Fontainebleau to Buy 5 Acres Near Las Vegas Strip for $113M – The Real Deal

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Fontainebleau Development wants to buy 5 acres near the Fontainebleau Las Vegas for $112.5 million.

The Florida-based developer that opened the 67-story hotel-casino on the Strip in December aims to buy the land on Elvis Presley Boulevard, east of Las Vegas Boulevard, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. The pending deal works out to $22.5 million an acre.

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

The land is part of a 10-acre site where the Riviera hotel and casino once stood. The convention authority bought the entire 26-acre Riviera hotel site in 2015, then demolished the property.

65SLVB, a joint venture between 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 Journal-Review.

Fontainebleau Development aims to buy half of the land, dubbed the Back Five Acres, from 65SLVB. It appears on Google Maps to be a large parking lot.

Torino and Kanavos haven’t disclosed what they plan to do with their portion of the land, which fronts Las Vegas Boulevard. In the terms of the sale, the convention authority requires any development on the site to complement projects on the north Strip, including high-end condominiums.

Fontainebleau didn’t disclose what it wants to do with its 5 acres either.

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

The 3,644-room Fontainebleau opened in December after 18 years of delays. Soffer had announced its location in 2005, when he bought the historic Miami Beach hotel. The resort was 75 percent complete when the economy crashed in 2009. 

The stalled hotel-casino was beset by bankruptcy, changing ownership and multiple new visions, according to the Review-Journal. In 2021, Soffer once again acquired the still-empty, nearly finished building with partners in Koch Real Estate Investments, based in Kansas.

The 25-acre resort is not out of the woods. Less than two months after opening, observers began questioning its viability, according to the Review-Journal. In its first month, four senior-level executives for casino marketing, operations and revenue management quit.

In February, Fontainebleau hired Maurice Wooden, a 36-year hospitality and gaming veteran whose experience includes leading the Wynn and Encore resorts. 

— Dana Bartholomew

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