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News 3 takes viewers inside the shuttered Fontainebleau

Reported by: Gerard Ramalho
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Updated: 4/30/2013 8:13 am
The Fontainebleau and its owner, Carl Icahn are getting a nearly $4 million tax break from Clark County. The building is the city's most visible monument to the recession and it has never been opened. News 3's Gerard Ramalho is near the Fontainebleau tonight with this report.

LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- It is as much a spectacle as it is a reminder of how the recession hit Las Vegas.

Technically the second-tallest structure in the valley, the Fontainebleau has never welcomed a single guest. Jeremy Aguero of Applied Analysis says the project -- like many others -- was a victim of bad timing. The nearly-4,000-room condo-hotel and casino was supposed to open in 2009. Instead, its owners declared bankruptcy.

“I think I would do exactly what it appears they're doing right now … wait and see,” Aguero said.

Business magnate Carl Icahn purchased the property in early 2010 and since then has said little if anything about what he intends to do with the unfinished building. News 3 received no response after a request for an interview for this story.

Clark County Building Director Ron Lynn says county inspectors conduct monthly checks of the property.

“They have live security out there, and they have kept it in pretty good shape,” Lynn said.

A request to accompany county inspectors also was denied. However, News 3 did obtain this amateur video shot by self-proclaimed urban historians.

Steve Duncan and his videographer openly admit they snuck past security to capture images the public might otherwise never get to see. His account confirms what News 3 was told by building inspectors.

“Restaurants were not complete, but many rooms were,” Duncan said. “But they've been stripped down. There will need to be finishing elements put into place.”

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