Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

October 1, 2005

Wynn Las Vegas

Posted by detroit1051

Wynn was my final stop before returning to the real world.

Wynn Las Vegas: Final Stop

Last week, Wynn had its first invitational slot tournament since it opened in April. This was my third stay at Wynn, and it remains my hotel of choice in Las Vegas. During my first trip, I was in the Resort Tower; the last two trips I�ve stayed in the Suite Tower. Wynn has done an exceptional job in creating a �hotel within a hotel.� The Resort Tower rooms are nicer than Bellagio�s, in my opinion, because they are larger, much brighter due to the wall of windows and have more comfortable furniture including a useful desk with a chair on rollers and convenient laptop connections. My Resort Room overlooked the Strip and was fine, but I especially enjoyed the golf course view I had on my last two visits. On these trips, I was in an Executive Suite. This is the smallest suite and really doesn�t fit my definition of a suite because it does not have a separate bedroom. It is one large room with the sleeping area separated from the living area by a sofa and table. There are His and Her baths, one with a large stall shower and the other with a Jacuzzi tub. Like the Resort rooms, there is a convenient desk with internet connections. The long wall of windows facing the golf course is a soothing contrast to the high-energy atmosphere in Las Vegas. Housekeeping and turn-down services are top quality. No complaints with anything about the rooms.

I was startled when I first got to my room and looked out at the golf course. The grass was brown and looked like it was dead. I learned that it had been treated with something to make the grass dormant for a short period of time and then over seeded with different grass for the fall, winter and spring months. The course was closed but should reopen soon. There were a few signs of green emerging when I checked out last Monday.

The Suite Tower registration overlooks the pools and also has a deluxe lobby with a pianist in the evening. Elevators are only a few feet from registration and there are doors directly from the lobby into the high limit table and slot areas. My few complaints are the same as last time. Wynn may not have enough elevators for peak times, and they don�t seem to be air conditioned. It wasn�t as bad this past week as it was during 100+ degree days in August. Also, the self-park garage doesn�t give as good an impression when you enter the hotel as Bellagio does. It looks like Steve cut corners.

Wynn has some great restaurants, but none are inexpensive or even moderately priced. Tableau, the restaurant off the Suite Tower lobby, is open to Suite Tower guests for breakfast and lunch and to everyone at dinner. It�s an attractive, quiet room with excellent food. The chef and many of the servers came from Michael Mina�s Aqua at Bellagio. It is a great place to have a drink and/or dinner, but it is so far off the beaten path, I wonder how many guests know it is even there. Business was moderate, but I would think it would have to be busier than moderate to be profitable.

The Country Club Grill, at the end of the long hallway past the Buffet and coffee shop, overlooks the 18th green and waterfall. It�s also off the beaten path, but it does a good breakfast and lunch business. I haven�t had dinner there yet, but several friends told me the steaks are the best at Wynn, better than SW Steakhouse. Now that cooler weather is here, the outdoor patio is a great place to sit.

Daniel Boulud�s Brasserie is down the curved escalator across from SW. I was eating alone one evening and walked in to see if there was a bar where I could order something. Turns out there is a great bar and lounge inside the restaurant, but you would never know it by walking by. Steve may have made a mistake hiding these places away from walk-by traffic. The food was excellent.

Corsa Cucina is the race car themed restaurant near the poker room and Ferrari dealership. We had a group dinner there one evening with about 25 people. The host had arranged a special limited-selection menu from which we ordered. It was a fun evening, but I was disappointed in the food. I might have had a different opinion if we had been able to order from the full menu. I heard the same rumor as in August that Corsa Cucina would close temporarily for remodeling. The red and black racing d�cor doesn�t fit the restaurant it�s trying to be.

Red 8 is the best noodle shop in Vegas. It�s a great atmosphere and great food.

The slot tournament was interesting, but there were too many entrants. My understanding is that, based on the invitations they sent out, they expected 300 entrants. There were actually 600 which is too unwieldy. However, they did double the prize structure to compensate for the increased attendance. Registration for the tournament and machine selection was held from 11 AM-4 PM on Friday, with the first round being played early Friday evening followed by two more on Saturday. The large number of people made registration slow with long waits in line for some. When I saw the line at noon, I left and came back right before 4 PM when there was no wait.

