Bobby Baldwin, a former CEO of MGM Resorts, has been employed by the Witkoff Group to serve in an analogous function for the upcoming Drew Las Vegas, a lavish lodge and on line casino that may, if issues go as deliberate, open in 2022.
The Drew, as it’s affectionately identified, is the brand new title of the property as soon as named the Fontainbleau. Nevertheless, the Fontainbleau, which was partially constructed over a decade in the past, was by no means accomplished. The corporate that initially constructed the constructing filed for chapter in 2009. Because of a scarcity of correct monetary planning, the development stopped that very same yr.
Fontainbleau has since stood empty, roughly 70 % full, on the north facet of the Las Vegas Strip. It’s an attractive, luxurious constructing however not one single buyer has stepped foot within the doorways in its 12 years of existence.
Calling on a Poker Champion
Bobby Baldwin was the 1978 World Collection of Poker Foremost Occasion champion. He’s some of the legendary poker gamers of all-time and, as such, is a member of the celebrated Poker Corridor of Fame.
However he’s been equally profitable exterior of the poker world. As a company govt, he’s assisted within the development of many Las Vegas casinos and properties, such because the Mirage and Aria Resort and On line casino.
Most lately, he served as a CEO for CityCenter, a lodge and on line casino heart alongside the Las Vegas Strip. He’s additionally the namesake for one in all poker’s most iconic card rooms – Bobby’s Room – contained in the fabulous Bellagio, an MGM property on the Strip.
Baldwin, 70, reportedly had a falling out with MGM in 2018. He mysteriously resigned from his govt place considerably out of nowhere. Few anticipated the departure and it was clear there was some animosity between the previous poker world champion and the foremost on line casino model.
After a yr since his MGM Resorts departure, Baldwin is again in enterprise. The high-stakes poker nice takes over as CEO and vice chairman of The Drew, which plans to open its doorways in 2022. That’s, after all, assuming the development and funding goes as deliberate this time round.
Historical past of The Drew Las Vegas
The Drew was initially named the Fontainbleau when development started in 2007. It was supposed to be a sister property of the Fontainbleau Miami Seaside lodge.
However simply two years into development, after the constructing was about 70 % full, the challenge went into chapter 11. Since then, a high-rise lodge on the Las Vegas Strip has simply sat there empty, overlooking some of the iconic roads in America.
In August 2017, Witkoff Group, an funding agency, bought the property for $600 million with the intention of finishing the development and finally opening up. A concrete open date hasn’t but been set however the builders are taking pictures for someday in 2022.
The lodge title switched from Fontainbleau to The Drew Las Vegas as a result of the brand new proprietor, Steve Witkoff, needed to honor his deceased baby. Witkoff’s son, Andrew (quick for “Drew”), handed away in 2011 from an OxyContin overdose.
It’s anticipated to price round $1.2 billion to finish the development of The Drew. So, whenever you issue within the $600 million buy worth, the brand new homeowners will finally pay practically $2 billion to open a facility that has sat empty for a decade.
However Witkoff doesn’t intend to lose cash on this funding. He expects a rebirth of the Las Vegas Strip’s north finish, an space of the Strip that has struggled in recent times because the properties in that space have gotten out-dated.
If Witkoff expects this to be a profitable enterprise enterprise, he’ll want a little bit of luck and a proficient workers. That features Bobby Baldwin, a poker champion and an skilled company govt within the on line casino area of interest.