Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

October 13, 2009

Inside The Unfinished Fontainebleau

Posted by Hunter

Really cool video that David posted on Stiffs and Georges showing the interior of the FBleau project as it stands.

Does it look 70% complete? I know the last 30% would be basically all the finishes but it seems far off that mark to my untrained eye.

Video embedded after the jump.

Fontainebleau Las Vegas from Running Bull Productions on Vimeo.


Read archived comments (16 so far)
October 13, 2009 12:53 PM Posted by detroit1051

I'll move my comment to this thread. Thanks.
Thanks to David McKee. This is an unbelievable, seven minute video with piano music. For some reason, it made me think of "The Stand" by Stephen King. What a disaster. The shot of some of Turnberry's balconies answered my question from the other day. It's more than a a disaster. It's a tragedy.

October 13, 2009 1:47 PM Posted by Brian Fey

Yeah this video is somewhat eerie, actually. Reminds me of looking through the titanic or something. Much of this was shot in the parking structure and convention area it appears. Putting a percentage complete is hard to say? Its 70% finished, in time, stage, money? What? They didn't show any of the guest floors or rooms, some of which, I'm sure might already even be carpeted. But I realize on the top floor, they might have not even began interior framing yet. The HVAC system seems to be mostly complete in the main common area, and on those commercial buildings, they do come together pretty quickly inside, once all the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC are complete. Its sad for sure. Its really hard to say what happens to this project. I hope someone finishes it, but it will be really unfair if Penn steps in and buys it for pennies on the dollar, but I guess at least then it would be completed, and better than sitting there empty forever. I'm a little surprised Boyd, isn't a tiny bit interested.

October 13, 2009 1:48 PM Posted by Hunter

Some of the shots did look like they were from inside guest rooms to me...

Also, some of the middle bits are in the main casino area.

October 13, 2009 2:04 PM Posted by John

I hang around with someone who was doing interiors in the guestrooms when work at Fontainebleau was halted. She did walls, floor and ceiling moldings, etc. She said they'd gotten up to the 34th floor at the time.

Anyway, about the video. As a resident of Las Vegas, it's extremely sad. Horrifying even. For the city, for the workers, for the owners of the condos next door - just terrible.

October 13, 2009 3:15 PM Posted by parchedearth

I thought there was a "decorative" wall installed to block the view between the Turnberry condos and the parking garage.

I think much of the footage is retail (and convention space). The retail portion is not part of the bankruptcy and is still under Soffer's control. No telling whether he has a way to finish it.

The WSJ indicated the roof still needs to be finished to keep out the elements.

October 13, 2009 8:54 PM Posted by oooo0

The article in the Sun mentioned Penn was looking at ways to cut costs and complete it on the cheap. I suppose that means all the amazing drawings we saw before will likely never come to fruition, or will at least be watered down. I'm skeptical how this place will draw crowds without it offering a really unique experience. Not that Penn can't run a great resort, but given the location and economic climate... I'm not sure if a watered down Fbleu will be much of an attraction. I think you have to go all out with this to make it work. Then again, going all out seemed to destin it for bankruptcy in the first place. what a mess

October 14, 2009 4:21 PM Posted by David McKee

Call me naive, but I can't fathom why F'bleau was finishing rooms on the lower floors when the exterior of the building was so far from completion. That is, unless the plan was to open the hotel in semi-habitable condition, then pay for completion of the upper-floor interiors out of cash flow from the casino, etc. Given all the half-assedness associated with this project to date, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if that were indeed the modus operandi. (It would explain why condos never went on sale; they probably weren't going to be ready for occupancy.)

October 14, 2009 5:48 PM Posted by Tom M.

I thought that much of the space was for condos. It would make total sense to me to finish hotel space and leave condo's in a semi finished state until they were sold. Am I missing something?

October 14, 2009 10:33 PM Posted by John

Well, if it's any indication, the Residences at Mandarin Oriental buyers aren't moving in until January. Last I heard anyway. Same for Vdara, no? Obviously, those are after the hotel begins receiving guests.

October 15, 2009 3:55 AM Posted by Brian Fey

Its totally normal to finish the interior guest rooms before the exterior of the upper floors are complete. It fact, its completely possible, that rooms on the first few guest floors, are being carpeted, before the upper floors even exist. Each floor is ran like a completely different job. They might be placing furniture into one floor, and just starting to frame on another floor, with the floors in between receiving the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. As each crew finishes up a floor, they move up one floor, and the next crew comes in right behind them. So depending on the exact time line, its fully normal, for the different parts of the guest floors to be in completely different stages. With the lower floors being possibly 100% complete, and less and less would be complete on each floor as you move to the roof.

October 15, 2009 6:36 AM Posted by detroit1051

MO and Vdara open their hotels December 5 and December 1, respectively. I can't find anything about when buyers of Residences at MO will move in. Isn't Vdara all hotel rooms?
MO's website shows room availability on opening night.

October 15, 2009 1:08 PM Posted by Mike P.

Vdara was meant to be all condo-hotel, but since only about 45% sold Vdara LLC will presumably have about 800 rooms at its disposal when it opens. Something tells me that's all they will need for the near term future.

According to numerous media reports closings are currently scheduled for March. They're kicking the can down the road hoping the condo-hotel bubble will reinflate.

October 15, 2009 1:21 PM Posted by David McKee

If the Harmon followed the finishing procedure Brian describes, they'll have a helluva lot to *un*do before they can *re*do the deficient structure. Also, if condo-hotel rooms are sold as condos, they can't be rented out until the sale closes (which caused a lot of problems for Trump Int'l, most of whose room inventory was paralyzed because so few sales had closed).

October 19, 2009 8:40 PM Posted by Max

I was never that excited about the Fontainebleau but seeing this is such a bummer. So much potential just sitting there going to seed. Regardless of the financial situation someone needs to seal the exterior of the building up. The video clearly shows missing glass panels. You can't leave it open to the elements for years while they wait for better economic times. For starters: spiders, scorpions and various critters will move in and when it does occasionally rain that won't be good for the building either. At the moment I can't decide if I am more angry at the situation that caused this to be halted or the banks for green lighting the senseless overbuilding in the first place. I know hind sight is 20/20 but just look at this tragic waste of resources.

November 15, 2009 4:38 AM Posted by detroit1051

Fontainebleau: The other shoe is about to drop.

November 16, 2009 4:32 AM Posted by Jeff in OKC

During the Barry Switzer era at Oklahoma, they won the Big 8 titile and went to the Orange Bowl about 8 times in 16 years. Switzer loved the Fountainebleau and the team stayed there every time they went, I recall. The final OU Football Playback show of the season always had a big feature on the Fountainebleau each time they stayed there, which has made it very well known and popular in Big 12 country (OU was big in Texas before the merger).