Not as lucrative as Jürgen Fitschen and Anshu Jain had hoped.
A decade ago, Deutsche Bank began writing what would add up to $3.9 billion in checks to build a humble little gaming palace called the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. But in spite of all of those years and all of those billions, it isn’t finished just yet. And, in spite of those ads of a girl dancing in a mirrored closet without a blackjack table, and an old man paying for companionship and a chess opponent, visitors to Sin City prefer to gamble just about anywhere else on the Strip. (Chess, it should be noted, is not an especially popular casino game.)
But people do like to stay at the Cosmopolitan. Rich, foreign people looking to gamble their money away next door at the Bellagio. And so the Blackstone Group, which picked the Cosmo up for a song last year, has come up with a way to get those people to part with a few more of their dollars before taking the rest to neighboring chip windows: Finish the fucking place.
At the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the top four floors of the hotel’s 52-story east tower offer some of the Strip’s prime real estate. Views from the wraparound balconies stretch for miles, and ceilings soar up to 16 feet. Yet these rooms sit unfinished and have never been occupied by guests.
Now, Blackstone Group LP plans to transform that space into grand suites in hopes of attracting high rollers from around the world who have largely ignored the property’s underperforming casino thus far….
Blackstone executives said they expect to spend up to $200 million on the property, in part by completing elements of Deutsche Bank’s aborted plan. In addition to the top-floor suites, Blackstone has ideas for new VIP rooms in the casino areas and is looking to add new bars and restaurants in vacant space on the first three floors.