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2 more executives leave Fontainebleau

Updated January 12, 2024 - 6:48 pm

Two more executives at the newly opened Fontainebleau Las Vegas have left, less than a month after the resort’s opening.

Chief Operating Officer Colleen Birch and Chief Marketing Officer Shane Smith “voluntarily resigned” from their leadership positions, a resort representative said in a statement.

“We thank them for their contributions and wish them well in the future,” the representative said.

The departures mark the third high-profile exit at the 67-story, $3.7 billion north Strip property. Michael Clifford, a senior vice president of casino operations, also left the company in the past two weeks.

Birch was hired as the resort’s COO in November 2022. Birch was previously a senior vice president of revenue optimization at The Cosmopolitan. It also was her second stint with Fontainebleau: She served as a revenue management director for less than a year beginning in 2008, according to her LinkedIn.

Smith joined the Fontainebleau in January 2023. Past casino and development experience include two years ending in 2020 working in development and strategy for Witkoff — the real estate firm that briefly owned the unfinished property before Fontainebleau Development, according to his LinkedIn.

Birch and Smith did not respond to requests for comment.

Fontainebleau opened on Dec. 13 after nearly 20 years of history at the site. The property’s concept was announced in 2005, shortly after Florida developer Jeff Soffer purchased the original historic Miami Beach property. The project lost funding and ceased building during the Great Recession and changed ownership hands multiple times in the years after. Soffer once again purchased the luxury property, partnering with the Koch Industries’ real estate investment wing, in 2021.

Clifford, who left the resort in late December, started working for the Fontainebleau in February, according to his LinkedIn. He was a manager of Crockford’s Gaming at Resorts World from April 2021 until February and worked for Wynn Palace in Macao and had multiple positions at MGM Resorts International before that.

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on X.

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