The Cosmopolitan on the Strip has found its leader.
Hotel industry veteran and former Caesars Palace general manager John Unwin has been named as the resort’s chief executive officer, a Cosmopolitan official has confirmed.
Unwin, who resigned his position at Caesars Palace after five years last week, will join the $3.9 billion hotel-condominium-casino project in October.
Unwin, who could not be reached for comment, will be hired by project owner Deutsche Bank. He will oversee the resort even if another company is brought in to operate the hotel-casino.
Deutsche Bank, which paid $1 billion to acquire the project at a foreclosure sale in August, is rumored to have an agreement with Hilton Hotels Corp. to operate the property under the Conrad and Hilton brands, but the bank would not confirm that scenario last week.
No applications for a gaming license for the 2,998-room hotel-condominium-casino had been filed with Nevada gaming regulators as of Friday, according to the Gaming Control Board .
The Cosmopolitan, which is scheduled to open in September 2010, is on 8.5 acres between MGM Mirage’s CityCenter and Bellagio properties on Las Vegas Boulevard.
Unwin’s hiring is the first public announcement related to the project since Deutsche Bank hired New York-based Related Cos. in September to oversee its completion. The bank acquired the project when it was half-finished after its original developer and owner, Bruce Eichner and his company, 3700 Associates LLC, entered foreclosure proceedings.
Cosmopolitan officials have remained quiet about its plans for the resort’s condominium units. The resort had contracts to sell 1,825 condominium units in late October, the last time that data was reported.
A few lawsuits have been filed in federal court in Nevada and Clark County District Court by some buyers who want their deposits, some of which were paid as long as 41/2 years ago, refunded.
Unwin, who joined Caesars Palace in May 2004, has 30 years of hotel experience. Before joining Caesars, he was chief operating officer for Ian Schrager Hotels, and held positions at Fairmont, Marriott and Westin properties.
Contact reporter Arnold M. Knightly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3893.