Fontainebleau president ready to unveil ‘a new level of luxury’

Building a strong, balanced foundation long-term success is the chief mission of Mark Tricano, who was appointed president of the Fontainebleau Las Vegas in June. The $3.7 billion, 67-story Fontainebleau, set to open Dec. 13, boasts 3,644 rooms and suites, three dozen restaurants, a 55,000-square-foot spa, 150,000 square feet of gaming, 96,500 square feet of retail and 550,000 square feet of meetings space.

Tricano previously served as senior vice president of gaming development and optimization services, labor planning and hotel revenue management for Galaxy Entertainment Group, and he was vice president and general manager of the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas. Travel Weekly Las Vegas editor Paul Szydelko interviewed Tricano on Nov. 17. The conversation was edited for clarity and brevity.

Q: How are things going since you took the job — like you’re drinking from a firehose?

A: Yeah, absolutely. We are within 30 days at this point, and so it’s always going to be a bit of a crunch. There are so many things to do and just so much time and so many resources to do it. As we prepare for the grand opening, I’m confident that we will be ready to showcase the property in a way that is going to take many people by surprise. When you walk this property and you see the work that has been done and the craftsmanship, the thought and the design and the programming, it’s really an amazing, very special property that will bring a new level of luxury into the marketplace.

Q: What excites you the most about it?
A: Next year we’ll be celebrating the 70th anniversary of Fontainebleau Miami Beach. For something to remain relevant for that long, it really requires an evolution and that connection to pop culture and style and fashion. This property has been able to incorporate a lot of those elements that were very true to the original brand.

What we’ve seen in our industry over the past 20 or so years is this evolution where it used to be so focused on gaming. What this property does uniquely, presented in this very integrated way, it’s designed more for the modern consumer than any other property that I can think of in the marketplace. When I look at the adjacency of the casino to the hotel, to the food and beverage, and nightlife and entertainment, it allows each element to build upon the other.

The third thing that gets me excited is how we’re thinking about the programming with restaurants and nightlife and our convention space and adjacency to the Las Vegas Convention Center’s West Hall, and how we have these assets that really allow us to speak to a wide array of consumers. It’s great that you have that programming, but to deliver that consistency, we’re thinking about our people and our culture and our recruiting efforts and thinking about that longer-term perspective of building a very strong foundation.

Q: How does this property convey the Fontainebleau brand?
A: One that you’ll certainly see throughout the property is the prominence of our logo and the bow tie. That was a staple that Morris Lapidus, the original architect, incorporated into the Miami Beach property. [His] “staircase to nowhere,” which was really just a photo opportunity, is incorporated into our Nowhere Lounge. We hired David Collins Studio to help us take that initial architecture and DNA of Fontainebleau and bring it out and weave it into the resort’s design concept out here. Between the studio, our in-house team and our EVP of design, they’ve done a fantastic job taking that inspiration from South Miami Beach and modernizing it in a way that speaks very well to the consumers for Las Vegas.

Q: What are some of the dining partnerships you’re particularly proud of?
A: Alan Yau (Chyna Club and Washing Potato), Masa Ito (Ito), Gabriela Camara (Cantina Contramar), Evan Funke (Mother Wolf) and David Grutman and his Groot Hospitality concepts (Papi Steak and Komodo). Those — and other — partners that we have and the work that they’ve done really help us showcase the property.

Q: Describe the north Strip’s dynamic with Fontainebleau’s addition.
A: It’s great to see the development that’s happening on the north Strip, whether it’s Resorts World, Fontainebleau or Atomic Golf (to open in 2024 at the Strat Hotel, Casino & SkyPod). There’s a lot of development that’s happening down on this end, and I think we’ll continue to see a movement in this direction — which is healthy for the market overall. It’s certainly beneficial to us, given our proximity. The Las Vegas market has proven time and again that with the additional capital, additional development, the city continues to respond to the needs of tourists and customers, and it continues to grow. That’s all very positive for us as an industry.

Q: What does Fontainebleau bring to the marketplace?
A: The next evolution of luxury, focused on authenticity. We focus on our people and our culture. It might be less scripted or less traditional than what you might view as traditional luxury. But it’s delivered in a way that is very high quality and highly personable and authentic.

Learn More