Together We Can All Make A Difference

Poolside Fun & Appreciation for Robert E. Lake Teachers

Teacher Appreciation pool party, featuring teachers receiving goodie bags and raffle tickets.

On Monday, May 20, 2024, teachers from our partner school, Robert E. Lake Elementary, gathered for our annual end-of-year pool party at SAHARA! This fun-filled event featured lunch, swimming, and comfy lounge seating at AZILO Ultra Pool. One of the day’s highlights was an exciting raffle that included a variety of fantastic SAHARA Las Vegas prizes including $250 gift cards to Bazaar Meat, $50 Balla gift cards, one-night stays at SAHARA, tickets to Magic Mike Live, and Amina Spa gift certificates, as well as gas cards, HomeGoods and Marshalls gift cards. The teachers expressed their heartfelt enthusiasm for this event, calling it the highlight of their school year. We truly appreciate our teachers and all their hard work throughout the year!

Teacher Appreciation pool party, featuring teachers receiving goodie bags and raffle tickets.

Teacher Appreciation Week

Two SAHARA food and beverage employees dressed as sushi chefs, during teacher appreciation week.

During Teachers’ Appreciation Week, SAHARA Las Vegas honored the dedicated educators at Robert E. Lake Elementary with a delightful sushi lunch, courtesy of their Food and Beverage team. This gesture is part of a longstanding tradition where the quality and thoughtfulness invested in these meals leave a lasting impression. The effort underscores SAHARA’s appreciation for educators and their pivotal role in the community and their integral role in shaping future generations.

Two SAHARA food and beverage employees dressed as sushi chefs, during teacher appreciation week.

5th Grade Graduation Awards

Robert E. Lake 5th grade graduation class. Students dressed in caps and gowns.

SAHARA Las Vegas is deeply committed to community engagement through its SAHARA Cares initiative. This year, the team had the privilege of supporting four exceptional fifth-grade students from Robert E. Lake Elementary, each selected from their graduating class to receive the SAHARA Cares Award. This award recognizes students who embody the values of being Respectful, On-task, Accountable, and Responsible (ROAR). Each recipient was awarded a laptop to celebrate their commendable achievements and behavior. The ceremonies were filled with joy, as students and their families took memorable photos with SAHARA team members. Additionally, SAHARA Las Vegas provided caps and gowns for all graduating fifth graders, ensuring each student felt celebrated on their special day. This partnership with local schools is a key part of SAHARA Las Vegas’ ongoing efforts to positively influence young lives and support the development of future leaders.

Robert E. Lake 5th grade graduation class. Students dressed in caps and gowns.

Hosting an Etiquette Lunch for Outstanding Students

students and teachers being recongnized with awards during an etiquette lunch provided by SAHARA for students.

As part of our SAHARA Cares program, SAHARA recently hosted a special etiquette lunch for exceptional students at Robert E. Lake Elementary School. We invited 30 outstanding students, along with their principal, two fifth-grade teachers, and the counselor to an afternoon of delicious food and valuable etiquette lessons. Our talented Food and Beverage Team Members shared tips on everything from table manners to proper utensil use, leading the students through the ins and outs of proper dining. At the end of the lesson, the students were treated to a three-course meal, providing them with the perfect opportunity to practice their newfound skills. SAHARA is thrilled to celebrate these outstanding students and help them develop important skills that will serve them well in the future.

students and teachers being recongnized with awards during an etiquette lunch provided by SAHARA for students.

Celebrating Community & Kindness: Prom Closet 2024

A collection of pictures showing off the event

On March 2nd, 2024, SAHARA Las Vegas proudly hosted Project 150’s Prom Closet event, offering prom attire and accessories to high school students in need. With the help of 31 devoted volunteers from SAHARA, 419 students experienced the joy of selecting their first formalwear.
 
Project 150 is dedicated to supporting homeless, displaced and disadvantaged high school students across Southern Nevada. We deeply appreciate everyone who participated in making dreams come true!

A collection of pictures showing off the event

Anonymous Donation Changes Lives at Robert E. Lake Elementary

SAHARA Las Vegas team with Robert E. Lake Elementary Principal with shoes and books for students.

