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Sahara casino closes in end of bygone Vegas era

It's pretty amazing to consider how much of recent American popular culture involved the Sahara Hotel. Full story.

Isaac Brekken / AP

Margarita Pinos embraces a friend as the Sahara hotel and casino is closed Monday, May 16 in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas News Bureau via AP

In this March 7, 1956 photo released by the Las Vegas News Bureau, Elizabeth Taylor, right, and Micahel Wilding relax at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev.

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

The marquee of the Sahara Hotel & Casino scrolls the message "Thanks for the memories" shortly before the property was closed on May 16 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Sahara's current owner SBE Entertainment Group closed the 1,720-room resort, which first opened in 1952, and plans to redevelop the site in the future. The stalled construction site of the Fontainebleau Las Vegas is in the background.

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Visitors stand outside the Sahara Hotel & Casino behind locked door handles shortly before the property was closed on May 16 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Sahara's current owner SBE Entertainment Group closed the 1,720-room resort, which first opened in 1952, and plans to redevelop the site in the future.

The legendary Sahara hotel and casino has shut its doors on the Las Vegas strip. NBC's Brian Williams reports.