LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A Las Vegas Strip resort filed a defamation lawsuit against a local blog after a writer claimed the resort was closing.
Sahara Las Vegas, also identified as Las Vegas Resort Holdings LLC, filed the lawsuit Aug. 6 against Scott Roeben, owner and writer on VitalVegas.com. The lawsuit comes after a July 30 article claiming the resort was closing permanently.
The website, along with the Twitter account @VitalVegas, is known for posting rumors about Las Vegas-area hotels and casinos.
"At the time the Headline was published, Defendant had not, nor made an attempt to, contact LVRH or its representatives to either verify or seek comment on whether SAHARA would, in fact, be closing," the lawsuit alleges.
There is no merit to this claim. It is extremely disappointing to have someone spread unfounded rumors that detrimentally impact our team members, guests and community. To find out what we are really about visit https://t.co/rQNalclul5. https://t.co/begaPEyQZb— SAHARA Las Vegas (@SAHARALasVegas) July 30, 2020
Officials with Sahara claim that the blog post caused significant damage, with employees asking if they would lose their jobs, guests calling trying to cancel upcoming reservations and business vendors expressing a "lack of confidence" in the property.
In the post, now with the changed headline of "Sahara Las Vegas Says Closure Rumors Unfounded," Roeben said, "In case we haven’t said it often enough, we share news on our site, but we also share rumors, speculation, opinions and industry chatter.
"We clearly state when rumors are rumors. Rumors don’t always turn out to be true. Often they do. If this one turns out to be true, we trust Sahara will retract its denial and send us an edible bouquet."
Roeben continues: "This isn’t our first dance with Sahara and it won’t be the last."
"The effect of Defendant’s statements represent an unjustified attack not only on LVRH, but on the Las Vegas community as a whole," the lawsuit alleges. "As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant’s conduct, LVRH, and indeed the Las Vegas community as a whole, have and continue to suffer harm."