The star-crossed Cosmopolitan Las Vegas was sold last month by Deutsche Bank, which foreclosed on the property after the original developer defaulted, to real estate operator Blackstone Group, for .7 billion. The hotel features nearly 3,000 rooms, with a 110,000-square-foot casino.
The resort, conceived during a real estate boom, was under construction by developer Bruce Eichner when the recession bottomed out. Originally priced at less than $800 million, it was supposed to open in 2008. With the economic downturn and the change of ownership, the Cosmopolitan did not open until December 2010. By that time, costs had ballooned to almost $4 billion. And in its first three years of operations, the Cosmo has accrued net losses of $298.3 million.
Deutsche Bank had been shopping the property since it took it over, but found no willing purchasers. The company then hired Caesars Palace executive John Unwin to run it, and it has been very successful as a non-gaming venue.
The lack of a database has always been the Achilles Heel for the Cosmo. While thousands of people descend on the property every week to enjoy top-flight concerts and events, as well as an active nightclub scene, those crowds rarely cross over to the casino. Union speculated on whether Blackstone would hire an operator for the gaming operations, mentioning such companies as Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts, Penn National Gaming or Boyd Gaming. The company also mentioned some of the non-U.S. Macau operators, such as Melco Crown, SJM or Galaxy.
Just two weeks earlier, it was rumored that Crown Casino and its owner James Packer were interested in buying the Cosmopolitan.