Las Vegas Strip’s Big, Blue Eyesore Sells For $600 Million

After buying the Fountainebleau casino in bankruptcy court for $150 million in 2009, Carl Icahn just sold it to real estate firm Witkoff for $600 million.

Yet another casino on the north end of the Las Vegas Strip is changing hands. Granted, it is probably generous to call the building once intended to be the Fountainebleau Resort a casino.

Investors never finished construction on the giant blue building. Problems with nearby condo owners in Turnberry Place and financial struggles during the Great Recession resulted in the project shutting down 2009.

Billionaire Carl Icahn is always on the hunt for a bargain. With that in mind, he bought the unfinished property out of bankruptcy court for $150 million.

Witkoff buys property for $600 million

After years of letting the property sit, Icahn took action earlier this year and put a wrap on the unifnished part of the building.

That was not exactly Icahn’s idea though. Rather, Clark County officials pushed Icahn to wrap the building. Many complained it was an eyesore standing incomplete among a sea of operating Nevada casinos.

Even if the wrap cost him a pretty penny, Icahn certainly profited on this latest sale.

Witkoff paid $600 million for the former Fountainebleau after four months of looking into the investment. The global real estate group is confident they can turn the vacant building into a major Las Vegas competitor.

The Chairman and CEO of Witkoff, Steve Witkoff, spoke highly of the asset in a press release announcing its sale

“2755 Las Vegas Boulevard South is one of the best physical assets in the country, which is one of the reasons we were attracted to it. Furthermore, the resort is ideally located on the Las Vegas Strip, directly across from the Las Vegas Convention Center, which is in the midst of a $1.4 billion expansion and renovation. At the basis, we acquired a well-designed, structurally sound integrated resort at a significant discount to both replacement cost and the implied public market valuations of comparable Las Vegas Strip resorts. We look forward to applying our industry-leading value-enhancing platform to this property to unlock its true growth potential.”

North end of the Strip is bustling now

After a period of inactivity, the north end of the Las Vegas Strip is bustling these days.

When the SLS Casino completely overhauled the old Sahara Casino in 2014, it hoped to inject some life into that area of the Strip.

Instead, the property sold recently. In fact, the rumor currently is that it will be going back to its old Sahara name.

SLS is not the only property coming up or changing hands. There is also:

  • Paradise Park at Wynn and Encore
  • Resorts World
  • Stratosphere changing ownership to Golden Gaming

People have high hopes for this currently quiet area of the Strip. It will still be a few years before we will know if Witkoff got a casino bargain or not though.

Photo by trekandshoot /