More than two decades in the making, Fontainebleau Las Vegas is finally set to open Wednesday.
Florida real estate developer Jeffrey Soffer’s company bought the property first occupied by The Thunderbird in 2000 but didn’t reveal plans to build the new resort until 2005, after he partnered with former Mandalay Resort Group president Glenn Schaeffer to form Fontainebleau Resorts and purchased the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach.
He invested more than $1 billion to renovate and reopen the iconic 1954 Florida landmark in 2008, but funding for the Las Vegas project disintegrated during the recession. The property fell into bankruptcy and changed hands a few more times before Soffer returned to it with partner Brett Mufson, and funding from Koch Industries’ real estate investment wing.
The blue-hued resort is 67 stories with 3,644 luxury hotel rooms and suites; 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space; 150,000 square feet of gaming space; leading restaurants, including chef Evan Funke’s Mother Wolf and Gabriela Cámara’s Contramar; pools; a spa, and shops, of course.
Opening on Day One will be Chrome Hearts featuring many products designed specifically for Fontainebleau Las Vegas; Missoni; Giuseppe Zanotti; chocolatier Cocoa Dolce, and Fontainebleau Development’s original concepts Ora, Lapis, Morris & Co. and FB Express.
More than 20 additional retailers are set to open throughout 2024. Because Fontainebleau Las Vegas has a vertical design, the retail space is integrated around the podium-like shape of the property amid the casino floor, food and beverage.
“Our approach to retail is centered around ‘unexpected gems’ — curating luxury brands and products that are not commonly found on the Strip,” said Fontainebleau Development vice president of corporate retail Brooke Soffer, whose family has a long history in the retail real estate business, building the Aventura Mall in Florida for one.
“Just as we have done for decades, we have sought out brand partners beyond the traditional, emphasizing uniqueness and the ability to develop a connection with our guests. This way, every interaction between guests and our retail partners becomes part of their Fontainebleau Las Vegas memories. They’re able to look at every piece as a beloved keepsake from their time with us,” she said.
Located on the first level, the 2,100-square-foot Chrome Hearts store will feature jewelry, eyewear, and apparel from the Los Angeles luxury brand founded by Richard and Laurie Lynn Stark. It will be the brand’s third Las Vegas location.
The 1,800-square-foot Giuseppe Zanotti boutique, the Italian designer’s first in Las Vegas, will showcase his signature embellished shoes in vibrant colors and animal prints alongside men’s ready-to-wear and small leather accessories.
Missoni’s 1,800-square-foot store, only the fourth in the U.S., will feature its knits and ready-to-wear, beachwear, accessories and home furniture.
Originally from Wichita, Kan., Cocoa Dolce is making its Las Vegas debut at the hotel with help from Fontainebleau design partner Peter Arnell, whose branding work for DKNY and others (Anne Klein, Chanel, Tommy Hifliger) made an impact on the fashion industry.
Ora is a multibrand accessory shop selling designer jewelry, handbags, fragrance and a sunglasses selection from Kering brands such as Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent and more.
Lapis, located at the entrance to the Lapis Spa & Wellness, offers skin care and makeup, activewear, casual loungewear, lingerie, jewelry and gifts.
Taking its name from Morris Lapidus, the architect behind Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Morris & Co. offers designer jewelry, accessories, branded merchandise and more. And near the main lobby entrance, the FB Express will stock snacks, sundries, gifts and Fontainebleau Las Vegas branded merchandise.
Fontainebleau Las Vegas opens at the end of a jam-packed year for the city, following the arrivals of Sphere and the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Next year, Las Vegas will host the Super Bowl at Allegiant Stadium. According to the Las Vegas Visitor Authority, tourist traffic is slightly down year over year, but convention traffic is up 2 percent.