The tournament play was in a very large ballroom which had, believe it or not, more than 100 machines being played in each session. The machines were all tournament machines where if you wanted any chance of winning, you had to get the 2,500 point �Wynn� symbols across the payline at least several times. There was such a large gap between the top symbol payout and the others that it took some of the fun out of the tournament. I�ve been in other tournaments where the points added up faster and higher which made it seem more like a contest. The machines seemed slow to respond and spin the reels compared to other tournament machines I�ve played at Bellagio and MGM Grand. In the end, it�s just a matter of luck and shouldn�t be taken too seriously. Wynn did an excellent job in decorating the ballroom and having numerous bars and food stations throughout. It was well done, but there were too many players. Maybe I�m just unhappy because I finished in 235th place. The two players with the highest scores each got $30,000 and everyone got at leas $200 in Free Credit.

The casino floor was moderately busy all weekend, and it looked like there was some serious high limit table action as well as high limit slot action.


There are some places that just feel comfortable, and Wynn is one of them. I look forward to returning. I have a different opinion as an investor. Wynn, as great as it is, faces an uphill battle against MGM Mirage with its multi-property Players Club (which now includes Mandalay properties). While I was at Wynn, work was continuing to expand the surface parking lot between the garage and the old DI garage. This leads me to believe that the Encore Tower won�t be built, at least not before Macau is up and running. Macau is critical to Wynn�s overall success. I monitor room rates on the internet from time to time, and it�s a concern that Wynn�s rates are often lower than Bellagio�s. I may be looking at dates when Bellagio has large meeting groups attending, but based on my experience at both properties, Wynn should command a premium. Wynn may need a fill 12 months of operating to get firmly established. Las Vegas needs Steve to be successful, and I wish him well. Wynn is a terrific property!


Read archived comments (15 so far)
October 1, 2005 9:13 AM Posted by Brian

Thanks for the series of reports, Detroit! Glad to hear that you're enjoying Wynn LV. Did you spend any time in Bellagio? Any changes at the B for better or worse?

October 1, 2005 10:13 AM Posted by detroit1051

I met a local friend for lunch at Sensi in Bellagio's Spa Tower the first week I was in Vegas. It's a very good restaurant in my opinion. We then walked through the casino where I had my second view of the renovated Baccarat Bar. I still don't like it; it looks too 1950's or 60's modern. The new high limit blackjack area and bar is now open where Keno used to be, on the hallway from the craps tables to the room elevators. It looked OK but not as nice as Mirage's new high limit table area. MGM Mirage did a great job at Mirage.

Bellagio was changing over the Conservatory to the Fall exhibit. It's interesting to see how they set it up. All of the garden areas are on elevators, and there is almost a basement underneath.

Circo is no longer open for lunch, and there is a huge new blue and yellow decoration above the entrance. I don't know what to call it. I thought it looked gaudy.

October 1, 2005 10:50 AM Posted by Mike P.

Two questions:

1) Is there any place to grab a quick, cheap breakfast at Wynn? When we stay at Bellagio we have a morning ritual: as soon as I wake up I stumble down to Palio and carry out a fruit bowl, coffee and tea, and maybe a pastry if I'm not still stuffed from dinner. That's our breakfast, and it's basically the only thing we get comped which we earn by booking through AmEx.

2) How do they physically separate the Resort tower from the Suite tower? Are they different blocks of floors? Different areas of the same floors?

We're going to be staying there in a couple weeks, and it'll even be partially reimbursed since my wife will be taking a course at the Venetian. We're deciding which overpriced eateries to book while we're dining out on the clinic's nickel. Probably we'll give Alex a try.

Brian: when we stayed at Bellagio in July several areas of the casino were walled off for renovations. I think a new high limit table room is going into what used to be the Keno pit. One bank of slots near Circo and the lobby gift shops disappeared in dry wall cocoons while we were there. We were told they're working on a new color scheme for the casino. They also finally had the new poker room open. That was a definite change for the better from the temporary area they were using in the middle of the casino floor last year.

Apart from the minor work in the casino Bellagio is the same as it has been since the spa tower opened. I seem to be the only regular reader here who thinks Bellagio has gotten better with the spa tower. Maybe that's because I've reached the age where I have to work out regularly to keep my weight under control, and the workout facilities in the new spa are a huge improvement over the original gym.

October 1, 2005 1:49 PM Posted by detroit1051

Palio is always my choice for an early, light breakfast at Bellagio. I skipped breakfast at Wynn, but there are two places you can try. The first is "The Cafe" in, or right next to, "The Drugstore", not far from the Resort Tower elevators. The other is Zoozacrackers, the deli near the sportsbook. I usually just got coffee and orange juice from a cocktail waitress on the casino floor. I'm going off on a tangent here, but Wynn has a "juice room" which serves all the restaurants and bars in the hotel. All the juices, including watermelon juice, are freshly squeezed each day and sent in bottles to the restaurants. You can notice the freshness in drinks.

