The much anticipated and long-awaited Fontainebleau Las Vegas will Open in 2023. The Fontainebleau Las Vegas sits on the 24.5-acre site previously occupied by the El Rancho Hotel and Casino and the Algiers Hotel. The project was announced as Fontainebleau Las Vegas in May 2005, with initial plans to begin construction by March 2006, and to have the resort opened by 2008. It was intended to be a sister property to the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel. It would be developed by Fontainebleau Resorts, which was owned by Jeff Soffer.
Construction began in February 2007, and the hotel tower was topped off on November 14, 2008. A group of banks had agreed to provide financing, but the group was sued by Fontainebleau in April 2009, after it refused to continue funding the project. Construction was slowed down considerably, and was eventually put on hold in June 2009, when the project went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The project was 70-percent completed, and the opening had been scheduled for October 2009. The project, upon completion, was to include a 95,000 sq ft casino, 2,871 hotel rooms, and 1,018 condo hotel units, among other features. The hotel tower rises 68 stories, standing 737 feet high. It is the tallest building in Las Vegas and in the state, excluding the nearby Strat observation tower. The Fontainebleau was designed by Carlos Zapata Studio with Bergman Walls and Associates as the executive architect.
Carl Icahn purchased the project out of bankruptcy in 2010, but he never restarted construction. In August 2017, the unfinished resort was sold to investment firms Witkoff Group and New Valley LLC for $600 million. In February 2018, Witkoff and Marriott International announced a partnership to open the resort as The Drew Las Vegas. Upon completion, the project would include a casino as well as three hotels with 3,780 rooms; plans for condominiums were scrapped. Witkoff Group founder Steve Witkoff named The Drew after his deceased 22-year-old son, Andrew Witkoff, who died of an OxyContin overdose in 2011. The Drew was intended to open in 2022. However, construction stopped in March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Nevada. In February 2021, the former owner of the Fontainebleau Jeffrey Soffer teamed with conglomerate Koch Industries to purchase the property. The 67-story megaresort is now scheduled for completion in 2023. Fontainebleau Development is planning to open its long-delayed 67-story Las Vegas Resort and Casino in the fourth quarter of 2023. The property construction timeline is being met and will be met for opening under the name Fontainebleau Las Vegas.
Once completed, the Fontainebleau will have approximately 3,700 hotel rooms, more than 550,000 square feet of convention space, a collection of restaurants, shops, nightlife options and a casino. Located across from the Las Vegas Convention Center’s new $1 billion West Hall, the Fontainebleau will also have a three-level, 90,000-plus-square-foot venue that can host business functions or entertainment; nearly 62,000 square feet of additional space that can be split into 57 breakout rooms; and three boardrooms overlooking an outdoor “hospitality garden,” according to the release.
The 67-story hotel-casino, is slated to debut in the fourth quarter of 2023.