Just before midnight on Wednesday, December 13, the Las Vegas Strip’s newest casino will finally open its doors. The 67-story, 3,644-room Fontainebleau Las Vegas first broke ground back in 2007. In the last 16 years, the property has changed ownership, changed names, started and stopped development, and now — finally — is hours away from welcoming throngs of people who have tracked its progress for nearly two decades.
The property is immense, sleek, and glamorous. It boasts a grand porte-cochère, a lobby enrobed in marble and gilded motifs of bowtie inlays, a sprawling convention space, modern hotel rooms, and a whopping 36 bars and restaurants. Here’s what to expect on opening night.
The newest luxury resort-casino on the Strip will open its doors to the public just before midnight. Visitors who are not invited to the Fontainebleau’s opening party can enter the resort starting around 11:45 p.m. on Wednesday through the pedestrian entrance on Las Vegas Boulevard. The parking garage won’t open until 1 a.m. at the earliest. Rideshare services will begin after 2 a.m. Thursday. Drop-off is on the property’s north side at the main valet.
The dining collection will feature new versions of existing hotspots as well as many original restaurants. Award-winning chefs and restaurateurs coming to Fontainebleau include Gabriela Cámara (Cantina Contramar), Masa Ito and Kevin Kim (Ito), Alan Yau (Washing Potato and Chyna Club), Evan Funke (Mother Wolf), David Grutman (Papi Steak), and Josh Capon (Capon’s Burgers). There will also be a handful of fancy and poolside bars, casual dining options and coffee shops and, of course, a food hall.
The most-hyped dining spot is Evan Funke’s Mother Wolf. The Roman Italian restaurant is an LA hotspot, both a known celebrity haunt and a destination for really, really good pasta. Other anticipated restaurants include Hakkasan founder Alan Yau’s high-energy Chyna Club restaurant, a third location for the bold and gold Komodo, Miami-based Papi Steak with its enviable floral wallpaper, and Bleau Bar, a Chandelier Bar-style lounge at the casino’s center.
Colleen Birch, the property’s chief operating officer, worked on the Fontainebleau for nine months back in 2008 — the building was roughly 75 percent complete when the Great Recession derailed it. She remembers that the bones of the guest rooms had been completed up to the 29th floor when the economy crashed. The 3,644 rooms are striking with floor-to-ceiling windows that splash natural light over the white linens, glossy dressers, and yet-untouched furnishings. The corridors leading to the rooms are wide by Vegas standards, punctuated by framed artworks and doors that have been updated from the early 2000s with modern key card sensors. Rooms start at about $480 a night.
The $3.7 billion resort’s six pools are spread out over a six-and-a-half-acre pool deck. Currently, they’re only open to hotel guests. The Oasis Pool is next to the FB Slims bar, an outdoor bar that aims to transport visitors back in time with sidecars and French 75s. The center bar at the Oasis Pool, Bleau Isle, will be shaded by an elaborate art deco-style overhang and offer cocktails in pitchers, house-made seltzers, frozen favorites, and dishes from the La Côte restaurant.
Noticeable by the glowing blue lighting that encircles the Fontainebleau’s upper stories, the resort is the tallest occupiable building in Nevada. The casino has 1,300 slots and 128 table games with 42-foot ceilings, as well as 550,000 square feet of convention and meeting space. It’s also a boon to the north end of the Strip, home to the Strip’s second-newest property, Resorts World, and one of the Strip’s oldest properties — the equally beloved and maligned Circus Circus. “I don’t see it as a detriment from a location standpoint. Our proximity to the West Hall at the Convention Center is something that we’ve got going for us,” says Birch. “Once you arrive here, you really don’t need to leave the building. I could go to the club. Even if I’m here for a meeting, I might add a personal day to it and spend the day at the spa. So there’s enough to do you know, I’m not I’m not concerned about where we fall on the Strip. We’re very proud of what we’ve created.”
Fontainebleau Development CEO Jeffrey Soffer bought the historic Miami Beach Fontainebleau and announced the Vegas location in 2005. Following the resort’s first derailment, billionaire Carl Icahn purchased the incomplete building for $150 million in 2010. In 2017, the still-empty building sold to real estate investment firms Witkoff and New Valley for $600 million. It was then slated to open at The Drew in 2022 — those plans were mostly scrapped due to burdens imposed by the pandemic. In a full-circle moment, Soffer and his team once again acquired the building in 2021 with partners in Koch Real Estate Investments. “I think will be the last hotel to open for a very long time,” says Birch. “I think Vegas needs a place that feels interesting and is full of warm and gracious and relationship-building members. And we do that well.”