93°F
weather icon Clear

Former MGM Resorts exec Bobby Baldwin named CEO of Drew Las Vegas

Updated November 1, 2019 - 4:20 pm

Longtime gaming executive Bobby Baldwin has been named head of the Drew Las Vegas, currently under construction on the Las Vegas Strip.

In a Friday morning press release, real estate firm Witkoff announced Baldwin’s new role as CEO of the planned resort-casino, as well as vice chairman of the firm.

“Bobby sees how far the project has come and is supportive of our vision and strategy,” said Steven Witkoff, developer of Drew Las Vegas and chairman and CEO of Witkoff. “Given Bobby’s industry reputation and experience, we believe he’s the ideal individual to successfully launch this project and to help drive strategy within the overall Witkoff enterprise.”

Formerly known as the Fontainebleau, the 67-story Drew Las Vegas development is located on the north end of the Strip, across from Circus Circus. The $3.1 billion property is planned to have 3,780 rooms, along with a casino, restaurants, shops, pools, nightlife options, spa and wellness offerings and more than 550,000 square feet of convention and meeting space. In April, Witkoff pushed back the opening date to the second quarter of 2022.

John Unwin — former CEO of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas who had been overseeing the launch and operations of Drew Las Vegas — is evaluating his future involvement with the project.

Through his new role, Baldwin is set to “provide leadership and insight on projects beyond Las Vegas that are critical to the firm’s long-term growth strategy,” according to the release.

Baldwin has a long history in Las Vegas. He most recently served as chief customer development officer at MGM Resorts International and president and CEO of the $9.2 billion CityCenter development. Prior to his roles at MGM, Baldwin held executive positions at the Golden Nugget, The Mirage and Bellagio, the last of which has a high-stakes poker room named after him, “Bobby’s Room.”

He was chief financial officer of Mirage Resorts under CEO Steve Wynn between 1999 and 2000, back when the company was acquired by what is now MGM. After the deal was finalized, Baldwin was named CEO of MGM Mirage. In 2005, he moved on to become president and CEO of Project CityCenter.

Baldwin also is known as a world-class poker player, having won the 1978 World Series of Poker main event. At that time, he was the youngest champion to win the title at 28.

In July 2017, Baldwin was injured after falling down two flights of stairs at the Aria. At the time, people close to him tweeted that he had broken his shoulder, pelvis and ribs and had undergone a successful elbow surgery.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the Witkoff organization as well as the team at Drew Las Vegas,” Baldwin said in the release. “Witkoff’s proven track record in global real estate development, financing, and operations makes this the right opportunity, particularly when combined with the introduction of the Drew.”

