Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

November 22, 2006

Bellagio, November 19-21

Posted by Mike E

I had a nice two-night trip with the parents recently. Rather than give a full play-by-play as I usually do, I just thought I�d throw out some thoughts, highlights, and even some not-so-pleasant times.

I was over at Bellagio this trip. After eight stays at Wynn and having not stayed at Bellagio in six years, I was definitely due to give Wynn�s closest competitor another shot. Sorry to beat a dead horse, but I�ll be making natural comparisons to Wynn LV here and there. In short, Bellagio impressed me in ways I had forgotten, but Wynn will remain my home.

(more after the jump)

Bellagio�s detailing is exquisite and walking the public areas several times a day made me appreciate it even more. Forget the flowers in the conservatory�the highlight for me is the completely mosaic-tiled floor carving your path through the display. Wynn LV had to use glass mosaics to achieve its vivid colors, but Bellagio�s subtle shades allowed for a higher quality marble. Another great example of stunning detail is the guest elevators. No other hotel in Vegas can match the main towers elevators or elevator foyer; one look and it�s obvious no expense was spared. The spa tower, while it tries hard to match the original Wynn product in these details, simply falls short.

Service at Bellagio was good�or at least the megaresort definition of �good service� it seems�efficient but completely impersonal. Everything was done quickly and with a half-smile. Only once was I asked how my day was going and never did a random employee greet me after making eye contact. While it�s probably only a subtle change in employee training, it makes a huge difference in how welcome you feel. The best boutique hotels do it, Wynn LV makes an effort to do it. No matter how big a resort, it should be standard practice.

While standing at the entrance of Jasmine, Bellagio�s high-end Chinese restaurant, you have a completely unobstructed view down a long path to the Baccarat Bar and baccarat high-limit room. Knowing that baccarat is predominantly favored by Asians, that spacial relationship between the restaurant and gaming is no coincidence. Genius casino design.

Lounges: Bellagio�s got �em covered in spades. Encore, Palazzo: take notes.

I took my parents to Fontana for drinks on the patio. We all loved it. I have always been curious about the stairway that leads down to the patio literally on the water. I�ve never seen anyone on there, but it�s obviously more than just aesthetic. I asked the waitress if I could go down and she said the only person who was allowed down there was Celine Dion for a private dinner. Somehow I feel that that�s a generic answer they give to anyone who asks. Anyone know what the real story is on that patio?

I rave about Wynn LV�s convenient, guest-oriented design again and again. Staying at Bellagio confirmed my ravings even more. At Wynn, I�ve forgotten the sunscreen while at the pool or my camera while in the lobby. It�s usually a quick trip back up whether you�re staying on Resort or Tower side. While I was waiting at Bellagio�s valet to leave town, I realized that I either left my Mont Blanc pen on the desk in the room or in one of my pants� pockets stuffed in my luggage. To put it bluntly, I was so sick of all the walking (and in all fairness, our room was nearly at the end of the hallway), I just said I�d take my chances and hope my pen will be in my luggage when I get home. Fortunately, I found it unpacking. The spa tower is only slightly better with this distance issue, but then you�d be closer to a casino in Reno than Bellagio�s own.

I finally visited Red Rock Station. Stunning, beautiful, classy�the adjectives can go on and on. Bar none the best vibe a local joint can have, which unfortunately, still falls short of a good strip casino vibe. It�s not an �I�m in Vegas, baby!� kind of feeling; it leans more to the air of �My nine to five shift is done so let�s go blow off some steam at the local joint.� I had heard mixed reviews on the buffet, but I tried it anyway. Don�t mean to keep spurting out the superlatives, but this was the best buffet I�ve had and I�ve tried all but the Sterling Brunch. I liked that it wasn�t row after row presenting 800 different ways to cook a salmon as most other high-end buffets tend to be. Some really creative dishes, phenomenal dessert selection, and only $17 for dinner with a Station card. Minimums were surprisingly low as well. Maybe the floor doesn�t see tips too often because I bought in at a $10 pai gow table, immediately tipped a buck, and placed another buck for the dealer which won. He was surprised and told me that he doesn�t see that often around here. I was really glad to see it made someone�s day.

Did a quick visit to Wynn. The Caf� and Drugstore are now separated by a mosaic wall that looks great. It�s nice to see that some of the best dealers I�ve had have been promoted to floor�guess not everyone�s complaining about the new tipping policy.