An anonymous donor has gifted $5,000 in support of our partner school, Robert E. Lake Elementary. This donation has enabled the distribution of 233 pairs of shoes and 160 Spanish books to the students! Robert E. Lake Principal, Paola Elena Zepher, couldn’t contain her joy: “The moment I stepped into that room my heart was just filled. Our students will benefit so much from the shoes and books. Each memory we make as a partnership provides me with such a sense of family and hope. If all companies were filled with the compassionate souls that I have had the pleasure of working with at SAHARA, our world would be such a better place.” SAHARA Las Vegas is proud to be part of this journey, and we extend our deepest gratitude to our anonymous benefactor.

SAHARA Las Vegas team with Robert E. Lake Elementary Principal with shoes and books for students.

Las Vegas Magazine 2024 Hall of Fame Honoree

Las Vegas Magazine 2024 Hall of Fame - Bazaar Meat Award

We are thrilled to announce that Bazaar Meat by José Andrés has been honored as a Las Vegas Magazine 2024 Hall of Fame Inductee. The event took place on January 15th at the stunning Portal inside AREA15. The Hall of Fame induction is a significant acknowledgment reserved for those who have left an indelible mark on Las Vegas’ entertainment and hospitality industry. Bazaar Meat now joins an elite group of honorees, and we are immensely proud of this achievement. We look forward to continuing our tradition of culinary excellence!

Las Vegas Magazine 2024 Hall of Fame - Bazaar Meat Award

Delivering Joy to Children in Our Community

Angel Tree Gift Giving - SAHARA Cares

For the second consecutive year, our Angel Tree collaboration with our sponsored school, Robert E. Lake Elementary, has been a heartwarming success! Our dedicated SAHARA Las Vegas Team Members have shown exceptional generosity by sponsoring our Angel Tree families, ensuring that every child wakes up to a special gift under their tree. This year we were able to sponsor 165 children from 64 families, delivering over 660 gifts on Saturday, December 16th. At SAHARA Cares, we are dedicated to making a positive impact and we believe that every child deserves a sprinkle of happiness, especially during the holiday season.

Angel Tree Gift Giving - SAHARA Cares

MENUS 2023 Enchanted Forest Exceeds Fundraising Goal

MENUS Epicurian Event at SAHARA Las Vegas

Thanks to your support, the Epicurean Charitable Foundation will provide more scholarships and networking opportunities for Clark County hospitality students in need. Our Sinfully Wicked evening at SAHARA Las Vegas was a huge success, surpassing our fundraising goal by over 50%! Guests enjoyed a chic dine-around experience with dishes from 30 local restaurants, posh drinks, and enchanting entertainment. The event also featured a silent auction, VIP area, and a private after party. Congratulations to our deserving students, and thanks to everyone who made this magical night possible!

MENUS Epicurian Event at SAHARA Las Vegas

SAHARA Fights Hunger in Southern Nevada

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SAHARA Las Vegas proudly participated in Las Vegas Restaurant Week to support Three Square Food Bank’s mission to end hunger. Three SAHARA restaurants – Balla Italian Soul, Bazaar Meat, and The Noodle Den – offered curated menus at a special price, with $6 from each menu going directly to Three Square Food Bank. The success of this event will contribute an additional 18,918 meals for the people in our community who need it the most!

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2023 Meruelo Family Scholarships

a picture showing several SAHARA staff members presenting a check to students who need help with college

On Wednesday, June 7, SAHARA Las Vegas hosted the 2023 Meruelo Family Scholarship award presentation. As part of the property’s SAHARA Cares initiative, a total of $14,000 was awarded to four deserving dependents of SAHARA Las Vegas Team Members. Las Vegas student Helena Saavedra received $5,000 while students Jazmin Rivera, Michelle McGowan and Jazmyn Rebolledo each received $3,000.

a picture showing several SAHARA staff members presenting a check to students who need help with college

First-Annual SAHARA Cares Award

First ever SAHARA Cares Award Ceremony.

From Tuesday, May 16 to Thursday, May 18, deserving 5th grade students from Robert E. Lake Elementary School received the first-annual SAHARA Cares Award. Created by the school to recognize one outstanding student per 5th grade class in honor of SAHARA Las Vegas’ community partnership, the SAHARA Cares Award was presented to individuals embodying the characteristics of the acronym ROAR: respectful, on task, accountable and responsible.

First ever SAHARA Cares Award Ceremony.

Community Impact

Mr. Alex Meruelo inside the SAHARA Las Vegas casino

Thanks to the generous monetary donations and the uplifting spirit of volunteerism by SAHARA team members and the Meruelo family, SAHARA Cares is able to not only provide much-needed resources and assistance but it’s also helped empower individuals and families to thrive and prosper. The unwavering commitment of Mr. Alex Meruelo, his family, and the entire SAHARA family, serves as an inspiring example of how we can all work together to create positive change in our community.

