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Doomed from the start: Marriott just pulled out of the Las Vegas Fontainebleau project

October 18 2021
4 min read
aerial view of the Fontainebleau tower in Las Vegas while under construction
Doomed from the start: Marriott just pulled out of the Las Vegas Fontainebleau project
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The north end of the Las Vegas Strip just got dealt another big blow — and so did Marriott Bonvoy members hoping to burn points in Sin City.

Marriott has decided to pull out of the seemingly neverending Fontainebleau project, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, meaning the Strip’s first JW Marriott and the Las Vegas Edition won’t see the light of day.

Since the project broke ground in 2007, the currently empty Fontainebleau tower (a behemoth building with more than 60 floors) has faced a series of setbacks, starting with the 2008 financial crisis. It’s also had a handful of different owners over the years, including billionaire Carl Ichan who purchased the development from its original developer, Jeffrey Soffer of Florida-based Fontainebleau Development, for about $150 million.

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In 2017, Ichan sold the building for a whopping $600 million to the Witkoff Group and New Valley LLC, the team that developed the West Hollywood and Times Square Editions, according to the Review-Journal. By 2018, Marriott signed on to open the Las Vegas Edition and JW Marriott as part of the project then called “The Drew” after developer Steve Witkoff’s late son.

Earlier this year, Witkoff sold the still-unfinished resort back to Soffer (and the real estate division of Koch Industries) for an undisclosed amount.

As recently as July of this year, Marriott still had plans to move forward with the JW Marriott Las Vegas Blvd., reported the Review-Journal. With over 3,700 rooms, 500,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, plus everything else you’d expect from a massive luxury resort, Marriott’s website said the resort would finally open in the fall of 2023.

But now, Marriott is out of the deal it made with the building’s previous owners and was coy about the specific reasoning, only telling local news outlets that the decision was “amicable.”

The fate of the resort is up in the air once again, which is unfortunate news for folks like me hoping to earn or redeem Bonvoy points in a swanky new Marriott property.

For now, it appears that Fontainebleau will operate the resort but there are no official plans for when it will actually open, what it’ll house or if it’ll even be called Fontainebleau.

“Having come full circle and taken ownership of the site in Las Vegas, we intend to fulfill our original vision and deliver the same extraordinary hospitality experience that our guests have come to expect from Fontainebleau Development,” the company said in a statement to the Review-Journal.

While we wait for those specifics — maybe don’t hold your breath — and mourn the loss of Bonvoy dreams tied to this project, don’t forget that there are plenty of other Marriott properties to choose from in Las Vegas.

The Cosmopolitan, part of The Autograph Collection, is a hugely popular resort and casino you can book starting on average from 85,000 points per night. And if you were specifically looking for a JW Marriott, there’s already one just a few miles from the Strip, complete with a casino, spa and golf course.

Back on the north side of the Strip there might not be too much Marriott presence, but there is the brand-new Resorts World, the massive Hilton project home to three hotels (the Las Vegas Hilton, the Conrad and Crockfords Las Vegas) all of which let you earn and redeem Hilton Honors points.

Featured photo by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
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Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees