LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – The decades-long saga of the Fontainebleau property is an “unbelievable” tale, but shows the brand was “meant” to be in Las Vegas, according to Brett Mufson, president of Fontainebleau Development.
FOX5 sat down with Mufson as thousands of team members work feverishly behind the scenes to perfect every detail for opening night on December 13.
JACLYN: Brett, to start: excitement, anticipation: are you sleeping?
MUFSON: All the above– and no sleep. We’re very excited. It’s been a long time. Both Jeff (Jeffrey Soffer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fontainebleau) and I have been waiting for this moment. For Jeff, it’s almost 18 years. Me, it’s about seven. So it’s been an incredible journey and a ride and we’re just thrilled to be here.
JACLYN: How is this a testimony to not giving up on a vision? It’s been 20 years, talk about not giving up and persevering?
MUFSON: It’s really just an incredible story that we plan to tell. There’s not many real estate hotel investments of this size that go through these cycles, and then end up in the in the original developer’s hands. It’s completely serendipitous. It’s unbelievable.
JACLYN: Why would you say they didn’t want to give up? They had this vision long ago.
MUFSON: This town is a resilient town. It’s a story that kind of resonates with everyone. But Jeff and I, we’re positive thinkers. We are developers through and through. We like to create experiences. That’s what we’re in the business of doing. This is something that was meaningful. It’s the first expansion of our 70-year storied brand, and it always was meant to really be in Las Vegas.
JACLYN: How does Fontainebleau hope to be a catalyst in the market? There’s a Strip full of different properties, different venues for different customers.
MUFSON: Our brand– it resonates with this market. It’s very similar to Miami. It stands for entertainment, for fun, but most importantly, reinventing what luxury is over 70 years. When you combine that with the ‘white space,’ which is not having that delivery of a hotel over 15 years, I think you end up with really a serendipitous moment. We’re just here to fill that gap.
JACLYN: When someone walks through the doors, walks through the casino, enjoys the amenities, enjoys the hospitality and the restaurants, what do you want a customer to take away?
MUFSON: This is their home away from home. This is an authentic brand that has 70 years of history establishing itself as a luxury hospitality provider. All the experiences at our hotel are all curated with each other in mind. If [guests] could take away one thing, it’d be them understanding the authenticity of our brand, and more importantly, understanding and seeing all the details that we put into all the aspects of our resort. You’ll see little ‘nuggets’ that are really special throughout the hotel, whether it’s in the casino or special bowtie that you’ll see in certain places.
We may even have to do a little scavenger hunt and see how many bow ties can you spot.
JACLYN: On Glassdoor, you all have a 4.7 out of 5 for worker satisfaction. There are plenty of juggernaut hospitality employers across the Strip. But what makes you different?
MUFSON: Culture is everything. people are everything. We built an incredible property. But at the end of the day, it’s if we don’t have the right employee base, then it’ll fail. Our members are our family. Jeff and I, we’re a family business, first and foremost. We’re hands-on owners and operators. I think that resonates with our member base. We’re talking to everyone. Whether it’s someone that’s behind back of house or front of house, we want to understand and talk to these people to understand how we can be helpful for them to be successful in their position.
JACLYN: Las Vegans are so excited to see this property open.
MUFSON: Not only are we excited to get it open, but there’s no doubt that the locals of Las Vegas are excited as well. And we feel it and we’re really grateful. They’ve made us feel at home. So we’ll be here for a long time, so we really appreciate that.
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