Thursday, Aug. 27, 1964 | 5 a.m.
The Sahara Hotel has bounced back from a mid-day fire Tuesday that closed entertainment and gambling for one night with a tongue-in-cheek marque inviting. "Visit The Hottest Casino In Town."
The roof-top fire, estimated to have caused damage close to $1 million, was doused with thousands of gallons of water which soaked through the celing of the main casino and flooded the floor of the main showroom.
Some 100 workmen began immediate repairs while city and county firemen were still mopping up the water and debris last night.
John Romero, publicity director for the hotel, said pit games have been moved into the recently completed casino addition adjacent to the main casino. The new section escaped damage.
The hotel coffee shop, slightly damaged, was reopened also.
Louis Prima and other lounge acts went on last night in the north convention hall and showroom attractions Buddy Hackett and Buddy Greco appeared in the south convention hall.
Temporary air conditioned wooden tunnels were installed to keep guests cool as they moved through the area being repaired.
Romero said all new carpeting had been put down and a new false ceiling installed while work proceeded to repair the smoke and water damage to the casino.
Romero said permanent repairs will take about 30 days.
County Fire Prevention Chief Clel Henley said the exact cause of the fire has not been determined. BUt talks with workers installing a sprinkler system on the roof led him to believe that a smoldering rag - found in a tool box by a workman and doused under a faucet - had caused the blaze.
Henley said the rag was dropped on the roof but that it was apparently still capable of causing a fire.
Romero said an exact estimate of damage had not been completed. "But it looks now as if it will be something less than general estimate we made yesterday of $1 million." he said.