Las Vegas’ Fontainebleau luxury resort to open Wednesday after more than two decades in the making

The new Fontainebleau Las Vegas luxury resort is set to open Wednesday (December 13th) right before midnight, after nearly two decades since it first broke ground. Thousands of workers are currently preparing for what promises to be an unforgettable opening night with final touches on rooms and training in restaurants.

The $3.7 billion project houses 67 floors, and 3,644 rooms, and is the tallest occupiable building in Nevada. The casino at the property’s center boasts 1,300 slots and 128 table games with 42-foot ceilings. Guests in retail or at the food hall on the second floor can look down into the casino.

Las Vegas’ Fontainebleau will have 36 food and beverage outlets, with new-to-market names like Mother Wolf and Papi Steak to draw East Coast and Southern California customers.

However, President Mark Tricano told Las Vegas Review-Journal that he does not view the property as a foodie-first resort. He pointed out the 550,000 square feet of convention and meeting space and the 55,000-square-foot Lapis Spa as examples of what will draw customers.

I do view this as a wholly integrated resort where it’s going to find that balance between all of those elements of the business,” Tricano told the publication. “In order for us to be successful long term, that’s what we have to do as a team. If we allow any one of those elements to dominate, I think we would be shortchanging ourselves in some of those other areas.”

Fontainebleau Las Vegas President Mark Tricano

The resort also has various similarities to its sister property in Miami Beach. The lobby bar, for instance, is named Collins, after the famed avenue, and several eateries are replicated in Vegas. It also features a focus on art and decorations, akin to the hotel in Miami. The property has a 48-foot-tall sculpture in the south lobby, where drive-in and convention guests are most likely to enter.

The resort also features bow ties as an homage to Fontainebleau Miami Beach’s original architect, Morris Lapidus, who wore them daily. The new resort casino’s logo is on the carpets, in the shape of the wayfinding signs and repeating patterns in chandeliers, on drawer handles in rooms, on trash cans, and in the shapes of sofas and banquet hall chairs.

Fontainebleau Las Vegas reveals details for opening night

Fontainebleau Las Vegas will welcome guests to the property after an invitation-only grand opening party. The first guests will gain access to the resort through its southwest pedestrian entrance on Las Vegas Boulevard, resort officials told Review-Journal. Fontainebleau’s official parking garage will be closed to the public until at least 1:00 AM Thursday and rideshare drop-off service will not be available to the resort on Wednesday.

The public is instead advised to be dropped off at nearby locations. Free parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Las Vegas Convention Center West Hall, accessible from Paradise Road or Convention Center Drive.

Rideshare services will begin after 2:00 AM Thursday. Drop-off is on the property’s north side at the main valet. Additionally, a portion of Elvis Presley Boulevard and the northbound right turn lane on Las Vegas Boulevard will be closed from 3:00 AM Wednesday to 3:00 AM Thursday. The west hall parking lot will be accessible via westbound Elvis Presley Boulevard from Paradise Road.

On Wednesday morning, a ribbon-cutting ceremony for invited guests is set to take place. It marks the launch of the blue-tinted property, conceptualized by Fontainebleau Development CEO Jeffrey Soffer, who bought the historic Miami Beach hotel in 2005 and announced the Vegas location the same year. 

The building was roughly 75 percent complete when recession hit the country in 2009. Bankruptcy, changing ownership, and multiple new visions followed before Soffer’s team once again acquired the still-empty, nearly done building in 2021 with partners in Koch Real Estate Investments.

Fontainebleau Las Vegas to focus on live entertainment and nightlife 

The Fontainebleau brand is synonymous with entertainment, going back to the Rat Pack era,” Fedor Banuchi, Senior Vice President of Entertainment, Special Events and Sponsorships told Las Vegas Sun.  The Fontainebleau Hotel which opened in Miami in 1954 was favored by popular celebrities through the decades, including Frank Sinatra and his friends. 

Our owners are very supportive of entertainment and believe it’s important, and that’s given us the ability to go into the marketplace and compete,” Banuchi said. “When more shows start to get announced, the public will really see this as an entertainment destination. We’re really going after the top of the top.”

Hip-hop artist Post Malone will open the property’s 3,800-seat BleauLive Theater on December 30th and 31st. Live Nation is Fontainebleau’s partner in booking the space. The entertainment agency will focus on touring acts rather than residency shows.

Malone is expected to appear and perform at the LIV Beach pool club on New Year’s Eve as well, and the club has also booked DJ John Summit and hip-hop artist Metro Boomin for this week’s opening events.

It’s an interesting size and the facility itself is beautiful. Guests are going to feel like they’ve entered the most modern, luxurious facility, and of course, it has all the bells and whistles a brand new theater should,” Banuchi said. “Because of the long lead time we had to create it, the operations team really got involved and engineered it to make operating it amazing from the production level. That should make it one of the best rooms in the city, if not the best.”

Fontainbleau Las Vegas will feature a variety of venues on the property, including the cocktail-centric Nowhere Lounge, where free live music will be part of the programming every week. It will also have the LIV Nightclub, an extension from Miami by Groot Hospitality, which has been planning an expansion to the Las Vegas Strip since it first opened in 2008.

Founder David Grutman told the publication that he had a lot of opportunities to open in Las Vegas but none felt like the perfect fit he has with Fontainebleau Development CEO Jeffrey Soffer. 

At the end of the day, we couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to put so many exciting venues under one roof with the person who has helped build my hospitality DNA,” Grutman said. “It’s the perfect scenario. And Vegas is the most competitive market hospitality-wise in the world, so it’s good to have a great team that you know cares and wants to succeed.”

“When it comes to openings, there’s only one way for us to go and that’s as big as possible,” Grutman said. “We love doing things in a bigger, better way, in an exciting way, and in our way. The first year is going to be exciting and new for everybody but we’re long-ball players. We’ve been around for 16 years in Miami and we’re going to love being around for a long time in Las Vegas.

Fontainebleau is also expected to boost Vegas’ North Strip’s offerings. It is a short distance to the Las Vegas Convention Center West Hall, which is expected to play a large role for the property. As per reports, the groups’ sales teams are pushing synergistic opportunities between the two sites.