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Fontainebleau developer to buy more Strip land for $112.5M

Updated June 7, 2024 - 4:35 pm

The developer of Fontainebleau Las Vegas is now seeking to purchase 5 acres near the hotel-casino on the Strip for $112.5 million.

The Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority will vote on the sale of the land, just south of Fontainebleau, at its next meeting Tuesday.

“Almost six months into operations, we are already seeing positive and encouraging results for Fontainebleau Las Vegas. This acquisition, which is strategically located for future growth, underscores our confidence in the Las Vegas market. We look forward to disclosing more details in the near future,” Fontainebleau chairman and CEO Jeffrey Soffer said in a statement.

The land is part of a larger 10-acre site where the Riviera once stood. The LVCVA purchased the entire 26-acre Riviera hotel site in 2015 and demolished the property in 2016.

65SLVB, a partnership of Brett Torino of Las Vegas and New York’s Paul Kanavos, has been under contract with the LVCVA to purchase 10 acres for $125 million.

According to the meeting agenda, Fontainebleau Development will purchase half of the land, dubbed the Back Five Acres, from 65SLVB.

Torino and Kanavos haven’t said what they plan to build on their portion of the land which fronts Las Vegas Boulevard. In the terms of the sale, LVCVA requires something complementary to the rest of the new development on the north Strip — including high-end condominiums — be constructed on the site.

The 67-story, blue-tinted Fontainebleau resort opened with a celebrity-packed party in December after being in development for roughly 18 years.

The property was conceptualized by Soffer, who bought the historic Miami Beach hotel in 2005 and announced the Vegas location the same year. The building was roughly 75 percent complete when the economy crashed in 2009. Bankruptcy, changing ownership and multiple new visions came and went in the following years before Soffer’s team once again acquired the still-empty, nearly done building in 2021 with partners in Koch Real Estate Investments.

Less than two months after opening, observers began questioning the viability of the 3,644-room resort, in part, because of the departure of multiple executives and seemingly slow business in public places. Four senior-level executives, overseeing departments such as casino marketing, operations and revenue management, left the company in the first month. Experts said the resort just needed more time to find its footing.

Maurice Wooden, a 36-year hospitality and gaming veteran whose experience includes leading Wynn and Encore resorts, was hired in February, signaling possible changes at the resort. And the resort has extended a loyalty tier matching program until Sept. 2.

Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter McKenna Ross contributed to this report.

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