Posted on: Jul 21, 2021 at 7:57 am
Last updated: July 21, 2021, 7:57 am.
Former Fontainebleau Las Vegas and The Drew, now known as JW Marriott Las Vegas Blvd., says the long-delayed Strip eyesore will open in fall 2023.
The former Fontainebleau Las Vegas, now JW Marriott Las Vegas Blvd. called, can be seen between Encore Las Vegas and The Strat observation tower. The blue structure is scheduled to open to guests in the fourth quarter of 2023. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The towering 67-story blue giant has been a stark reminder of the Great Recession for more than a decade. However, the current owners of the unfinished casino resort on the Las Vegas Strip say the property will be completed over the next two years and will welcome its first guests in October 2023.
Koch Real Estate Investments, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, acquired the vacant strip complex in February for an undisclosed amount. Koch announced during the purchase that he had worked with Fontainebleau Development to complete the project.
Charles Koch is chairman and CEO of privately held Koch Industries. The 85-year-old has an estimated net worth of $ 45 billion, making him the 27th richest person in the world.
Koch Industries was founded by Charles’ father, Fred Koch, who in 1927 developed a method to improve the refining of heavy fuel oil into gasoline.
Koch Real Estate Investments and Fontainebleau Development did not immediately respond to media inquiries to comment on the planned opening of the property. The announcement came instead from Marriott International, which was hired by Koch and Fontainebleau to run the resort.
According to Marriott International, the Strip Casino will “usher in a new generation of Las Vegas resorts”.
We will offer over 3,700 rooms and suites as well as more than 500,000 square meters of meeting and congress space. Our resort will debut the EDITION brand of Marriott International in Las Vegas and mark the first JW Marriott hotel on the Las Vegas Strip with a variety of retail, spa, nightlife, pool, casino and dining experiences, ”the publication said by Marriott to open in 2023.
“EDITION will offer over 900 rooms and suites on the upper floors with breathtaking views of the Las Vegas Strip and the surrounding valley. JW Marriott Las Vegas Blvd is the only integrated resort that is connected by a pedestrian skybridge to the new expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center, ”the statement said.
The third time is a spell?
Fontainebleau Development’s involvement in completing the troubled strip company brings the project to a close as Fontainebleau owner Jeffrey Soffer was the original visionary behind the blue structure.
Fontainebleau paid $ 97 million in March 2005 for a 3.6-acre property on the Strip. The company announced plans to build a casino resort with 2,900 hotel rooms and 95,000 square feet of gaming space.
But as the Great Recession approached, the project went bankrupt after Bank of America stopped lending. Billionaire Carl Icahn bought the unfinished structure in 2009 for $ 150 million and never resumed construction.
New York real estate developer Steve Witkoff bought the property from Icahn for $ 600 million in August 2017. Another crisis – COVID-19 – resulted in Witkoff being unable to complete the resort. Witkoff is named after his son Drew, who died of an OxyContin overdose in 2011 at the age of 22.
JW Marriott Las Vegas Blvd. will be the property’s third attempt at branding to bring the structure to completion. The recent opening of Resort World Las Vegas, valued at $ 4.3 billion southwest of the strip from JW Marriott Las Vegas Blvd. is expected to cause a stir at the north end of the strip.
“We are excited to be part of the rejuvenation and revitalization of the north end of the Las Vegas Strip,” said Brett Mufson, President and Chief Investment Officer of Fontainebleau Development.