The Resort and Suite Towers share the same floors, about 1/3 Suite and 2/3 Resort. There's a door dividing the two sections. It has a keycard lock, but both times I was in the Suite Tower, it was never locked. In fact, since I was close to the that door, I would sometimes use the Resort Tower elevators depending on where I was going.

You may have seen my report from August. We went to Alex for dinner. It is very formal, quiet dining. The fixed price dinners were excellent, but you have to be in the mood for that formal experience.

October 1, 2005 11:25 PM Posted by Mike C

The reason Wynn might be lower for reservations is because it has so many rooms to fill, and empty floors mean less people gambling, ordering pricey foods (I avoid that 24hr coffee shop now after one megabill and will go to the deli if I must have a bite) and it also means lower take for bellmen, housekeepers, etc.

The Wynn tower is so huge that from afar the building makes Treasure Island look like the little Indian casino in my hometown. They simply can't fill that thing with the highest roomrate in town. Just my guesstimate.

October 2, 2005 5:26 AM Posted by Ehrlich

Wynn Las Vegas only has 2,700 rooms far less than other mega resorts. If comparing to bellagio's almost 4,000 rooms and Mgm Grand 5500 rooms thats nothing.

October 2, 2005 2:50 PM Posted by Mike P.


Yes, I saw your report on Alex. Thanks for the reminder and other information. We have 3 Wynn restaurants booked for dinner including Alex. I foresee my wife complaining about portion sizes if their tasting menu is anything like Picasso's.

Mike P.

October 3, 2005 8:38 AM Posted by socalduck

Detroit, your investor's perspective was particularly interesting. Since my visit a couple weeks ago, I've been pondering this same issue. During my stay, which spanned Wed - Friday, table games seemed to be doing well, but I was disappointed in the apparent lack of activity on the slot floor. When Bellagio first opened, I remember there being A LOT more bodies in the casino overall then what I saw at Wynn.

It's a superior property, so over time Wynn should do fine. I agree with your assessment that it will be 12 or 18 months before we can accurately gauge the financial success of WLV. At this point, investing in Wynn is probably more a bet on the success of Macau than Vegas.

October 3, 2005 10:05 AM Posted by Hunter

I made a last minute trip to The Mirage this last weekend and spent quite a bit of time at Wynn.

I'll write a report and share photos soon.

October 3, 2005 10:08 AM Posted by Hunter

I think Bellagio's new high limit room looks hideous - plopped down in the middle of the casino, it matches none of the other decor and is too big for the space.

Anyway, I'll have pictures posted soon.

October 3, 2005 11:01 AM Posted by detroit1051

"I think Bellagio's new high limit room looks hideous"

Hunter, you're direct and to the point. I didn't think it was hideous, but it certainly can't compare with Mirage. Has Mirage's new high limit slot area opened yet? I was told it would be as nice as the high limit table area.

At Bellagio, next to the new high limit room, there are slots. They seemed out of place to me there, isolated from the rest of the slot floor. Do you know if this is temporary, and Bellagio has plans for that space?

October 3, 2005 8:16 PM Posted by Hunter

The high limit slot area construction is done but there are no machines in there yet.

I was told that high limit spaces are complete - no changes are planned.

I think that the inside of Bellagio's room is ok, it's the placement and total lack of integration with the other design elements that I have a bit problem with.

October 3, 2005 8:28 PM Posted by Hunter

BTW, I have a photo of The Mirage slot area that I am posting in my story about my weekend.

It's kinda blurry but...

October 3, 2005 9:04 PM Posted by Mark K.

Hunter, I noticed that in one of the pics they're remodeling the watch store at WLV... is the Gizmos electronic store still there?

March 17, 2006 3:11 PM Posted by Doug Parcells

Well, we go to Vegas 3-4 times a year and recently had a baby! Walked over to the Wynn from the Mirage with a stroller full of cash..... The Wynn does not allow strollers.

Good Luck Mr Wynn..... Hey did your kidnapped ransomed daughter ever ride in a stroller? It seems you have forgotten that you had kids once.

You were quoted years ago when you opened TI that Vegas is for Families. Hey why do you allow all the fat people on mini-scooters?

I hope your stock tumbles, and you lose your ass in your new venture!