Updated March 10, 2022 - 6:51 am
With Southern Nevada’s convention industry still climbing back from the pandemic, Fontainebleau Las Vegas owner Jeffrey Soffer wants the long-planned resort to be a hub for conferences.
The 67-story hotel-casino, which is under construction and slated to debut in the fourth quarter of 2023, will feature a pillarless ballroom spanning more than 105,000 square feet, one of the largest in Las Vegas, according to an announcement this week that provides new details about the resort’s meeting space and a new batch of project renderings.
Located across from the Las Vegas Convention Center’s new $1 billion West Hall, the Fontainebleau will also have a three-level, 90,000-plus-square-foot venue that can host business functions or entertainment; nearly 62,000 square feet of additional space that can be split into 57 breakout rooms; and three boardrooms overlooking an outdoor “hospitality garden,” according to the release.
All told, the towering north Strip resort will feature more than 550,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and convention space, as well as “advanced digital amenities,” including touchscreen technologies and “next-level” audio and visual tools.
Fontainebleau Las Vegas President Cliff Atkinson said in the release that the resort is arriving amid “elevated expectations among meeting planners,” and he described the project as a “convergence of modern business travel and luxury hospitality.” The new renderings, meanwhile, show upscale ballroom space, a multipronged pool, and a porte cochere with an elaborate, overhead criss-cross design.
Fontainebleau management is showcasing its conference space as Southern Nevada sees more conventioneers, though such numbers are still far below what they were before the coronavirus pandemic upended daily life two years ago.
Among its many spillover effects, the outbreak sparked a monthslong drought of zero conventioneers in Las Vegas in 2020 as people stayed home over fears of the virus and in-person gatherings moved online.
Overall, Las Vegas had 2.2 million convention attendees last year, up from 1.7 million in 2020 but nowhere near the all-time high of more than 6.6 million in 2019, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported.
Last June, when the Convention Center’s expansion debuted with the World of Concrete, the trade show was billed as the first major convention locally and nationally since the pandemic hit.
Soffer, head of Florida-based Fontainebleau Development, initially broke ground on the Fontainebleau in 2007. But Las Vegas’ roaring real estate market soon crashed, the economy imploded, and his project went bankrupt in 2009.
After it changed hands a couple of times over the years, Soffer teamed with Kansas conglomerate Koch Industries to reacquire the still-unfinished skyscraper in February 2021.
At the time, the project was 75 percent complete, the new owners said.