The Las Vegas Fontainebleau Finds New Life as The Drew

Written by:
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Published on:
Feb/14/2018

There is something about the mystique of Las Vegas that attracts millions of visitors each year. It starts with its grandiose casinos featuring high-octane gambling action and star-studded shows. Over the past few decades, real estate moguls such as Steve Wynn and large entertainment companies such as MGM made a mad dash to the desert to gobble up all the land that was available to build some of the most opulent casino resorts in the world. One property aimed to outdo the other, and the end result was the Las Vegas Strip as we know it today.

Not every Las Vegas casino and resort enjoyed the level of success that properties such as the Bellagio, Venetian and MGM Grand achieved over a number of real estate booms (and busts) that built this former desert two. The Fountainebleau was one of the Las Vegas dreams that never came to fruition as a resort, condominium and casino on the former site of the El Rancho Hotel and Casino.

The original project was first announced in 2005 with a planned completion date scheduled for 2008. Almost as if the Fontainebleau Casino was doomed from the start, construction did not get underway until 2007. Everything came to a halt in 2009 amid the real estate bust that hit Las Vegas particularly hard. The project when into bankruptcy and sat idle until Carl Icahn came into the picture toward the latter part of that same year. According to PlaySlots4RealMoney.com, the corporate raider offered a cash buyout in excess of $150 million and took control in early 2010. He stripped the property clean of any existing furnishings intended for this project by auctioning them off to other area properties.

With an estimated cost of over $1 billion to complete the project, Icahn put it back up for sale in 2015 at a price tag of $650 million. PlaySlots4RealMoney.com goes on to detail how the property was sold for $600 million in August of 2017 to the investment firm Witkoff Group along with New Valley LLC. Just this past Monday, Witkoff announce a partnership with Marriott International to complete and reopen the resort property as The Drew Las Vegas. Completion of this current project is planned for late 2020.

The updated plans call for 4000 room and suites with an additional 500,000 square feet of convention and meeting space. The new resort will not only consist of The Drew, but it will also include EDITION and JW Marriott. All three properties will be managed by Marriott and this will be the first JW Marriott in the Las Vegas Strip. A recent news report on the local VegasInternationalHotel.com affiliate in Las Vegas added that the new name is designed to give the old Fountainebleau a fresh start and a whole new image. Since the real estate bust in the late 2000’s is still a sore memory for most Las Vegas locals, the changeover to The Drew Las Vegas points to bigger and betting things for the gambling capital of the world.

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