I always thought coupon runs were kind of stupid, but I did a mini-one at Barbary Coast. Drank plenty, got my souvenirs, and hit all my matchplays. Low-limits, high fun. I joked with my parents that the Coast will go bankrupt with all the free crap they were giving me.

Lake Las Vegas: I didn�t think it was worth the trip. Am I missing something? I thought that maybe if I were 30 years older I�d appreciate it, but my parents didn�t like it either. Those press photos do the place way too much justice.

Hunter, David F., and Tim and Michele Dressen of Five Hundy by Midnight hung out for a bit at Flamingo and then later at Bellagio. Good times. I later ran into my friends Matt and Jeff at Bellagio and we headed towards Caramel. I remember the good old days when you could get a seat here on a packed Saturday night. Now even on a dead Sunday night, you either pay for a bottle or don�t sit down at all. Some of us split while Hunter, David, and I enjoyed cocktails at Petrossian until 3am�besides gambling, this is really what Vegas is all about to me. Too bad my next night wasn�t nearly as fun�

Gambling was awful this trip. My ritual was to walk across the street to Barbary Coast and milk them for every drink I could on the $5 pai gow. Once I was thoroughly hammered, I�d walk back over to Bellagio, Caesars, or Mirage and play big table baccarat. Talk about extremes.

Of the three baccarat rooms I played, I think I had the most fun at Caesars. Great players and some of the best dealers around. Worst was The Mirage. While I�ve spent plenty of time gawking at the gorgeous d�cor in their new high limit and baccarat lounges, I was left cold when I finally played there. First of all, they don�t even open a big table except for on busy weekends so I played some mini-baccarat and got whooped. I didn�t win a single hand; it was almost embarrassing. Mind you, I don�t mind losing within my means at all so long as I�m having a blast socializing, drinking, and giving a good fight. Definitely not this time around. I walked off the table angry with myself, completely sober, and humbled with nothing more than a single dollar left in my wallet.

I knew what would fix me right up so I walked into the gift shop and [over]paid $7 for an Arturo Fuente Exquisito I could smoke on my walk back to Bellagio. Stepped outside, lit the stogie, and for a moment, life was good. Just a couple steps later I tripped on a crack and the newly lit cigar fell out of my hand and into a puddle.


So then I thought to myself that a nice martini at the Baccarat Bar inside Bellagio would make for a pleasant nightcap. I order the martini only to have the world�s loudest jackass sit next to me. I left, but here�s where it gets really pathetic�

I knew I�d have a hangover the next day, so I took that last dollar out and put it in a freakin� penny slot and played one penny at a time in hopes that a cocktail waitress would walk by and I could get some water before heading to bed. Money gone and no water. At that point, I just thought the best way to end such a crappy night was to go to bed. Easily one of the worst nights I�ve had in Vegas

But despite its ups and downs, it was an enjoyable trip. I don�t get to spend as much time with my parents as I�d like so it�s always a treat to take them to Vegas. Bellagio is awesome. Having stayed at Wynn so much, I�ve really forgotten the joys of a center-strip location. Nevertheless, it�s size and unwillingness to go the extra step in service knocked it down a couple notches in my book. Can�t wait for December when I�m back in Tower Suites.


Read archived comments (22 so far)
November 22, 2006 3:22 PM Posted by Hunter

Thanks for the report Mike.

It was fun to get together, for sure.

I am looking forward to my Bellagio trip in December and plan on booking a bunch of the restaurants and the spa to really give the place a work out and see how all aspects are doing these days.

November 22, 2006 3:57 PM Posted by mike_ch

The way people move between properties in this town, I feel there's not a lot of difference in Wynn and Bellagio. In fact, most people at one have come from the other so it's much the same experience at both places. I feel the casino people at Wynn do seem folksy at times but everyone in involved in hotel/F&B/etc try to ignore me. At Bellagio, the F&B people are always nice to me but the casino and hotel people give me looks that say "If I stare at this guy hard enough, he'll leave." So there's really good and bad at both locations.

I was saying this during my meet with Hunter, but while I think Wynn is an alright casino, it never impressed me (the whole "Wonka + Bellagio" headline the press gave it resonated with my opinions) until they gave me free rooms and free play, and Bellagio has never given me either, Venetian has only done so once. So I generally like their casino for being so generous but their upkeep isn't as great and the building just doesn't have the same aspirations.

