The Real Deal Miami

Fontainebleau struggling at home, too

August 27, 2009 11:45AM

While its Las Vegas project remains mired in money trouble, Fontainebleau Miami Beach is also skirting financial distress. About 30 companies, including construction companies, designers and other contractors, seek unpaid bills of $65 million, an indication that its $500 million renovation is not moving smoothly. Jeffrey Soffer, the developer of both projects, is embroiled in a tangle of litigation on the Las Vegas project, and the Miami mess — in bankruptcy court and Miami-Dade civil court — adds to his troubles. Operationally, Howard Karawan, Fontainebleau Resorts’ chief restructuring officer, said the Miami Beach hotel has stayed busy despite the economic decline. In July, a traditionally weak month, occupancy was about 70 percent with nightly room rates of $200, he said.