Industry Weekly


Above it all: How the Foundation Room has survived and thrived

There have been recent revamps to update the look and feel of Foundation Room, which opened atop Mandalay Bay almost 16 years ago.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

When it comes to the House of Blues Foundation Room, the nightclub-lounge-restaurant hybrid perched atop the Mandalay Bay hotel, the only thing more impressive than its longevity is the experience. It’s been riding high for almost 16 years, since the resort opened, more than a lifetime in Vegas club years. And yet when you step off the elevator on the 63rd floor and enter that enchanting world of priceless artifacts and cultural folklore from the Mississippi Delta to Tibet, it still feels refreshing after all this time.

“That’s what we’re going after,” says vice president Victor Sutter, who oversees all Foundation Room venues across the country. The new one in Anaheim, California, will make nine.

Because of its spectacular views and unique, intimate setting—“We’re the anti-megaclub,” Sutter says—the Vegas room hasn’t needed drastic changes over the years, especially since it has maintained a stellar reputation for service. “When you’re in a smaller venue, you have the ability to slow down sometimes and take care of your customers by really making connections. When you have people with that mentality doing it time and time again, before you know it everybody is having a good time, and nobody feels like just a number.”

There have been recent revamps to update the look and feel. Patio spaces and lighting have been upgraded, and walls have been removed from two of the “prayer room” lounges to open up those spaces and provide more access to “the cool pieces that live in them,” Sutter says.

New, creative events are also on the way, but the Foundation Room’s strategy remains intact—let the room be the star. “We’re not here to compete with the Hakkasans and Omnias of the world; we just try to throw the best parties," Sutter says. The Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay, 702-632-7631; Open daily starting at 5 p.m.

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Brock is an award-winning writer who has been documenting life in Las Vegas for 20 years. He currently leads entertainment ...

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