Fontainebleau has not had the best of luck, which for a Las Vegas casino does not bode well. But, it is about to get a new name, with new owners, so there may be a chance for the project.
Carl Icahn, billionaire, and investor of the Fontainebleau project made a deal for $660 million. The casino project, which is not done, is now under the consortium Witkoff Group and New Valley LLC. New Valley is a Florida holding company.
An announcement Monday, February 12, 2018, stated the new owners are going to finish the hotel-casino resort and give it a new name by 2020. The first guests will not walk into Fontainebleau, but The Drew Las Vegas.
Marriott International is going to be a part of the 63-story hotel, which will include 4,000 rooms and suites.
Reimagining the Hotel Casino
Steven Witkoff, the CEO for Witkoff Group, said the building started nine years ago on paper is such a good design that his group and the New Valley LLC will be able to reimagine a little of it regarding design concepts to make it a “design-forward” building. The new owners can see some ways to improve upon the structure to make it more conducive to the future.
In a media release, it was made clear the pool would be part of the redesign portion of the project. The property was scheduled to have an 8.5-acre deck for the pool to make it a different space than the typical chlorine-booze concepts of other Las Vegas hotels and casinos.
The design will change a little, but Witkoff wants to make sure it is not the same as any other place. The property will have a 500,000 square feet of convention space, which will have a bridge to connect to the Las Vegas Convention Center.
James Packer was the original creator of the Fontainebleau project, who owns Crown Resorts in Australia. Packer wanted to create a presence in Vegas, but 2008 was extremely difficult for the company. The credit markets ended funding, which meant Packer didn’t have access to funds to continue building. Icahn bought the property in 2010 for $148 million, when it was 70 percent complete. Now The Drew is getting new owners and will have to contend with the Genting project. The Genting is going to open in 2020 if it stays on schedule, which could cause a bit of revenue competition for both casino resorts.