Have you ever seen someone enter a backroom at Wynn? They open the door and elegance makes way for spartan walls and florescent lighting. See the same thing at Bellagio and watch as the carpet and decor and woodwork etc just goes on, and on, and on.

I hesitate to say it, because those spaces are areas that guests will almost never view, but this kind of minutiae matters on this level, and it's just little things like that which make me believe that Bellagio is still the best well-rounded resort.

But if I had to actually gamble at one of them, for the love of pete give me the Wynn any day.

November 22, 2006 4:02 PM Posted by mike_ch

Oh, I forgot to mention this since I wrote the above post in two sitting and just wanted to finish it up, but Bellagio's spa tower? A little out of the way, but I wouldn't knock it for not being near the casino. Mandalay Bay's original tower always impressed me for being hooked up to the lobby and exit without having to walk through the casino.

Personally, I can't say I find casinos offensive, but I'd prefer to only go into one when I really want to, and not because I have to. So, props for designs that don't dump you out into the casino, although Spa Tower's is one of the longest and most crowded (thanks to the international house of chocolate on that one corner) that I've seen.

November 22, 2006 4:35 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Mike E, Petrossian Bar at Bellagio cannot be beat, and I happen to be in complete agreement with you on this one, it happens to be in the best central location and offers exceptional service. WLV needs to pay serious attention to [their own] earlier design planning w/Bellagio and at least offer several other high-end bar venues besides just "Parasol" to their customers which, incidently, totally sucks in terms of service. Literally, everyone I know who has stayed at WLV since opening day, has complained at the lack of comfortable (or any) sit-down service bars within any of the major publicly accessible spaces. This, once again, supports my previous comments that WLV is poorly designed, poorly conceived, and poorly managed. FYI - Red Rock RESORT is what the Fertitta Bros. 'prefer' to call their newest property (not "Red Rock Station"), and, albeit, it is currently the best locals joint in the Valley, Red Rock Resort (eliminating the obvious Stations connection) is most definately the best property for locals, since they [Stations + the Greenspun family] built the GVR. As far as your 'limited' experience with Lake Las Vegas is concerned, let me remind you that LLV will eventually evolve into "the Beverly Hills" of the Las Vegas Valley for those of substantial means who will chose to live there. Celine Dion, Oprah, among many others in their same league, would not have made the choice to live/build there - give LLV a few more years and you will see $15-20M plus properties being built there and nowhere else.

November 22, 2006 4:40 PM Posted by Devon

It's things like the back of house areas, small design touches, and lake that are going to make me continue to split time between wynn and bellagio. There's so many great features at each property that the other doesn't have that make me wonder why Steve didn't carry over some of bellagio's greatest features to wynn.

Leonard, do you have any comments on bellagio vs. wynn?

November 22, 2006 5:27 PM Posted by John

Great report, Mike.

I'm looking forward to making it back to Vegas in December. I'm starting to think four months is too long of a gap. Actually, I'm looking forward to writing a little Mirage/Venetian trip report after my December trip. I do want to try the Venezia once, just to prove that LVS can't really compare to the service, style, and accomodations that Wynn can offer.

November 22, 2006 6:20 PM Posted by detroit1051

Mike, thanks for the great report. I split my visits between Bellagio and Wynn and, like you, find things in both to appreciate. You are so right about the mosaic walkways at Bellagio. I marvel at them every time I visit, especially about how well they've held up after eight years of too many visitors to count walking on them. I know I'm repeating what I've said in past trip reports, but there is nothing like drinks and conversation at Petrossian and Fontana. Isn't it interesting that the things that make Bellagio unique are all Steve Wynn creations. I'm happy I hold MGM shares, but Kerkorian was handed great properties when he took out Mirage Resorts. I have to give him credit for maximizing returns on all the MIR properties.
You've got me enthused about my upcoming trip to Wynn and Bellagio.