Mr. Alex Meruelo inside the SAHARA Las Vegas casino

Visiting Students During Career Day

Career Day at Robert E. Elementary with SAHARA Employees.

On Friday, March 31, several SAHARA Las Vegas Team Members volunteered their time to visit students at Robert E. Lake Elementary School on Career Day. These Team Members presented and discussed their careers with the students, emphasizing the importance of pursuing an education. The school participates in Career Day annually to motivate students and establish the connection between “real life” work experiences and education.

Career Day at Robert E. Elementary with SAHARA Employees.

Reading to Students During Nevada Reading Week

SAHARA Employees reading to students during Nevada Reading Week.

From Monday, Feb. 27 through Friday, March 3, SAHARA Las Vegas Team Members across various departments volunteered their time reading to Robert E. Lake Elementary School students during Nevada Reading Week. For over 30 years, Nevada Reading Week has been celebrated across the Silver State in March to instill a life-long love of reading in students. “Our Lake Lions look up to positive role models such as these professionals and we are thankful they generously donated their time to share the importance of reading and education,” said Paola Zepher, principal, Robert E. Lake Elementary School.

SAHARA Employees reading to students during Nevada Reading Week.

Donating Shoes & Apparel to Students in Need

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On Monday, Feb. 13, SAHARA Las Vegas team members distributed more than 350 pairs of shoes to underprivileged students at Robert E. Lake Elementary School as part of the property’s SAHARA Cares initiative. The pairs of shoes were donated by SAHARA team members across various departments. Shoes were the main focus but other clothing items were collected, specifically winter apparel. All donated articles of clothing were placed in the school’s clothing closet, the Robert E. Lake Elementary School clothing closet ensures that no students will go without functional clothes.

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Angel Tree Program

ANgel Tree community gift giving picture showing SAHARA staff

This holiday season, SAHARA Cares hosted its own Angel Tree program for families in need at our sponsored school, Robert E. Lake Elementary School. Thanks to the generosity of SAHARA Las Vegas Team Members, many of these families will have presents for Christmas. Team Members each chose a family to sponsor, finding and wrapping presents containing a toy and a complete outfit for each child in the family. These gifts will be delivered by SAHARA Team members directly to the homes of these families before Christmas.

ANgel Tree community gift giving picture showing SAHARA staff

2022 Community Outreach Highlights

Video screenshot showing the intro to a SAHARA Cares video recap

It’s been an eventful first year of philanthropic community outreach for SAHARA Cares. 2022 marks the start of SAHARA’s partnership with the Epicurean Charitable Foundation and its sponsorship of Robert E. Lake Elementary School. SAHARA also showed its true colors during Pride Month by becoming an official partner with Las Vegas Pride. Last but not least, SAHARA celebrated its 70th Anniversary with a cake presentation, champagne toast, and a month-long celebration of the property’s history as one of the oldest and most iconic hotels in Las Vegas. SAHARA Las Vegas is looking forward to making even more of a community impact in 2023!

Video screenshot showing the intro to a SAHARA Cares video recap

SAHARA Turns 70 and Dazzles with Fundraising Event

70th Anniversary team picture with a big cake and holding an Epicurean sign while people gather as a group for the picture.

On Friday, Oct. 7, SAHARA Las Vegas continued its ongoing partnership with the Epicurean Charitable Foundation (ECF) by graciously hosting their M.E.N.U.S. fundraising event, along with donating to their scholarship fund. The celebration coincided with SAHARA’s 70th Anniversary and featured a cake presentation and champagne toast inside SAHARA’s AZILO Ultra Lounge. Alexis Meruelo, chief vision and purpose officer for Meruelo Gaming, SAHARA’s parent company, made a surprise $15,000 donation to the ECF, which provides scholarships for students to attend the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ hospitality school.

70th Anniversary team picture with a big cake and holding an Epicurean sign while people gather as a group for the picture.

