Top executives of two top Las Vegas Strip casino destinations scheduled to open in December 2023 revealed their plans for the renovation of the Rio resort opened in 1990 and, respectively, the continuation of the development of the towering Fontainebleau property. The Rio will reportedly start a $350 million refurbishment of the 2,500-room resort and the casino while Fontainebleau plans to further boost its $ 3,9 billion development if the respective gaming licenses the two facilities are approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission on July 27, 2023.
As Review-Journal reports, gaming licenses for both the Rio and the Fontainebleau have been separately recommended for approval by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The board reportedly recommended approval of the suitability of the Dreamscape Companies Inc. executives Eric Birnbaum and Thomas Ellis to get the license to operate the Rio. As reported, the board also recommended a preliminary finding of suitability for Bowtie Hospitality LLC executives Jeffrey Soffer and Brett Mufson to operate the Fontainebleau.
Rio Management Set for Take Over:
Dreamscape Companies Inc acquired the Rio casino operation from Caesars Entertainment Inc in December 2019, but the contract provision anticipated that the New York-based company would take over the management of the resort from Caesars on October 1, 2023. If the Nevada regulator approves the license, Dreamscape will be able to kick off the Rio operation as of this date.
Fontainebleau Run by Original Developer:
On the other hand, Fontainebleau had several owners since its development started in 2007 to be acquired by original developer Soffer in 2021. The resort is due to open in December and also awaits the license approval. According to Review-Journal, both the Rio and the Fountainebleau will have their final license approvals considered by the Nevada Gaming Commission on July 27,2023. For this reason, the executives of both companies reportedly appeared before the Control Board to present the news about their respective projects.
$350 Million Rio Redevelopment:
Birnbaum informed the Board that the Rio project was not affected by the COVID-19- induced shutdowns. On the contrary, these reportedly helped the company develop the project strategy. “COVID really allowed us to implement our business plan and hire individuals to really steer the ship and get us into the position we’re currently in today,” he reportedly said. As reported, the company used the time to affirm its $350 million redevelopment plan for the project that will be split in two stages.
In the first stage starting in August 2023 and scheduled to last 18 months, the property’s Ipanema Tower will reportedly see all of its 1,500 rooms renovated, as well as the entire casino floor, and the 150,000-square-foot pool area and other amenities. The second phase of the renovation will focus on the 1,000-room Masquerade Tower and the associated outlets, according to the source.
Birnbaum reportedly also said that the Rio’s popular buffets will be replaced by the food court concept within the scope of the redevelopment. The company will roll out a new loyalty program with Hyatt Hotels to stimulate the convention business. Review-Journal also reports that Dreamscape’s lease-back agreement for the property with Caesars time expires in December 2023 to facilitate the renewal or different plans by Dreamscape.
$3.9 Billion Fontainebleau Development:
Soffer and Mufson reportedly informed the Control Board that the 67-storey Fontainbleau property will represent a $3.9 billion investment for the company. The property that is now a construction site with almost 4,000 workers a day will reportedly have 3,644 rooms with 421 suites once when completed later this year. As reported, the company will hire around 7,100 employees to ensure “intense diverse backgrounds of leadership,” as Mufson referred to the 247 executives hired, with 56% of women and 35% of people of color.
The resort will include a 150,000-square-foot ground floor casino, 1,300 slot machines, and 128 table games. It will also feature a sports book and a gaming area and six private gaming salons. The retail promenade, spa, and fitness center will be featured on the second floor, and the third floor will include a pool, all relatively large by Las Vegas standards.
Mufson reportedly explained: “Part of our culture and infrastructure is to lean into the health and wellness facilities that we have. That’s why our fitness center and spa are abnormally large.”
Review-Journal reports that Fontainebleau will also include 36 first-to-market food concepts, 550,000 square feet of meeting space with 57 meeting and breakout rooms and four ballrooms, including the second-largest ballroom spread across 106,000 square feet referred to by Mufson as the facility capable of accommodating a baseball thrown from the front entrance. The 3,800-seat theater will also be developed to host concerts and similar events. The property may reportedly be considered in November to launch in December 2023.
In the meantime, the Rio and the Fontainebleau executives recommended for licensing approval are awaiting the Nevada Gaming Control Board to press the green light on July 27, 2023 and enable them to start the implementation of their respective plans for the two properties.
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