November 22, 2006 7:02 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

mike_ch: The back of the house at Bellagio was overdeveloped in the first place, and actually considered to be way too 'opulent' in comparison to ANY other property by many of the top design professionals in the industry, having made this determination after viewing the irresponsible waste of money spent on areas of the [Bellagio] property that would never even be seen nor viewed by the general public. That flagrant overspending is part and parcel to what ultimately contributed to the excess in construction costs which caused Bellagio to underperform (in typical Wynn fashion for opening new properties) until MGM/MIRAGE eventually took over and turned the property around. I previously was informed of the actual Bellagio 'as-built' figures, and the cost overruns are absolutely unbelievable! I cannot imagine how Marnell Corrao even managed to be able to squeeze out a reasonable profit on that job, despite the thousands of change orders. WLV actually made a more reasonable + necessary decision by cutting corners to the extent that the back of the house, and other portions of the property, were built within the most 'minimal' standards with respect to those areas not accessible by the general public. You guys think, and have made comments, that the Venetian back of the house is shoddy, wait until you tour WLV! I have had extensive access to both properties and, IMO, WLV cut alot more corners than the existing Venetian, which has been criticized for its substandard construction quality. Steve is in desperate need + a real bind now to turn a profit by Q4 2006, so he needs to do whatever necessary in order to achieve this. BTW, if Jack Binion really had "confidence" in the long-term viability of WYNN, he would not have sold 400,000 shares of WYNN stock, immediately subsequent to his stepping down as head of Wynn International, would he? Also, Tony Marnell evidently passed on being the general contractor for Encore after reportedly losing his shirt on WLV - I heard that a contributing factor was a result of trying to build that "stupid, ugly mountain feature"! What a P.O.S. that thing is, an absolute eyesore of the highest order. Note to Steve: get rid of Lifescapes Int'l., their work is really starting to look just plain old and repetitive (like as in the Mirage 1989 old!)

November 22, 2006 9:06 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

detroit, Kerkorian wasn't simply "handed" Steve Wynn's "greatest of creations", Kerkorian had already made the decision that he was going to take over Mirage Resorts, either through amicable terms or via a hostile absorption at the most opportune time when the stock had declined to somwhere in the neighborhood of $10 and Kerkorian made the offer @ $21, it is plain and simple, that the shareholders had enough of Wynn's incompetent mismanagement and couldn't refuse such an offer (despite Steve's attempt to try and thwart the deal, too bad, that Wynn himself only controlled something like 12% or so of Wynn Resorts at the time). If it hadn't been for Kerkorian, Bellagio would most defnately have faultered under Wynn's continued leadership as a result of runaway costs. Wynn's subsequent public rhetoric-spin that he personally "worked out a deal" with Kerkorian in advance whereby "allowing" him to merge Mirage Resorts with MGM for $6.4 billion is complete rubbish. Steve was nothing but putty in the hands of Kerkorian, period! Devon, to answer your question, as far as making a reasonable comparison between Bellagio + WLV is concerned, Bellagio definately has my vote, although one must consider the fact that Bellagio is now a much older property despite recent upgrades + the Spa Tower expansion. WLV definately missed the mark in ALL aspects both architecturally + design wise, when taking into consideration the bloated construction cost at $2.7B, the industry expected much more this time around from Wynn, instead they got a stale and inferior replication of his earlier, failed efforts, which really has disappointed those in the design community.

November 22, 2006 11:13 PM Posted by John

How is it that a simple trip report turns into another one of these huge arguments? I know this is cliched, but can't we all just get along?

Also, Hunter I'd like to hear your views in reference to Mr. Stern's views on the Bellagio back of house areas.

However, in reference to some of Mr. Stern's views of the mountain, I personally like it, when you are on the Lake side of the mountain, you feel as if you are no longer in the city of Las Vegas, but in a world created specifically for your enjoyment. Also, I don't have a problem with saying good bye to Tony Marnell, I haven't been impressed with some of his company's other offerings (Bellagio Spa Tower), and I feel that Wynn has forged a new realtionship with Tutor-Saliba, that gives Wynn a proven heavy civil-construction firm to build the lake that will go in place of the golf course. I really believe that Tutor-Saliba is a better GC for Wynn Resorts, and I think that we are about to see some interesting build designs out of Encore.

November 23, 2006 4:27 AM Posted by Mike E

Thank you everyone for your comments and thoughts thus far.

