Stars such as Cher, Tom Brady, Sylvester Stallone, Eva Longoria, Bryan Cranston, Alice Cooper and Lenny Kravitz flocked to the opening of Fontainebleau Las Vegas, the tallest casino resort on the Las Vegas Strip, which has been some 17 years in the making.
At a cost of $3.7bn, the 67-story property opened with 3,644 hotel rooms, 36 bars and restaurants, 1,300 slots and 128 table games. With work starting on the casino in 2007, it has stood 70 per cent completed since 2009 as a symbol of the Great Recession as funding fall flat. Several changes in ownership sparked false dawn after false dawn for the project until its original pioneer, Jeffery Soffer, the Miami-based Chairman of Fontainebleau Development, successfully got hold of it again in 2021 and finally brought it to fruition.
The arrival of the resort’s first guests on December 13 followed a star-studded private opening celebration with a surprise headlining performance by 10-time GRAMMY winner Justin Timberlake. The opening of Fontainebleau Las Vegas signals a new era of luxury hospitality on the Strip, and a testament to the iconic, nearly 70-year Fontainebleau legacy of sophisticated glamour, unparalleled service, and innovative design.
In a prelude to one of Las Vegas’ most anticipated grand openings, Fontainebleau Las Vegas hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony on December 13, hours before the resort’s public debut.
Fontainebleau Development Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Soffer, joined by Fontainebleau Las Vegas executives, local government officials, community dignitaries, and national VIPs, marked the historic moment in true Fontainebleau grandeur, with champagne, live violinists, and a snip of the “Bleau” ribbon.
“Welcome to the Fontainebleau Las Vegas era,” Mr. Soffer said following the ribbon cutting. “Today, we open our doors to the world, and welcome our first guests to experience the pinnacle of luxury hospitality.
“It’s fitting that Las Vegas is a city of dreams and possibilities, as this resort stands as a symbol of perseverance, our unwavering commitment to excellence, and our belief in the transformative power of genuine, world-class hospitality. Bringing Fontainebleau Las Vegas to life has been an extraordinary journey. Opening a resort of this size and scope is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
The ceremony, held at Fontainebleau Las Vegas’ Urs Fischer Gallery, brought full circle Mr. Soffer’s nearly 20-year dream to extend the iconic Fontainebleau name beyond its Miami Beach heritage. Conceived in the early 2000s, Fontainebleau Las Vegas was reacquired by Fontainebleau Development, in partnership with Koch Real Estate Investments, in 2021. Fontainebleau Las Vegas stands as the tallest occupiable building in the state of Nevada and a testament to Fontainebleau’s 70-year legacy of timeless elegance, sophisticated beauty, and forward-thinking design.
Mark Tricano, President of the resort, said: “We are indeed making history today with the convergence of two legacies, the nearly 70-year legacy of the iconic Fountainbleau brand, with the legacy and dynamism of the Las Vegas Strip. Our story, nearly 20 years in the making, is a story of resilience, a story of passion and a testament to the unexpected becoming of a resounding truth.”
In a historic moment, Mr. Soffer joined Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom on stage to receive the Key to the Strip, as December 13 was declared “Fontainebleau Las Vegas Day.” As he handed Mr. Soffer the ceremonial Key, the commissioner hailed Fontainebleau Development’s significant contribution to the growth and prestige of the Strip, as well as the strengthening of ties between Fontainebleau and the Las Vegas community. Additionally, Fontainebleau Development and Fontainebleau Las Vegas were honored with the Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen, a Certificate of Special Congressional Commendation from U.S. Rep. Dina Titus and an official proclamation from Assemblyman Howard Watts III.
The grand opening festivities began at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday with a “Bleau Carpet” arrival attended by numerous celebrities, dignitaries, and VIPs including Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Jessica Biel, Axel Rose, Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis, Las Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley, John Summit, Tommy Hilfiger, and several local casino executives who showed their support. These invited guests became the first to sample Fontainebleau Las Vegas’ signature restaurant and bar collection, including Fontainebleau originals Don’s Prime, Bleau Bar, Nowhere, Azul, and Collins as well as Groot Hospitality’s Papi Steak and Komodo, Chef Evan Funke’s Mother Wolf, celebrated Asian-inspired hotspot KYU, among others.
In true Fontainebleau style, the evening was filled with unexpected first-class entertainment, including a surprise performance by country music icon Keith Urban at Bleau Bar, the centerpiece of the 150,000-square-foot Fontainebleau Las Vegas casino. The 15-time Academy of Country Music Awards winner serenaded guests before the crowd made its way into the 3,800-seat Bleaulive Theater. There, guests were entertained by legendary singer Paul Anka, who serenaded Soffer with an original rendition of “My Way” dedicated to celebrating the nearly 70-year legacy of Fontainebleau coming to Las Vegas. Topping off the evening was an electrifying private performance by award-winning singer, and pop culture icon, Justin Timberlake, taking the stage to sing and dance his repertoire of globally acclaimed hits.
Following the once-in-a-lifetime performance, Timberlake was joined by football icon Tom Brady, Soffer, Fontainebleau Development President Brett Mufson, and others in Fontainebleau Las Vegas’ high limit salon to make history by rolling the first dice, signifying the official opening to the public. As the first guests made their way through the doors, they immersed themselves in the resort’s captivating atmosphere, and began crafting the Day One memories that will last a lifetime.
Doors opened to the public shortly before midnight, when invited guests dispersed to several private after parties including LIV Las Vegas, where world-renowned DJ Peggy Gou entertained the crowd.