Sahara Las Vegas Adds Italian Restaurant, Reveals New Pool Plans

Sahara Las Vegas is accelerating its $150 million transformation with the announcement of Ballo, a new dining concept from James Beard award-winning chef Shawn McClain, and the unveiling of the resort’s new Azilo Ultra Pool.

Joining the resort’s award-winning culinary lineup is Ballo, a new Italian concept from chef Shawn McClain and partners Richard and Sarah Camarota of MC Hospitality. With Ballo, the group will create a high-energy destination restaurant serving seasonal Italian cuisine from across a number of Italian regions. Signature dishes will include Ballo’s selection of aperitivos, handmade pastas, Roman pizzas, an array of fresh seasonal vegetable dishes and salads, and rustic fire-roasted meats and fish, as well as a Euro-centric wine list, cocktails and desserts featuring espresso liqueurs. Ballo will have a live-action kitchen complete with a pasta-making window and a takeaway deli.

Chef McClain has opened multiple acclaimed restaurants in Chicago, Las Vegas and Detroit; his portfolio consists of both fine dining and casual restaurants.

Sahara is also in the process of transforming the main resort pool. Construction of the new Azilo Ultra Pool is nearing completion to prepare for a summer 2021 opening. According to the resort, Azilo’s flexible poolscape and event space will combine “to create Las Vegas’ most immersive Ultra Pool,” offering something for party-seekers, sunbathers and event planners.

Azilo’s focal point will be its giant LED walls that wrap around the pool perimeter. The featured portion of the LED wall stretches two stories high and spans the length of the pool’s south side. Totaling more than 10,000 square feet, Azilo’s LED wall is one of the largest in a private setting on the Las Vegas Strip. The wall’s multiple screens can be synchronized, while the main screen can be partitioned into several smaller screens, giving guests the ability to watch multiple games or events simultaneously. The screens will also have the ability to live stream events at the pool for guests to watch in real-time. Guests can expect headlining concerts and live sporting event broadcasts.

Boasting nearly 35,000 square feet of poolscape, Azilo will also include cabanas, each outfitted with HDTVs, private pools, spas and restrooms, as well as daybeds, lily pads, three bars and plenty of lounge seating. Azilo Ultra Pool will be open to both resort and outside guests operating daily, including engagements on Friday and Saturday evenings. 

These new additions come on the heels of the full renovation and expansion of the resort’s 50,662 square foot casino floor, which included the addition of a new poker room and CASBAR Lounge; new hotel lobby amenities, including the upscale grab-and-go eatery, Prendi, and brown spirits-focused cocktail bar, The Tangier; guest room updates in the Blanca and Marra towers; and new additions to the culinary program, including popular Philadelphia crab house and sports bar, Chickie’s and Pete’s and Noodle Den, helmed by chef Guoming “Sam” Xin, which will both open later this year.


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