Leonard, to say that Wynn missed every design mark considering its inflated cost is a bit harsh, no? People will always refer back to the $2.7 billion figure, but I'm willing to bet that if Bellagio sat on the same amount of land, was 50 stories instead of 36, and had been completed in 2005, it would have cost a little less, if not equal, to WLV's figure. I still stand firm in my opinion that as far as convenience in hotel design goes, WLV is head and shoulders above all other megaresorts in town.

As for calling Lake Las Vegas the "Beverly Hills of the Valley", I can't see that happening, at least not for several years or maybe even a couple decades. Beverly Hills is what it is because of its history, glamor, and yes, beautiful custom-built homes. LLV is an artificial community surrounded by seedy casinos, dive bars, and barren deserts; the whole six-mile stretch on Lake Mead Blvd. before reaching the area made me feel like what I had seen in the pictures couldn't possibly be where I was heading. LLV felt cartoonish to me a la Venetian and while it'll have its share of gorgeous homes, from what I could see, most are prefabricated mansions lacking character.

Mike, I'd really hate to knock the spa tower, but I can only recommend it if you're staying in a suite and/or spending most of your vacation time at the pool and spa. Like you, I'd rather avoid the casino area until I'm ready for that environment, and while Bellagio and Mandalay Bay were successful at this to some extent, their designs are still far from convenient. Yes, if I stay on the Resort side of WLV, I have to walk 270 feet from the front desk through the casino and among 90% of the facilities that I'll use to get to the elevator. While I don't know the exact number, I'm certain Bellagio's spa tower elevators are further than 270 feet from the front desk where I'd only pass a small fraction of what Bellagio has to offer. It might be casino-free, but it's still not convenient.

November 23, 2006 5:53 AM Posted by Brian Fey

Nice Report. These personal attacks Leonard makes toward Wynn, really make me wonder. Wynn must have seriously upset him somewhere along the way. Its like he has this personal war going on against Wynn. Oh well, to each his own I suppose. As for me, Happy Thanksgiving to all, and tomorow I'll be off to Wynn to see for myself just how horrible this place is doing. Leonard, I hope Wynn is still open tomorow when I get there, and not bankrupt! Oh yeah, Leonard, if Wynn is in such bad trouble, why are they paying out $6 a share next week, back to stockholders? I guess the banks owning the loans, don't see too worried. Lastly, Binion owned 2.5 Million shares. Why wouldn't you sell, some at a $25 profit, in less than three months? I noticed he didn't sell all 2.5 Million! He must not be two concerned.

November 23, 2006 7:18 AM Posted by detroit1051

Leonard, why do you infer that I believe Kerkorian was simply "handed" Steve Wynn's "greatest of creations"? I said Kerkorian "took out" MIR. I agree with John, it's too bad every report turns into an argument. We all know the history of MIR, WYNN and Kerkorian. That doesn't take away from the fact that Steve Wynn build some very appealing and enduring properties.

November 23, 2006 8:18 AM Posted by mike_ch

As far as the back of the house goes, Leonard actually does make a good point that when you're talking about non-guest areas, how good does it have to be?

It was one of the reasons I was cautious about bringing it up, because I don't believe marble going all the way down into the basement necessarily makes a property a good one. I have the old Disney quote in my head about building an administration building in Disneyland: "There won't be an administration building. The public isn't coming here to see an administration building." It was true in the 50s and it still rings true today.

My point was that when you have two properties that are as likely to draw comparisons to these two (WLV was basically designed to draw comparisons to Bellagio, why else would Steve plan strengths in places where Bellagio has weaknesses like the walks to the elevators) that these sort of stupid comparisons become necessary. Something that wouldn't matter at any other resort, like a themed back-of-house, suddenly becomes important because "the other one" doesn't have it.

November 23, 2006 8:43 AM Posted by John

Your comments on Disneyland bring up an interesting point, Mike. I'm not saying that I don't agree with, in fact, I do agree with you on your views of the back of house areas. However, I don't believe that Disneyland is a good example considering that their back of house areas are decrepit and, honestly, not fit to be inhabited. When you compare Mondo and Mangia (Wynn and Bellagio's employee cafeterias, respectively) to The Diner, at Disneyland, you will see that Disneyland is probably the worst example of a working back of house area Also, it doesn't seem that that quote from Walt held much weight with Disney executives, considering that you can't miss that Frank Gehry TDA (Team Disney Anaheim) Building on the back portion of the property.

