Tallest hotel in Las Vegas finally welcomes guests after sitting empty for 10 years

The long-awaited property cost $3.7 billion to build

Benjamin Parker
Monday 18 December 2023 16:49 GMT
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The tallest hotel in Las Vegas has finally opened its doors after a sitting empty and unfinished for more than 10 years.

The 67-story Fontainebleau hotel-casino tower is the sister property of the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach in Florida, with the Las Vegas outpost – on the city’s glittery resort corridor – costing $3.7 billion to build, second only to the $4.3 billion Resorts World that opened in June 2021, a short walk away on Las Vegas Boulevard.

There are 3,644 rooms inside, with rates starting at $300 a night.

Fontainebleau Las Vegas is the blue building on the left (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Jeffrey Soffer, the Miami-based chairman of Fontainebleau Development, began the project in 2007. A year after the 2008 financial crash and with funding stopped, he walked away with the building 70 per cent complete.

Various new owners stepped in, including famous financier Carl Icahn and New York developer Steven Witkoff. The latter announced plans in 2018 to redesign and rename the resort The Drew, but progress stalled again during the pandemic.

The hulking shell of a building, with an incomplete street-front façade, sat idly by throughout the years. It occasionally used by area firefighters for high-rise rescue training. Last July, with work underway and the opening in sight toward opening, a fire broke out on the rooftop, though it caused little damage.

Mr Soffer’s company reacquired the building in 2021, and partnered with Koch Real Estate Investments to finance and finish it.

“Bringing Fontainebleau Las Vegas to life has been an extraordinary journey,” said Mr Soffer. “Opening a resort of this size and scope is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

According to Mark Tricano, Fontainebleau Las Vegas president, the property has 1,300 slot machines, 128 gambling tables and more than 36 bars and restaurants.

At 737 feet, the structure is the tallest occupiable building in Nevada and second tallest in Las Vegas, behind the nearby Strat tower observation deck at 1,149 feet (350 metres).

Fontainebleau Las Vegas is among the top 30 tallest hotels in the world. It’s beaten in the US by the two hotels that occupy 1717 Broadway in New York City, which stands at around 750 feet, and is some way off the Gevora Hotel in Dubai, which stretches as high as 1,169 feet.

With reporting by The Associated Press

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