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Icahn's Vegas venture could be demolished soon

The stalled construction site of the Fontainebleau Las Vegas is seen May 11, 2011.
Ricky Carioti | The Washington Post | Getty Images
The stalled construction site of the Fontainebleau Las Vegas is seen May 11, 2011.

Workers have reportedly begun deconstructing a crane that has perched atop the Vegas Strip's Fontainebleau for over five years, and it's not because the Carl Icahn-owned hotel is complete.

In fact, as the Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote, "the activity is the latest chapter in the sad history of the shuttered Fontainebleau," which saw its construction halted in 2009 after building was about 70 percent done.

When Icahn bought the unfinished hotel for $150 million out of bankruptcy — well below the expected price tag of $3 billion for the finished product — his company began selling off the furnishings, the Review-Journal reported.

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Despite a revival at the north end of the Strip, analysts told the Review-Journal that "it would be more cost effective to demolish the Fontainebleau rather than try to finish it."

Icahn has said little publicly about the unfinished hotel; Reuters published a story last year on his uncharacteristic silence on the subject.

—By CNBC

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  • Diana Olick serves as CNBC's real estate correspondent as well as the editor of the Realty Check section on CNBC.com.