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
Hockey arena opponents erred in ballot initiative - Video
Opponents of a minor league hockey arena in Henderson collected enough verified signatures to put the disputed project on the November ballot, but then a problem emerged: A procedural error on the petition.
Layoffs at 'The Drew' force staff to sue owner
Rj Business reporter Eli Segall talks about the lawsuit and the future of the unfinished hotel and casino.
Vegas tourists react to mask mandate - VIDEO
Governor Steve Sisolak announced on Wednesday a mandate to wear face masks starting Friday. Down on the Las Vegas Strip tourists reacted on camera to the news. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA #VegasSmart social media campaign brings awareness to wearing a mask - Video
Now that Gov. Steve Sisolak has announced requirements to wear masks in public settings in the state, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority will attempt to deliver the message to prospective visitors via their #VegasSmart social media campaign. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's unemployment crisis - Video
Thousands of jobless workers turned to the state for payments after the COVID-19 shutdown in March. DETR has struggled to handle record claims. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars mandates guests to wear masks
Guests at Caesars Entertainment Corp. properties will be required to wear masks while inside its properties, effective immediately.
MGM Grand and Aria are reopening pool clubs - Video
MGM Grand’s Wet Republic Ultra Pool and Aria’s Liquid Pool Lounge plan to open July 2, according to a Wednesday statement from MGM Resorts International and Hakkasan Group. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Survey shows big reluctance to travel with coronavirus ablaze - VIDEO
Would-be travelers are becoming more pessimistic in their outlook about their safety when they travel. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown's Circa resort will begin taking room reservations Wednesday - Video
Circa developer Derek Stevens confirmed that when the property opens on Oct. 28, persons under the age of 21 won’t be allowed. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas’ Circa resort will begin taking room reservations - Video
Downtown Las Vegas’ Circa resort will begin taking room reservations on Wednesday. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Culinary union expresses concerns about returning to work - Video
The Culinary union expresses its concerns about returning to work and the safety precautions that casinos are taking to ensure the safety of staff.
Bellagio poker room reopens with approval to host six-handed games - Video
The installation of plexiglass dividers between the players gave the Bellagio an edge over the other poker rooms open in Las Vegas. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Westgate reopens after coronavirus shutdown - Video
Jay Kornegay, vice president of Westgate Sportsbook, talks about the reopening of the casino on Thursday, June 18. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Final beam of Circa resort tower moved into place - Video
A crane whisked the final beam in the construction of downtown Las Vegas’ Circa resort property into place Friday morning, June 19, and crews paused momentarily, then continued working to ensure the casino's Oct. 28 opening. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paris Las Vegas reopens - Video
The Paris Las Vegas hotel-casino reopened its doors on June 18 after the statewide shutdown in response to COVID-19. (Mackenzie Behm/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Masks required at casino table games in Nevada - Video
The state Gaming Control Board has ordered Nevada casinos to require players and spectators of most casino table and card games to wear protective face coverings.
Downtown Las Vegas’ Circa to open in October - Video
Circa resort-casino’s first five floors are set to open Oct. 28, according to CEO and developer Derek Stevens. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas movie theaters set July reopening date - Video
Las Vegas movie theater reopenings will start Regal, the valley’s largest exhibitor, announced Tuesday that it will reopen its theaters starting July 10, albeit in a modified fashion. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Contractors say they’re owed $36M for work done at Drew Las Vegas - Video
Three months after coronavirus turmoil shut off construction of the Drew Las Vegas, contractors have levied claims for more than $36 million in unpaid bills. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Contractors say they’re owed $36M for work done at Drew Las Vegas
Three months after coronavirus turmoil shut off construction of the Drew Las Vegas, contractors have levied claims for more than $36 million in unpaid bills. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Many Las Vegas guests ignoring COVID-19 protocols
Casinos are putting safety first but many Las Vegas guests are not socially distancing.
As Las Vegas casinos reopen, not every employee is convinced it's safe to go back.
As Las Vegas casinos reopen, some employees aren't convinced it's safe to go back.
1.54M Americans filed for unemployment last week - Video
The U.S. Labor Department released the unemployment numbers on Thursday, June 11. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1.54 Million Americans Filed for Unemployment Last Week
1.54 Million Americans Filed for Unemployment Last Week. The U.S. Labor Department released the unemployment numbers on Thursday. The number of jobless claims was just below economists' predictions of 1.55 million claims. 1.897 million Americans applied for unemployment insurance the previous week. More than 44 million Americans have filed jobless claims in the past three months. Continuing claims nearly topped 21 million. The numbers follow the May jobs report, which revealed that more than two million jobs were added to the U.S. economy in May. Initial jobless claims continued the gradual downward trend. But it is still hard to square the claims figures with the much more upbeat news on the labor market from May’s Employment Report, Capital Economics, via Yahoo Finance
Visitors return to Las Vegas
Guests returned to Las Vegas casinos throughout the weekend. Casinos reopened on Thursday after being closed for 78 days because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Sisolak tours casino property after reopening - Video
Gov. Steve Sisolak and Sandra Morgan, chairwoman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, participated in a tour of the Wynn Las Vegas hotel-casino where they share their first thoughts on casinos reopening. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Treasure Island reboots operations after coronavirus shutdown - Video
When casinos shut down, not only were tourists unseen on the Las Vegas Strip, but jobs were temporarily lost. Treasure Island took the months off to remodel and fix the property, adjusting the casino for COVID-19 norms. Now that they’re open again, management is slowly hiring back staff as guests return. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Casinos Reopen Thursday - Video
Casinos on the Strip welcomed guests for the first time since March 17, when Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered them closed them due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Electronic Marquees above the Las Vegas Strip: Welcome Back
Electronic marquees above the Las Vegas Strip display a message "Welcome Back." After 78 days without gambling Las Vegas casinos begin to reopen, ushering in gusts eager to try their luck. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas-Review Journal) @bizutesfaye
After 78 days without gambling Las Vegas casinos begin to reopen
A look at Las Vegas openings downtown and on The Strip after 78 days of closure due to the pandemic.
THE LATEST