SAHARA Shows Its True Colors During Pride Weekend in Las Vegas with a 3-Day Celebration

SAHARA Pride picture showing booth at festival and pride parade and pool party

SAHARA Shows Its True Colors During Pride Weekend in Las Vegas with a 3-Day Celebration
SAHARA Las Vegas showed its true colors during Las Vegas Pride weekend, participating in the festivities from Friday, October 7 to Sunday, October 9. On Friday, SAHARA team members participated in the city’s Pride Parade, proudly marching through Downtown Las Vegas and giving away SAHARA Pride-themed items, such as t-shirts and fans, to parade watchers. On Saturday, SAHARA Team Members hosted a booth at the Las Vegas Pride Festival in Craig Ranch Regional Park. Members of SAHARA’s HR Department and Magic Mike Live cast members were in attendance. The cherry on top to a fantastic Pride weekend was SAHARA hosting the official Pride Pool Party at Retro Pool, where pride partygoers had the time of their lives. SAHARA Las Vegas is a GayTravel Approved hotel and continues to nurture its partnership with Las Vegas Pride.

SAHARA Pride picture showing booth at festival and pride parade and pool party

Preparing Grade School Students For Success!

Team Members stuffing grade school backpacks for students. Group shot showing volunteers.

Backpack Filling Event
 
On July 23, 2022, SAHARA employees volunteered their time to help stuff backpacks with books and school supplies for underprivileged children. The backpacks and school supplies were donated by local organization Foodie Fit, with Robert E. Lake Elementary School hosting the event for three of the schools. This event was done as part of SAHARA Cares initiatives and the backpacks will be distributed to children in need on the first day of school in August.

Team Members stuffing grade school backpacks for students. Group shot showing volunteers.

Meruelo Family Scholarship

Scholarship check presentation to children who won the scholarships

On July 21, 2022, SAHARA Las Vegas hosted the Meruelo Family Scholarship award presentation inside the Team Member Dining Room and honorary luncheon inside Zeffer’s Café. A total of $12,500 was awarded to five deserving dependents of SAHARA Las Vegas team members. During the event, all five scholarship winners were presented with jumbo $2,500 checks by chief vision and purpose officer Alexis Meruelo and general manager Paul Hobson. The Meruelo Family’s focus on education has fueled both companies’ community impact over the years.

Scholarship check presentation to children who won the scholarships

Las Vegas Pride 2022

creative for LGBTQIA community showing animated people with rainbow flags

SAHARA Las Vegas Is A Proud Sponsor Of The 2022 Las Vegas Pride Event
 
Join us in celebrating this resilient, bold, and beautiful community.
 
Friday, October 7, 2022 – Pride Walk
Saturday, October, 8, 2022 – Pride Festival
 
To learn more about this amazing organization, the great work they do and to discover how you can get involved, please visit their website.

creative for LGBTQIA community showing animated people with rainbow flags

In Support of Creating A Community Without Hunger

Visual promoting Restaurant week showing Noodle Den food and centered is the three square logo

In May of 2022 we joined Las Vegas Restaurant Week to enhance Three Square Food Bank’s reach. Their mission is to provide meals for families and individuals facing hunger. $6 per menu sold was donated to Three Square to support their efforts. We’re so proud to share that we were able to raise over $5,600 through The Noodle Den and Bazaar Meat By José Andrés to help their efforts. If you would like to learn more about this organization or to support them, please visit threesquare.org

Visual promoting Restaurant week showing Noodle Den food and centered is the three square logo

Robert E. Lake Elementary School

the principal of a local elementary school standing infront of the large AZILO Ultra Pool screen

As part of our SAHARA Cares initiatives, we have adopted a local elementary school! Robert E. Lake is a title one school which provides education for disadvantaged, low-achieving, high poverty, and neglected children.

Their mission is to make an impact in the local Las Vegas community by supporting youth education programs and economic mobility for minorities, SAHARA Cares strives to recognize hardworking teachers and their commitment to their students, and it was an honor to host their end-of-year celebration at our AZILO Ultra Pool offering food, beverages and raffle prizes. In the words of the teachers, “it was magical.”

We’re looking forward to supporting the school with a back-to-school drive, food drives, reading to the students, and much, much more!

the principal of a local elementary school standing infront of the large AZILO Ultra Pool screen

Epicurean Charitable Foundation

Epicurean FOundation shot at SAHARA. The organization and the SAHARA team all together for a check presentation

SAHARA Las Vegas is excited to announce our partnership with the Epicurean Charitable Foundation A charitable organization aimed at awarding full-ride scholarships to deserving students pursuing careers in the hospitality industry.

Epicurean FOundation shot at SAHARA. The organization and the SAHARA team all together for a check presentation