Our friend, Scott over at Vital Vegas had promised breaking news, that the Big Blue Silo had finally been sold. The mothballed, eyesore at the north end of the Las Vegas strip had finally found a new owner. And he was correct as usual.
Witkoff, a global real estate development and investment firm, together with New Valley LLC, an investment company owned by Vector Group, today announced that they have acquired the significantly undervalued resort hotel located at 2755 Las Vegas Boulevard South in Las Vegas (formerly known as the Fountainbleau), for $600 million.
Now, remember, the corporate raider Carl Icahn bought the former Fontainebleau for $150,000,000 in 2010. The resort was approximately 70% completed and is the tallest hotel tower in Nevada. His price amounted to less than 10% of what had already been invested in it before the markets crashed and the builders went belly up. He later sold all the furnishings and from reports on the street, just about anything else that wasn’t nailed down, to other resorts looking for an upgrade for cheap. Basically, he made a lot of his money back and didn’t have to do anything.
News of sale blows my long-held belief that the cheapskate that Carl is, that he would buy the big blue silo and turn it into the world’s largest Motel 6! Leaving the light on, up on top just to piss everyone off.
In the end, he bought it for about $6 million an acre, held it 6 years then sell it for $24 million. Yea, that’s a good deal.
So now the question is: What will become of that big hole in front of the property? What was once part of Wet n Wild is now a dirt lot with a huge hole in it and is not part of the Fontainebleau project. It belongs to a project called All Net. And from the looks of it, the front of Fontainebleau is right where the hole begins.
In 2013, former UNLV and NBA player Jackie Robinson got the big idea of building a multi-purpose sports arena, hotel, and restaurant on vacant land. Apparently, he found just enough investors to start the digging after he got the go-ahead from the county to move forward with the project. Hoping to be finished and open by Dec. 2016. It appears that date was wrong and the hole sits quietly empty. The earth moving machines have moved on.
Unfortunately, at $24 million an acre, it’s cost prohibitive to demolish the Fontainebleau. Something a lot of other investors on the Strip would dearly love. Especially the new buyers of the SLS. Having the big blue silo there makes it difficult to sell “Strip View” rooms. Instead, the views are of the MGM Village, Naked City/Crack Alley and the Spring Mountains in the distance. The Fontainebleau kind of blocks out any real view of the neon Boulevard.
So we are back to the big hole. No signs if this was part of the deal or if it’s planned to be refilled or did the ex-jock find some more suckers, I mean investors willing to pony up some money to build something that has less room for a stadium with parking than the Vegas Raiders Stadium has.
Don’t You Love Vegas Deals??