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The Fontainebleau hotel-casino is shown under construction on the north Strip on May 27, 2008. (Las Vegas Review-Journal file)

Dates of emergence

The Fontainebleau project in Las Vegas has a long history marked by bankruptcy proceedings, halted construction, different sets of owners, name changes, and national economic meltdowns.
By Eli Segall Las Vegas Review-Journal

MAY 2005

Florida developer Jeffrey Soffer and Las Vegas casino executive Glenn Schaeffer announce plans to build the Fontainebleau resort on the north Strip.


Construction at the Fontainebleau, whose plans were announced in 2005, is seen April 8, 2008. (Las Vegas Review-Journal file)

FEBRUARY 2007

Construction starts on the 60-plus-story project.


An undated aerial view of the Fontainebleau hotel-casino construction site. (File photo)

JUNE 2007

Fontainebleau developers announce financing that will be used, in part, to fund their $2.9 billion project on Las Vegas Boulevard.


Fontainebleau construction on May 29, 2007. At the time, the project was expected to open in fall 2009. (Las Vegas Review-Journal file)

JUNE 2009

Amid the worst recession in decades, the Fontainebleau project goes bankrupt.


The Fontainebleau on June 22, 2009, amid financial troubles involving a group of creditors. (Las Vegas Review-Journal file)

FEBRUARY 2010

Billionaire Carl Icahn acquires the Fontainebleau for around $150 million.


The Fontainebleau on Jan. 17, 2010. Billionaire Carl Icahn submitted the only qualified bid for the property being handled by U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Miami. (Las Vegas Review-Journal file)

AUGUST 2017

After leaving the project largely untouched, Icahn sells the Fontainebleau to developer Steve Witkoff and partners for $600 million.


The unfinished Fontainebleau project on the north Strip on Dec. 13, 2017. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

FEBRUARY 2018

Witkoff and hotel giant Marriott International announce the resort is now called Drew Las Vegas and slated to open in late 2020. The Drew is named for Witkoff’s son Andrew, who died of an OxyContin overdose in 2011 at age 22.


The unfinished Fontainebleau, shown on the Strip on Feb. 12, 2018. Its name was changed to Drew Las Vegas and was scheduled to open in late 2020. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto

APRIL 2019

Witkoff says the 67-story hotel-casino is now scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2022.


An aerial view of Drew Las Vegas, formerly the Fontainebleau, as seen on May 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal file)

JANUARY 2020

Witkoff says he is close to obtaining a roughly $2 billion construction loan for the Drew.


Drew Las Vegas is seen in the background of a vacant parcel on the north end of the Strip on Feb. 12, 2021. (Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @ellenschmidttt

MARCH 2020

Witkoff suspends construction of the Drew amid Las Vegas’ rapid shutdown over the coronavirus outbreak.


Drew Las Vegas on July 20, 2021. Construction had been suspended amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto

FEBRUARY 2021

Soffer, the Fontainebleau’s original developer, reacquires the property in partnership with Kansas conglomerate Koch Industries’ real estate wing.


Windows are missing in the unfinished Fontainebleau as a double-decker bus travels down Las Vegas Boulevard on Oct. 14, 2021, on the north end of the Strip. (Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @ellenschmidttt

OCTOBER 2021

Marriott confirms it exited the project after reaching an “amicable settlement” with the ownership.


Pedestrians and traffic pass the unfinished Fontainebleau on Oct. 14, 2021. Marriott International exited its involvement in the project. (Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @ellenschmidttt

NOVEMBER 2021

Soffer renames the project Fontainebleau Las Vegas,says construction has resumed, and sets a target opening for the fourth quarter of 2023.


Developer Jeffrey Soffer during a commencement ceremony Nov. 9, 2021, at the yet-to-be finished Fontainebleau on the north Strip. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto

DECEMBER 2022

Fontainebleau owners announce a $2.2 billion construction loan for the project.


Fontainebleau under construction again on the north Strip on Feb. 3, 2022. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto

SEPTEMBER 2023

Soffer announces the Fontainebleau’s grand opening date of Dec. 13.


Fontainebleau hotel-casino on Nov. 7, 2023, a month out from its opening. (Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @ellenschmidttt

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342.

Dates of emergence: Timeline of Fontainebleau

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