Formerly called Fontainebleau Las Vegas, The Drew Las Vegas is an unfinished resort plus casino located on the Strip. Excluding the 1,149-foot nearby Stratosphere observation tower, this resort’s hotel building has 63 floors, making it the city and state’s tallest building.
The property was originally managed by a hotel-casino called The Thunderbird. It opened in 1948 and the name was changed to the Silverbird, and finally to El Rancho. In 1992, the hotel-casino closed. In May 2000, a company called Turnberry Associates purchased the property for 45 million dollars. Later that year, Turnberry Associates imploded the El Rancho to make room for a resort with London theme. However, this never materialized because of the economic downturn that 9/11 caused.
In March 2005, Turnberry paid 97 million dollars to purchase 1.5 hectares of adjacent property previously occupied by the Arabian/Persian-themed hotel called Algiers Hotel. This purchase gave Turnberry and Fontainebleau Resorts 10 hectares of land.
On May 12, 2005, Turnberry and Fontainebleau Resorts announced their project Fontainebleau Las Vegas as a casino and hotel with 4,000 rooms. In February 2007, Turnberry West Construction started the Fontainebleau Las Vegas construction. Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (PBL) purchased 19.6% of Fontainebleau Resorts for 250 million dollars in April 2007.
On February 18, 2010, the American businessman Carl Icahn paid 150 million dollars and assumed part-ownership of this project. In August 2017, New Valley LLC and Witkoff Group purchased the resort for 600 million dollars. In subsequent months, Grand Canyon Development Partners got involved with the project. Penta Building Group, a construction company, was hired to complete the resort.
On February 12, 2018, Marriott International and Witkoff announced a partnership of opening the project in late 2020. The Drew Las Vegas is the new name of this project. The new name feels fresh and modern and reflects what visitors are craving in Vegas. It also signals the experiences Marriott and Witkoff will deliver. Diller Scofidio + Renfro, an architecture firm, will design the resort. The Drew Hotel and Casino will have a pedestrian bridge connecting to the LVCC (Las Vegas Convention Center) expansion across Elvis Presley Boulevard.