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Filip Mishevski November 10, 2021 4 min read
Fontainebleau Las Vegas Holds Gold-Shovel Ceremony, Plans 2023 Opening
Fontainebleau Las Vegas’ new owners held a gold-shovel ceremony on Tuesday and announced officially that they started the construction of the casino resort at the Strip’s north end. The property will have 67 floors, and is set to open in the final quarter of 2023.
The Property Was Purchased in February Through a Partnership
The stalled development located at 2777 Las Vegas Blvd. S. was purchased by Fontainebleau Development. This company based in Florida owns, designs, builds and even operates commercial, luxury, hospitality and retail properties. The purchase was completed with its partner Koch Real Estate Investments, a company based in Dallas, TX. Earlier this year, even Marriott showed some interest in the property but decided to back off.
Jeffrey Soffer, the Chairman and CEO of Fontainebleau Development, has almost always been behind the highly anticipated hotel-casino project. Even though it broke ground back in 2007, the crash on the real estate industry and the Great Recession led to the project being bankrupt in 2009. Then, it was acquired in 2010 by Carl Icahn, a well-known billionaire. Icahn decided to sell it to Steve Witkoff, a NY developer, in 2017. Witkoff planned to name the property Drew Las Vegas in memory of his late son.
Soffer commented on the acquisition by saying that the company is grateful to have the chance to finish the project and introduce this brand as one of the largest hospitality destinations in the world. He also added that Fontainebleau Development is very selective when it comes to its brand expansion and Las Vegas has been the company’s top choice. According to Soffer, the building is in “mint condition,” and the construction has already started.
The Massive Resort is In Its Final Stages
Fontainebleau Development will be the only operator of the resort as Marriott backed off. The project is reaching its final stages as it is 75% completed. It spans 25 acres and approximately 9 million square feet at the Strip’s north end and it is adjacent to the West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Over 3,700 rooms will be featured, as well as a convention space of upwards of 550,000 square feet. Pool experiences, shops and restaurants, wellness and spa, and nightlife offerings will also be available.
The President of Fontainebleau Development, Brett Muffson, stated that the tourism in Las Vegas showed unbelievable resilience in the last two years and the company believes that the target opening date will perfect its vision and at the same time, position Fontainebleau Las Vegas for massive success in the new era of visitation and growth. Recently, Nevada’s Commission unveiled a multi-million recovery plan that is set to bring the region to its normal state.
On the other hand, the president of Koch Real Estate Investments, Jake Francis, stated that the partnership between the two companies was forgotten in their combined belief that Las Vegas is more than just a destination. It is a global brand where people from every corner of the world come to experience the highest level of entertainment, nightlife, but also to enjoy its venues.
Around 150 people attended the gold-shovel ceremony, including local political leaders and the developers. While speaking at the ceremony, Mufson thanked the community of Las Vegas for the support it showed for the project and told the attendees that it welcomed the developers to the marketplace with open arms, and that is something that they appreciate.
After conceiving the project years ago, Soffer described his return as a crazy story. However, he noted that he’s back and added that projects like this one do not require just one person. Instead, a whole team is needed for this job to go forward. The building has always been a great one and the company is both excited and honored that it came back full circle.
To complete the construction, Fontainebleau Development hired Richardson Construction, a Vegas-based builder, which will announce its development and design partners in the next few months.
Around 6,000 People Will Be Employed After the Project is Completed
Upon the completion of Fontainebleau, the resort will offer around 6,000 permanent employees. Its construction will add around 3,200 jobs to the economy of Las Vegas. The governor of Nevada, Steve Sisolak, celebrated the economic impact and incoming jobs and said that it is “absolutely incredible” to witness the rebirth of this project. Sisolak also added that this project proves that every challenge can be passed.
Steve Hill, the President and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, stated that this project is exciting for both the developers and the city while citing the resort’s location near the Convention Center. He added that it is visible that the developers are excited and that “their eyes light up” when they see the opportunity that the project brings to Las Vegas and the Convention Center.