It cost nearly $2 billion to build. It’s the second tallest building in Las Vegas but almost no one has been inside.

It’s the Fontainebleau.

The empty north Strip site was sold to a new owner in August, but now there is new insight into redevelopment plans.

“I think that it’s large and a lot of glass,” said tourist Debbie Cantelon. 

She is by no means an architectural critic.

“It’s a little bit plain.”

She’s just another tourist slightly curious about what most of the valley is used to. An enormous building on the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. A reminder of the last recession. Empty for nearly a decade.

“I didn’t know 10 years,” she said. “I did not realize that.”

So, what of the Fontainebleau?

The property was bought in August by New York developers Witkoff Group for $600 million. Now, perhaps, some signs of life beyond the window crews dangling halfway up the hotel tower. We’ve been used to calling it the Fontainebleau, now we have to get used to a new, temporary name in the future. According to county records, we should call it Project Blue.”

Letters to Clark County filed in September and November reference the new name. They also reference the small details connected to starting work. Reactivating permits and applying to install temporary structures on-site.

Las Vegas’ Grand Canyon development partners is now involved.

According to President Sam Nicholson, the plan is to finish Fontainebleau. The immediate intent is to waterproof the building. Long-term, Nicholson says the inside and outside will get a substantial redesign. He also says, owners have new hotel operators.

“I just don’t come down here anymore,” Catelon said.  

For the valley, perhaps a sign of improving fortunes on the North Strip.

“Wow, OK,” she said.

For tourists, perhaps one day, somewhere else to go.

“I hope they finish it. Ten years, that’s a long time to have an eyesore like that,” Catelon said.