Fontainebleau Las Vegas ‘fb’ Lettering Adorns Towering Blue Strip Structure

Posted on: December 16, 2021, 09:09h. 

Last updated on: December 16, 2021, 01:50h.

Fontainebleau Las Vegas is a stark reminder of the 2008 Great Recession. But the new owners of the longtime Strip eyesore say the towing 67-story blue building is on a path to completion.

Fontainebleau Las Vegas casino Koch
The “fb” lettering on the forthcoming Fontainebleau Las Vegas casino resort on the Strip is beginning to go up on the 67-story structure. Developers behind the more than decade-delayed project say it will open in late 2023. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Koch Real Estate Investments, a subsidiary of the Koch Industries conglomerate empire, and Fontainebleau Development acquired the stalled Las Vegas Strip casino-resort in February for an undisclosed sum. Fontainebleau CEO Jeffrey Soffer was the original visionary behind the Strip undertaking.

This week, the Fontainebleau’s logo featuring its iconic “fb” stylized lettering made famous in Miami Beach began going up on the Las Vegas casino exterior.

Koch and Fontainebleau intend to complete the casino resort — which is roughly 75 percent finished — and commence its operations in late 2023.

Structure Well-Preserved

Fontainebleau Las Vegas has sat idle since billionaire corporate raider Carl Icahn acquired the bankrupt unfinished casino resort in 2010 for $151 million. Icahn never intended to finish work on the building, opting instead to hold the property as an investment vehicle.

Icahn’s bet paid off, as the famed investor sold the resort seven years later for $600 million. That buyer — Steve Witkoff — encountered financing difficulty and pandemic-relating impediments, which led to him selling the property to Koch and Soffer this year.

Despite sitting idle for more than a decade, Soffer says the building is sound.

The building is in mint condition,” Soffer explained in a release to today. “We have already commenced construction. We are excited to make this dream a reality.”

Fontainebleau Miami Beach is one of the most famous hotel resorts in the United States. Designed by Morris Lapidus, the Fontainebleau opened in 1954 and remains one of Miami Beach’s premier destinations.

Las Vegas Goal

Soffer is the son of Donald Soffer. The latter’s real estate holdings firm Turnberry Associates acquired the Fontainebleau Miami Beach resort in the 2000s amid the hotel’s own financial difficulties.

The younger Soffer says he’s had the goal of expanding the Fontainebleau brand elsewhere in the US ever since his family took control of the Miami Beach icon. Las Vegas, he says, has always been the “number one choice.”

That is now becoming a reality, as Fontainebleau Development plans to have all areas of the Las Vegas Strip complex ready for business in the final quarter of 2023. When it opens, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will have 3,700 guestrooms, 550,000 square feet of convention space, a spa and wellness facilities, a “world-class collection of restaurants and shops,” and indoor and outdoor pool complexes providing an array of leisure experiences.

Fontainebleau Development President Brett Mufson adds that the COVID-19 pandemic and Las Vegas’ bounce-back has only increased the company’s optimism regarding its Strip enterprise.

“The Las Vegas tourism industry has shown incredible resiliency,” Mufson said.