You may be familiar with Fontainebleau as the massive unfinished blue glass casino near SLS Las Vegas. Construction on Fontainebleau started in February of 2007 and stopped in 2009 when the project ran out of money and went into bankruptcy. The building was purchased last year by developers and construction will resume this year.
The development firm Witkoff has partnered with Marriott and is planning to open the big blue casino-resort now named The Drew in late 2020. The Drew Las Vegas will debut the EDITION brand by Marriott in Las Vegas. This will also mark the Vegas Strip’s first JW Marriott. The resort will feature nearly 4,000 rooms and suites, 20 restaurants, and over 500,000 square feet of convention space. Once open, Marriott International will operate the hotel.
Two Blackbirds Hospitality, led by former Cosmopolitan CEO John Unwin, will oversee the launch and operations of The Drew. As an integrated resort, The Drew will be home to a casino, luxury hotel, convention facilities, entertainment, nightlife, retail and dining. The Drew will also have a bridge that connects directly to the Las Vegas Convention Center.
“The Drew Las Vegas will become a landmark property for Marriott International,” said Tony Capuano, EVP and Global Chief Development Officer, Marriott International. “The resort will give our more than 100 million loyalty members the chance to enjoy our brand of hospitality in one of the most exciting and popular cities in the world, whether the visit is for a convention or a leisure trip.”
“With Marriott International, we have the opportunity to leverage the world’s most powerful group and convention pipeline as well as an unmatched loyalty program to ensure we unlock the unparalleled value of this asset,” said Witkoff Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steven Witkoff. “This acquisition, made in partnership with New Valley LLC, is a well-designed, structurally-sound project with a significant discount to both replacement cost and the implied public market valuations of comparable Las Vegas Strip resorts.”
The Drew could be the beginning of a renaissance of the North Vegas Strip. Rumors are that SLS Las Vegas will have a new owner soon. Wynn Las Vegas, despite ownership issues, has big expantion plans. Construction on Paradise Park is already underway on the land once home to the golf course. They’re also planning another hotel tower across the street next to the Fashion Show Mall.
But wait, there’s more when you look a little further down the pipeline. Resorts World continues to promise that they’ll begin construction on a new mega-resort across from Wynn Las Vegas. The owners of the land next to SLS Las Vegas might begin construction on All-Net Arena this year. Similarly, Lucky Dragon might see a new owner sooner than later.
Whew! That’s a lot of potential for such a small area. This is essentially just one block of Las Vegas Boulevard and the Las Vegas Strip. Keep your eyes peeled for more developments in this part of Las Vegas.
Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.
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