However, that doesn't mean the I agree with you, Mike. Sometimes I wonder why we agrue about these things, that most people will never see, aside from the fact, that the back of house areas foster a positive work environment, that in turn effect the employee outlook to the guests that they are serving. So, I guess the point, I'm trying to make here, is that a comfortable back of house area, can carry a positive working state of mind and better serve the guest, at a five star resort.

November 23, 2006 12:09 PM Posted by Hunter

When I visited Mangia at Bellagio I was incredible impressed. It is just as nice as the customer buffet upstairs.

I have only seen minimal BOH areas at WLV but I have toured Bellagio extensively and the place is very nicely put together, even in sub-basement B.

I agree it contributes to a more pleasant work environment... Also, Bellagio's BOH is full of monitors showing off MGM MIRAGE TV, which not only goes over company benefits, it stresses customer service attributes and attitudes.

November 23, 2006 12:58 PM Posted by socalduck

LLV in it's current form is really not someplace I would recommend if you are looking for the traditional Vegas experience of gaming, shows, clubs, etc. It is really more an alternative to Palm Springs. The casino adjacent to the Ritz-Carlton is nice, but small and sleepy. Forget the casino at the Hyatt Regency, it's a joke. There are some nice restaurants in the village area, but nothing I would go out of my way for. The golf is great, but if golf is the focus of your trip, and you are looking for a relaxed off-Strip locale, I think Summerlin is a far better alternative to LLV.

November 23, 2006 4:21 PM Posted by mike_ch

John, I'm just waxing philosophically. I'm not directly comparing an 8 year old world-class hotel with a 51 year old theme park with a minimum wage workforce. Their income and budgets are way too different to even try.

I'm suggesting that all that money spent on Bellagio BOH is wasted because the guest can't see it. In the quotation above, Walt didn't want to build an office building for his managers because it didn't do the customer any benefit, and he budgeted by throwing as much at the guest experience as possible. I'm saying, that might not be a bad philosophy. Certainly Wynn seems to have followed a bit of that when it comes to their BOH, which is nowhere near as elaborate as their dining rooms and public spaces. While it may seem a bit cheap to one school of thought, it may be smart to another.

And frankly, if you hire the best people you don't need works of art hiding in the break room to make them do their jobs.

November 23, 2006 4:29 PM Posted by mike_ch

PS: John, the giant Gehry building out back, as well as the other ugly-assed Michael Graves building in Burbank, are just proof that nobody in charge gets it anymore, and I'm not arguing that. That company has long been on a slow decline since it started embracing the usual greedy methods of other large American companies.

Truth be told, most the employees at that vacation resort don't actually go in the big Gehry building, and they aren't allowed to eat at the superior cafeteria in it, either. On the other hand, Walt did eventually build that administration building (now a wardrobe building) people wanted, but worked the train through the building, with the dinosaur diorama on display. A lot of people who worked there at the time suggest that if they didn't need a place to put the dinosaurs on display, the admin building probably would have never been built, because anything that didn't benefit customers but simply benefited workers/managers was nixed.

November 24, 2006 10:29 AM Posted by manny sangiun

Just one point I'd like to bring up in regards to WLV because I see it misrepresented everywhere. WLV did NOT cost $2.7 billion to build. The Marnell contract was for roughly $1 billion. The rest of the $2.7 was for the golf course, parking garage, FF&E, an airplane as well as $700 million of "soft costs" (loan interest, taxes, insurance, the production of Le Reve . . .)

November 24, 2006 1:11 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

manny sangiun: FYI - Just to set the record straight, on another thread here, I CORRECTLY stated that Marnell-Corrao's original construction budget/contract for [their] specific portion(s) of the project as GC was slighty under $1B, not including change orders and design alterations during construction which ultimately brought the project in over budget. The $2.7B figure is the reported total construction cost, icluding site development, soft costs, administrative costs, etc. and I personally never stated otherwise.

November 24, 2006 1:44 PM Posted by mike_ch

If that's the case, it's a good observation. Many people get hooked up on the total cost of making one of these destinations without explaining where the money went.

Is, say, Palazzo getting any jets, headliner production shows, etc? If it's not and it's just going to lean on the Venetian to provide that sort of thing, perhaps Sheldon's $1.8bil (or thereabouts, I remember it was about the same price tag as Bellagio) will go further than we think.