Fontainebleau Las Vegas Gets Final Approval for December 13 Grand Opening

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After 16 years of challenges and anticipation, the Fontainebleau Las Vegas has been given the final regulatory approval for its upcoming grand opening.

The $3.7 billion luxury casino resort is set to open December 13, after Thursday’s approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

The Fontainebleau Las Vegas will be the tallest of all the famous Nevada casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, with its 67-story, 3,600-room hotel tower.

Development on the project initially commenced in 2007. However, it has since experienced a tumultuous journey — involving financial setbacks, changes in ownership, and even a minor construction fire — before receiving a final nod to open.

The Long Road to Opening

The Fontainebleau’s journey to completion has been anything but straightforward.

The project began with high hopes in 2007, but encountered significant difficulties during the 2008 financial crisis. By 2009, development was indefinitely put on hold, with the building only 70% complete.

The towering unfinished structure has since changed hands multiple times over the years, including periods of ownership by corporate raider Carl Icahn and New York developer Steve Witkoff. The latter had plans to rename it The Drew. However, all these ideas were also stalled, largely by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It wasn’t until Jeffrey Soffer, Fontainebleau’s original developer, reacquired the property in 2021 in partnership with Koch Real Estate Investments that the project gained new momentum.

Soffer is also the CEO of Miami-based Fontainebleau Development, which created the iconic Fontainebleau hotel in Miami.

“This marks a pivotal milestone in our journey, and we are deeply appreciative of the trust and confidence that commission members have placed in Fontainebleau Development, our leadership, and our vision for Fontainebleau Las Vegas,” Soffer said, speaking after Thursday’s license approval.

Spacious and Well-Equipped Resort

The Fontainebleau Las Vegas is set to open with a host of impressive features.

As well as the huge hotel tower, it will incorporate a 150,000-square-foot casino, equipped with 1,300 slot machines, 128 table games, and a poolside gaming area. High-limit gaming spaces and a private gaming salon add to the luxury feel.

The property will also feature a 14,000-square-foot addition to the list of Nevada retail sportsbooks. It will be operated with technology provided by Red Rock Resorts, though it will not carry its Station Casino Sports (STN) brand.

The casino floor is set to include more than 18,000 square feet of high-end gaming spaces, including a dedicated high limit slots room with 105 machines.

Many of the Fontainebleau Las Vegas’ high-end dining options opened last month for reservations. The list of eateries includes 36 bespoke restaurants and exclusive concepts. Those are instead of the upmarket chains found at many casino resorts in Las Vegas.

Employment and Union Agreement

The resort is expected to employ 7,100 workers, with around 6,500 in place by the opening date.

In September, the resort’s operators reached an agreement with Culinary Workers Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165, allowing much of the property’s nongaming workforce to decide on union representation without interference from the business.

This smooth sailing with a contract agreement stands in contrast to many of its major Las Vegas Strip rivals. MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts left it until the final day before a planned strike to agree to new contracts with some 60,000 workers.

“We’re also grateful to the people of Nevada and Las Vegas for their support of our project, as well as our members, who have been working tirelessly to bring Fontainebleau Las Vegas to life,” said Soffer.

“The completion of this project is a testament to dedication, innovation, and our collective belief in creating unparalleled hospitality experiences.”

The launch of Fontainebleau Las Vegas is set to be celebrated with a private black-tie reception, followed by the public opening on December 13.

Grammy Award-nominated singer Post Malone will headline the resort’s inaugural New Year’s Eve weekend festivities.

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