Fontainebleau Las Vegas Has Been Sold
Last week’s rumor of the week became the major story in Las Vegas. Vital Vegas posted that the sale of Fontainebleau would be announced soon…and it was. The big blue monstrosity on the north end of the Vegas Strip may remain but it will no longer be named Fontainebleau. That name is reserved for the hotel in Miami.
For the time being the new owners, Witkoff, will use the name “2755 Las Vegas Boulevard South” instead of Fontainebleau. The unfinished casino resort was sold by Carl Icahn for $600 million. You may remember that he purchased the property for less than $150 in 2010. Even after expenses, that’s a pretty nice return on investment.
The new owners haven’t revealed specific plans for the future of the casino formerly known as Fontainebleau. They did have this to say:
“2755 Las Vegas Boulevard South is one of the best physical assets in the country, which is one of the reasons we were attracted to it,” said Steve Witkoff, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Witkoff. “Furthermore, the resort is ideally located on the Las Vegas Strip, directly across from the Las Vegas Convention Center, which is in the midst of a $1.4 billion expansion and renovation. At the basis, we acquired a well-designed, structurally sound integrated resort at a significant discount to both replacement cost and the implied public market valuations of comparable Las Vegas Strip resorts. We look forward to applying our industry-leading value-enhancing platform to this property to unlock its true growth potential.”
Fontainebleau was supposedly about 75% complete when construction stopped. Last year the estimate to finish construction was $1 billion. Last week the Las Vegas Review-Journal said it will cost between $900,000 and $1.6 billion to complete.
My uneducated guess is that the owners would like to finish construction so that they or someone else can open by the time the Oakland Raiders become the Las Vegas Raiders. The new attraction in Las Vegas could help boost occupancy at the hotel with 4,000 rooms.
Last but not least, the plans for Fontainebleau were impressive. Take a step back in history and take a look at Vegas Today and Tomorrow to see what could have been and what may become of the property formerly known as Fontainebleau.
Golden Gate Casino Expansion Officially Open
Golden Gate casino unveiled their new casino expansion on Friday. If you read TravelZork regularly you know that I was there when it really opened last weekend. Here’s a look at the first look at the Golden Gate casino expansion from earlier in the week.
I’m not going to rehash that blog post. The expansion looks great and the table games weren’t touched. Next up for Golden Gate will be to announce and open a restaurant to replace DuPar’s. Check out the blog post from earlier this week to see pictures and video from the expansion.
Extended Quick Hits
There are a few stories from the past week that I want to share but don’t have deep thoughts or analysis. Here are a few news bits with just a few notes.
- And the winner is…Las Vegas Lights! The name of the United Soccer League team will be the Lights. I voted for Club Vegas. I’m disappointed we couldn’t make that happen. Oh well, turn out the lights! The party’s over! Read more about the name here.
- Station Casinos has a blog post with some booze specials at their casinos during football games. I prefer non-macro beer but I can drink a few Miller Lite’s at the prices they offer. It’s a better cheap beer option than they used to have. You can see the specials here. KTNV posted a few more casino specials here. I’ll try to compile a list of football specials on my blog as I see them.
- Fear The Walking Dead attraction opens in downtown Las Vegas. This isn’t my kind of thing but people like zombies and Halloween is coming up so I figure I’d share it. Read more here.
- MGM Resorts International announced that Bruno Mars will play another six shows at the Park Theater before March 2018. The shows will take place December 30 & 31 (New Year’s Eve), February 14, 16 (Valentine’s Day), 17 and 19, 2018. You can read more here.
- The neon Hard Rock guitar has been removed from the old Hard Rock restaurant in front of the casino. It’s being moved to the Neon Museum. Read more here.
- “Hello from Japan” is opening at the Discovery Children’s Museum in downtown Las Vegas on September 16. While this is intended for kids, I know plenty of adults who love the cutesy animation and toys from Japan. Read more here.
Rumor of the week: Say hello to another roller coaster at New York-New York
Vital Vegas has another juicy rumor and it’s one I haven’t heard before. The blog post says that MGM Resorts International is considering adding a second roller coaster at New York-New York. The new roller coaster would be a virtual reality roller coaster.
Last week we shed light that MGM Grand would be adding a virtual reality attraction at the Level Up Lounge. This week there’s rumor that MGM Resorts International may be adding another roller coaster at New York-New York. I think this rumor is as close to being true as any rumor could be.
The bean counters at MGM Resorts International are looking for any way to increase profits and decrease expenses. This could be a low-cost test to see if a virtual reality roller coaster could someday replace the real thing. If this works, maybe MGM Resorts International will replace the fountains at Bellagio with virtual fountains.
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