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Iconic Miami Beach Hotel Building New Event Center

A wave of corporate relocations and expansions in South Florida has the Fontainebleau Miami Beach focusing more strongly on accommodating the meetings market.

The Fontainebleau Miami Beach, a landmark 1954 property with 1,504 guest rooms and 107,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, has started construction on a new 50,000-square-foot event center that’s scheduled to open in Q1 2025.

According to hotel management, a major reason for the expansion is that in the past three years, more than a dozen wealth-management and venture-capital companies with a total of $2 trillion in assets under management plus a dozen “unicorn” tech startups valued at $1 billion or more have opened offices in the Miami metro area. The expectation is for many more business events to be held in the region.

Fontainebleau2.pngAttached to the main hotel by an indoor sky bridge, the four-story event center (in photo) will add a third and fourth ballroom to the property plus 10 more breakout spaces and a 9,000-square-foot rooftop deck. The center’s 18,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom will feature an outdoor terrace and divide into four spaces, while the 9,000-square-foot Junior Ballroom will divide by three. Floor-to-ceiling windows in prefunction areas will provide views of the Intracoastal waterway.

On the technology side, there will be multiple LED walls providing branding opportunities, plus touch-screen technologies and other advanced audiovisual tools. For sustainability purposes, the center will meet LEED certification standards, with features such as insulated glass to control internal temperatures and reduce energy use and a rainwater collection and recycling system to increase water efficiency.

Fontainebleau3.pngThe new center’s design will reference historical elements from the hotel’s original architect, Morris Lapidus. For instance, the bowtie—which Lapidus wore his entire life and the shape of which he used to create the property’s pools and other features—will appear in some elements of the event center.

Meanwhile, the original hotel has two large ballrooms plus a flexible showroom (photo below) that, in its heyday, regularly hosted entertainers such as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, and Jackie Gleason. The design and decor of the mid-century showroom has been maintained to provide a unique atmosphere for receptions and gala dinners.

For amenities, the Fontainebleau has 12 restaurants and lounges including StripSteak by Chef Michael Mina; Arkadia Grill; and two signature restaurants: Scarpetta by Scott Conant and Hakkasan. There’s also the trendy LIV Nightclub, a 40,000-square-foot Lapis spa, and an oceanfront pool with cabanas.

The Fontainebleau Miami Beach is 10 miles from Miami International Airport, a 20-minute drive, and 28 miles to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, a 45-minute drive.


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