historic property.”
According to the press release, Hobson is a 27-year casino industry veteran, having most recently served as the general manager of the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower from 2011 through 2017. Prior to joining Stratosphere, he was the general manager of Aquarius Casino Resort, sister property to the hotel, casino, and tower now owned by Golden Entertainment. Hobson has also reportedly held senior management positions with Caesars Entertainment, Resorts International and Affinity Gaming.
The Meruelo Group’s founder, 54-year-old Reno-based businessman Alex Meruelo will invest as much as $100 million over the next couple of years to revitalize the 1,616-room property which operated as the Sahara Hotel and Casino for just shy of six decades and has been in the red since opening in 2014.
Meruelo, adds the three-tower resort-casino, one of which operates under the W Las Vegas brand, to a gaming and hospitality portfolio that includes the 2,000-room Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, Nevada.
The Meruelo Group agreed to purchase the SLS Las Vegas in May last year and having now secured ownership is the only privately held firm to own large resort properties in Las Vegas and Reno.
Whether or not Meruelo will change the name of the hotel back to the Sahara has yet to be decided. According to an earlier report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Spokesman Christopher Abraham said SLS brand recognition will be studied by Meruelo prior to making that decision.
“We will be using the SLS name for another year and will evaluate our options with the brand moving forward,” said Abraham in the earlier report.