Fontainebleau Development is planning to open its long-delayed 67-story Las Vegas resort and casino in the fourth quarter of 2023. The property has commenced construction and will open under the name Fontainebleau Las Vegas.
“We are grateful to have the opportunity to finish what we started and finally introduce the iconic Fontainebleau brand into one of the world’s largest hospitality destinations,” Fontainebleau Development Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Soffer said in a statement, adding that Las Vegas has always been the company’s No. 1 choice for expanding the brand, and that the building is in “mint condition.”
Fontainebleau Development and partner Koch Real Estate Investments acquired the property in February 2021. The project is 75 percent complete, and Fontainebleau Development will be the sole hotel operator of the property when it opens.
The property covers 25 acres and approximately 9 million square feet on the north end of the Las Vegas Strip, directly adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Las Vegas Global Business District.
“The Las Vegas tourism industry has shown incredible resiliency throughout the last two years, and we believe our target opening date allows us to perfect our vision while positioning Fontainebleau Las Vegas for success in a new era of growth and visitation,” said Fontainebleau Development President Brett Mufson. “This represents not only an investment in real estate, but also an investment in the community, and we look forward to having a positive presence and impact on Las Vegas for generations to come.”
Fontainebleau Development has retained Las Vegas builder Richardson Construction to complete construction of the property, and the company will announce additional design and development partners in the coming months.
The Fontainebleau Saga
If the project opens in 2023 as planned, it will bring to an end a nearly 20-year journey for the project, which was first announced in 2005 as a planned sister resort to the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel in Florida. Construction began two years later, and the hotel tower was topped off in 2008. But when the project went over budget, the supporting banks cut off funding and the development went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 2009, four months before the scheduled opening.
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn purchased the project out of bankruptcy in 2010 and announced five years later that he would put it up for sale. In 2017, a partnership led by New York developer Steven Witkoff bought the long-abandoned resort for $600 million. A year later, Witkoff partnered with Marriott International to turn the property into the Drew Las Vegas, which would include the first Edition in the city and the first JW Marriott on The Strip. The Drew was, at the time of the announcement, slated to open in late 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic halted the conversion, and Soffer was able to buy the property back in February.