by Michael J. Shapiro | February 12, 2018
The development firm Witkoff Group, which last August purchased the Las Vegas Strip property that was home to the unfinished Fontainebleau development, will team with Marriott International to open a multi-brand casino resort on the site. The Drew Las Vegas will offer 4,000 rooms across two Marriott brands, Edition and JW Marriott, as well as more than 500,000 square feet of convention and meeting space. The resort is scheduled to open in 2020.
 
"The Drew Las Vegas will become a landmark property for Marriott International," said Tony Capuano, Marriott executive vice president and global chief development officer. "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."
 
The Drew will mark Edition's debut in the city, and the JW Marriott will be a first on the Strip as well. Marriott will manage the hotels, while Two Blackbirds Hospitality, led by hotelier and former Cosmopolitan CEO John Unwin, will oversee the launch and operations of the overall resort, set to include a casino, convention facilities, entertainment, nightlife, retail and dining in addition to luxury lodging.
 
Witkoff chairman and CEO Steven Witkoff called the deal a "well-designed, structurally sound project" with costs well below the estimated market valuation of the resort, and he welcomed Marriott's participation. "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," he said.
 
Construction of the Fontainebleau Las Vegas began in 2007 but was halted two years later when the project went into bankruptcy. The 63-story tower that was being built is about 70 percent complete.