Owner of former Fontainebleau site says project will create 11,000 jobs
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) —
It's been called a monstrosity, an eyesore and a reminder of the recession that brought Las Vegas to a near standstill.
Formerly known as the Fontainebleau, the hotel-resort will now be called The Drew, according to the new owner.
He also offered something else for Las Vegas to celebrate.
"We will create approximately 11,000 jobs in Nevada. That's 3,500 construction jobs and 7,000 permanent jobs," said real estate developer Steven Witkoff, who named The Drew after his son Andrew, who passed of a drug overdose.
Witkoff was a guest panelist this weekend with President Donald Trump at the Southpoint Casino. The topic: tax reform.
Witkoff explained how Trump's tax incentives helped spur his decision to take a chance on the site. About $3 billion, he says, is what it will take to complete the 4,000-room hotel to be operated by Marriott.
"One of the big things about the project originally is that it had a lot of convention space, and guessing that since it's three-quarters done, they would be keeping a lot of that," UNLV Gaming Research Professor David Schwartz pointed out.
Schwartz says the original plan also called for a couple dozen restaurants and lounges and those will also be needed to draw customers, he says.
Just west of the property is Resorts World, which is now seeing some vertical progress. Crews are working daily at the site.
Schwartz says together the two will bring new life to the north end of The Strip.
As for the former Fontainebleau, even President Trump mentioned he himself considered purchasing the unfinished property and is confident it will succeed.
"A beautiful location, and I saw a concept and a design and it is really going to be a tremendous success, so congratulations," said Trump.
Construction on The Drew is slated to begin next year in July.
Completion of both The Drew and Resorts World are planned for 2020.