Jeffrey Soffer’s Fontainebleau Las Vegas Is an Instant Classic

The Fontainebleau Las Vegas finally opened its doors, and celebrated the occasion with a star-studded fête.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 13: Justin Timberlake performs onstage during the Fontainebleau Las Vegas Star-Studded Grand Opening Celebration on December 13, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for Fontainebleau Las Vegas)
Justin Timberlake. Getty Images for Fontainebleau

Jeffrey Soffer debuted his highly anticipated Fontainebleau Las Vegas casino-resort with a glamorous grand opening party on Wednesday night (Dec. 13), and the star-studded evening showcased not just the mega-developer’s business acumen, but also his sentimentality and independent spirit.

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A gambling set given to VIPs came with a message that sums up Soffer’s ethos: “We invite you, our lovely guests. The dreamers, the risk takers, the rule breakers. To experience a fantasy where the fun never sets.” Before Justin Timberlake’s headlining set on Wednesday, Paul Anka performed an updated version of “My Way” with lyrics that were a tribute to Soffer’s perseverance in fulfilling his own dream. (Fontainebleau Las Vegas was originally conceived 15 years ago, and Soffer re-acquired the property in 2021 and then finished the buildout of the 67-story, 3,644-room hotel this year.)  More sentimentality followed throughout the night. It was Soffer’s 55th birthday, and Timberlake and the crowd sang him “Happy Birthday.”

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Jeffrey Soffer and Keith Urban. Getty Images for Fontainebleau L

The  party was a constant reminder of how it’s possible to be classic and of-the-moment at the same time. Soffer is an expert at threading this needle. After Timberlake performed, cher hung out with Tyga at David Grutman’s Komodo before heading to the high-limit gaming room and then to a prime table behind the DJ booth for Peggy Gou’s surprise set at Grutman’s LIV. Other celebrities in attendance at the grand opening fête included Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Lenny Kravitz, Tom Brady and Keith Urban, to name just a few. 

Paul Anka performed. Getty Images for Fontainebleau L
Fontainebleau Las Vegas Grand Opening
Cher. Getty Images

The Fontainebleau Las Vegas opening, like other major Spectacle Circuit events, was also where numerous hospitality heavyweights intersected. Tao Group’s Noah Tepperberg (who recently opened Miami’s red-hot Casadonna with Grutman) was hanging out in the DJ booth at LIV when Peggy Gou spun. “Foodie Magician” Josh Beckerman, a mentalist whose ability to guess people’s favorite restaurants astounds crowds at A-list events around the country, ate amatriciana pasta at Evan Funke’s Mother Wolf after performing. Funke was holding court at Mother Wolf all night, sending out truffle-topped pizza to top-tier guests.

Kendall Jenner, David Grutman and Kim Kardashian.

Other prominent dining destinations at the resort include a food hall promenade with Masa Ito and Kevin Kim’s Bar Ito (which served lobster hand rolls at the grand opening) and Josh Capon’s burger joint (where we spotted Michael White, the esteemed chef who recently debuted Mirabella at Fontainebleau Miami Beach). But the most lively pre-LIV dining scene was at Grutman’s Papi Steak, where guests feasted on king crab, lobster, shrimp cocktail, caviar and sliced-to-order prime rib under an elegant and enormous chandelier while cabaret dancers enhanced the vibe. Papi Steak has the makings of a blockbuster Vegas restaurant.

The Fontainebleau Las Vegas marked its grand opening with a star-studded bash. Getty Images for Fontainebleau Las Vegas

Other restaurants, including spots from high-profile chefs Gabriela Camara and Alan Yau, are in the works at Fontainebleau Las Vegas. The goal is nothing short of creating a dining collection that rivals anything else on the Strip. Overall, there will be 36 food-and-beverage concepts, all of which are new to Las Vegas.

Jeffrey Soffer. Getty Images for Fontainebleau Las Vegas

It will be interesting to see how the property ultimately fares with its location on the north end of the Strip, near the Las Vegas Convention Center. But on Soffer’s 55th birthday, the casino felt like the intersection of everything. A little before midnight, while A-listers who were there for the black-tie grand opening figured out their next stop in the casino, Fontainebleau Las Vegas opened to the public. This was now a place for everyone, and the dress code and the mood immediately changed. But Soffer’s sense of timelessness and whimsy remained.

 

 

Below, see all the big names at the opening party.

Fontainebleau Las Vegas Grand Opening
Tom Brady. Getty Images
Kendall Jenner attended the fête. Getty Images for Fontainebleau L
Fontainebleau Las Vegas Star-Studded Grand Opening Celebration - Arrivals
Eva Longoria. Getty Images for Fontainebleau L
Fontainebleau Las Vegas Star-Studded Grand Opening Celebration - Arrivals
Camila Coelho. Getty Images for Fontainebleau L
Fontainebleau Las Vegas Star-Studded Grand Opening Celebration - Arrivals
Stella Maxwell. Getty Images for Fontainebleau L
Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder. Getty Images for Fontainebleau Las Vegas
Fontainebleau Las Vegas Star-Studded Grand Opening Celebration - Atmosphere
Kim Kardashian. Getty Images for Fontainebleau L
Fontainebleau Las Vegas Star-Studded Grand Opening Celebration - Performances
Tyga. Getty Images for Fontainebleau L
Fontainebleau Las Vegas Grand Opening
Lenny Kravitz. Getty Images
Fontainebleau Las Vegas Star-Studded Grand Opening Celebration - Arrivals
Peggy Gou. Getty Images for Fontainebleau L
Fontainebleau Las Vegas Star-Studded Grand Opening Celebration - Arrivals
David Grutman and Isabela Rangel Grutman. Getty Images for Fontainebleau L

Jeffrey Soffer’s Fontainebleau Las Vegas Is an Instant Classic