Stalled Fontainebleau casino-resort to open in 2020 with new name

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Steve Marcus A view of the stalled Fontainebleau resort, right, on Las Vegas Boulevard South on Dec. 30, 2014. Fontainebleau was sold to New york city real estate companies Witkoff Group LLC and New Valley LLC for $600 million in August 2017.

Monday, Feb. 12, 2018|7:15 a.m.

. The Fontainebleau is no more. Call it The Drew Las Vegas.

The hulking, bluish casino-resort, which has sat incomplete on the Las Vegas Strip given that 2009 and became a poster kid of the Great Economic downturn, is now set up to open in late 2020 under a partnership in between hospitality huge Marriott International and New York-based global property company Witkoff.

The new luxury property, which will feature a casino and approximately 4,000 rooms and suites, announced Monday it will likewise be the home of the Strip’s first JW Marriott.

“It is going to be a design-forward structure, when we bring it all together, people are going to state, ‘I actually wish to come back,'” Steven Witkoff, chairman and CEO of Witkoff, informed The Associated Press ahead of the statement. “The structure here is so well conceived, even from nine years back, that there are a great deal of possibilities for us to put our imprint from a style standpoint on that home.”

The website near the Circus and SLS hotel-casinos, along with the Las Vegas Convention Center, has been inactive since 2009, about two years after independently held Fontainebleau Resorts LLC began deal with the $2.9 billion, 3,900-room project. The 63-story tower was 70 percent completed when the recession stopped building and construction.

Service mogul Carl Icahn and his company, Icahn NV Video Gaming Acquisition LLC, bought the residential or commercial property from bankruptcy in 2010 for $150 million. Witkoff and Miami-based financial investment firm New Valley LLC acquired it for $600 million in August.

“We believe that development is coming and is going to come here,” Witkoff said.

The prepared resort will include 500,000 square feet of convention and meeting area, along with a variety of entertainment, night life, retail and more than 20 dining options. The structure’s style has not been finalized, however the existing 8-and-a-half-acre pool deck will be “reimagined,” Witkoff said, in a manner that it will distinguish the property from others in Las Vegas and drive customers.

Marriot’s top-end, boutique-style “Edition” brand will debut in Las Vegas at The Drew. The company, whose commitment program has more than 100 million members, will manage the 3 hotels.

The Strip has not seen a casino-resort open because 2010, when The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas began operations.

Las Vegas hospitality industry veteran John Unwin, who took control of a half-finished Cosmopolitan in 2009, will be involved in supervising the development, launch and operations of The Drew through the consulting company 2 Blackbirds Hospitality.

Tony Capuano, executive vice president and international chief advancement officer at Marriott International, stated the business was particularly attracted to this job by the half-million square feet of convention and conference space, which would be amongst the biggest on the Strip.

“Las Vegas is certainly an amazing market, principally driven by leisure transients and group business, when you look at the facilities program for the complex, it is uniquely placed to benefit from both of those strong need sectors,” he stated. “Clearly, with almost 4,000 spaces, it gives you the scale and footprint to take on much of the big, widely known casino-hotels on the Strip.”

The Drew will be among 2 resorts expected to open on the northern end of Strip in 2020. The other scheduled task is the years-delayed multibillion-dollar Resorts World Las Vegas, which will accommodate Sin City’s Chinese and Chinese-American tourists. Both websites are within a mile (1.61 kilometer) of each other, in a less-trafficked location of the traveler passage.

The combined addition of 7,000 rooms to the area will come at the very same time that a mega growth of the Las Vegas Convention Center is expected to be finished. The firm responsible for promoting the location has projected that the 1.4 million-square-foot (130,064-square-meter) expansion together with a remodelling of the existing facilities will draw in 600,000 more visitors every year.

Witkoff said a bridge will connect The Drew to the expanded Las Vegas Convention Center.

“Our company believe this is a portion of the Strip whose time has come,” Witkoff said.

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