Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

November 13, 2006

Wynn Redirects Binion and Pays a Dividend

Posted by Hunter

Huh? This one is strange. Two announcements today... First off, from the press release it sounds to me that Binion didn't care for the day-to-day in Macau... Maybe he didn't like living there or something? Certainly sounds like spin to me and hopefully the dividend isn't a smokescreen to that effect.

You can read both releases here:

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=132059&p=irol-News

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Comments

Read archived comments (49 so far)
November 13, 2006 8:33 AM Posted by Brian Fey

This is maybe the strangest thing I could possibly imagine. The Binion thing, isn't that big of a deal to me, one way or the other, but what is the world is Steve doing paying out that dividend? Is he cash poor, and needs money, or is he using the cash to purchase more of his company? What in the world do you guys make of this? I am stunned, shocked, and everything else!

November 13, 2006 9:13 AM Posted by mike_ch

"Is he cash poor, and needs money"

One could ask why he tried to sell Le Reve in the first place since he felt so connected to it three years ago.

November 13, 2006 12:24 PM Posted by Brian Fey

I really wish I was smarter. I looked at those two SEC filings that came out just now, and really didn't understand them. But it looks like one of my guesses was correct. Here is a quote from bloomberg.com

"Wynn and his wife Elaine own 24.2 percent of Wynn Resorts, according to a regulatory filing today, and would receive about $147 million from the dividend payout.

Steve Wynn said today in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that he may seek to purchase more shares in the future. Wynn controls 48.4 percent of the company in conjunction with Aruze USA Inc., owned by Japan's Aruze Corp. "

Yeah, looks like he wants more ownership. I think he and Okada, want at least 51%, I am just guessing. With as close as it is, I don't know why they set it up the way they did in the first place. Combined, now they own about 49%.

November 13, 2006 1:16 PM Posted by Devon

It looks like he's going to be buying more shares.

"Steve Wynn said today in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that he may seek to purchase more shares in the future. Wynn controls 48.4 percent of the company in conjunction with Aruze USA Inc., owned by Japan's Aruze Corp."-Bloomberg.com

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a0Lvmz9k4uWs&refer=home

November 14, 2006 11:24 AM Posted by Hunter

More on the Binion thing:

http://www.gamingtoday.com/index.cfm?articleid=17173&AIN=721266

Strange.

November 14, 2006 12:01 PM Posted by detroit1051

When I saw Steve's quote, I knew it was the kiss of death for Binion. The 8-K filed yesterday said the employment agreement was terminated with no payment to Binion beyond his salary up to the date of change. Was he just so glad to get out, and/or money's not that important to him, that he didn't fight for some settlement? This would have had a lot more press had it not been released at the same time as the $6 distribution announcement. What's going on at Wynn?
Steve's quote:
"I am so grateful to Jack for helping us open our new project in Macau. We look forward to his continued advice and guidance and to collaborating on further development of the company´┐Żs assets in Macau."

November 14, 2006 2:55 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

detroit: The fact that Jack Binion has decided to completely bail entirely from, arguably a VERY lucrative contract with WYNN, after only several months since having been appointed head of Wynn International, it is an 'obvious omen' to anyone with a reasonable level of intelligence to expect a serious impact on the future profitability + actual viability of Wynn Macau, long-term after Venetian Macau + MGM Grand Macau are ultimately launched. Binion just happens to one of the foremost, truly experienced gaming industry executives of all time (hence Steve's decision/need to bring him into the fold in his Macau operations), and this latest news does not bode well at all for WYNN. Obviously there exists much more than just "bad blood', becasue both have the utmost mutual respect for one another. Of course Binion will remain on the Board of Directors for purely financial reasons, understandably because he currently stands to make a mint on the stock he controls. Steve will really to very quickly find someone on the same order of Jack Binion/Pansy Ho in order to be able to survive the Macau market. I actually had heard several rumors that Jack Binion was intending to "resign", but quite frankly, until it was officially published, I never gave it much credence. This doesn't look too promising for Wynn Macau, unless Steve has some sort of back-up plan to replace Binion with someone of 'equal' qualifications. Sorry Steve, Pansy Ho is already spoken for! There appears to be major trouble brewing in WYNNLAND! Good thing that WYNN was able to offer the recent stock dividend (based solely on the Packer sub-concession) because Steve now has an additional $147M to offset the $91M he lost on that Picasso that he f**ked up!

November 14, 2006 3:07 PM Posted by Hunter

I agree on this one... This is major bad news for Wynn shrouded under the cover of a one-time dividend - total smokescreen.

These guys obviously couldn't get along at all and it sounds like they were one step away from a public divorce. Good for the stock that they at least had a friendly-sounding press release.

November 14, 2006 5:17 PM Posted by Brian Fey

I don't know. Why elect a person you hate onto your board of directors. We don't know the story. Maybe Jack just deceided he was too old and tired, to work this hard, perhaps he didn't like living in China, there are a million things. As for Wynn's best days in Macau are over??? OMG, Leonard, you just need to keep on smoking whatever it is you are smoking! Wynn is going to make a ton of money in Macau, its up from here!

November 14, 2006 5:31 PM Posted by Chris B

I agree that its entirely weird and brings into question how much thought is given into some of the actions taken by Wynn.

But let's not get carried away by Pansy though - she has no experience in running casinos either - unless of course it is correct to assume that growing up within a close proximity to casinos and having a father that runs casinos somehow automatically gives someone experience. And its not as if the Sands Macau has had "brand name" managers running day-to-day operations.

November 14, 2006 9:25 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

There has been much speculation recently regarding Jack Binion's extremely short-lived executive position as being the one in charge of Wynn International, as evidenced by his recent resignation. Whether or not this is idle rumor or not, I have been told, "off the record", that Binion evidently could not apparently deal with Steve's infamous narcissistic personality and control-feak management style. [I cannot personally confirm nor deny that this was indeed the ipmetus which actually influenced Binion's departure from what was an extremely lucrative position, it's simply scuttlebutt that I heard from certain sources I consider to be reliable.] I was as surprised as everyone else when this rumor turned out to be true - quite shocking indeed! One must realize, that Jack Binion is a billionaire himself after seliing the Horseshoe brand to Harrah's, so I really don't think he [Bimion] was in it for the money. At this particular juncture, as a result of Binion's short-lived tenure and rather abrupt departure, the potential for Wynn Macau's success has quite clearly been compromised, at least to some degree according to experts, when taking into consideration that they just beagn operating in Macau. Now, as to the MGM/Pansy Ho connection, one would be a complete fool in not validating the relevance of that business relationship. Stanley Ho, her father, has had a monopoly on just about EVERYTHING in Macau for like forty years, this includes a stronghold on the transportation ifrastructure as well as many many other other civil services so vital to Macau's economy (yes that would also most likely include some influence over the degree of the Triads' stronghold in organized crime there). While his [Ho's] atttempt to try and now compete with Adelson + Kerkorian on an equal playing field is somewhat questionable, there is no doubt that nepotism has its distinct advantages, especially over there in Macau. Wynn has had a rather poor history in being able to keep top-shelf, superbly competent executives in the past, one name that immediately comes to mind is Dan Lee who had a falling out with Wynn prior to Kerkorian moving in and gobbling up Steve's company [Mirage Resorts] in one fell swoop. Dan Lee has gone on to prove himself to be one of the most progressive + successful executives as Chairman + CEO of Pinnacle Entertainment by taking the company from the 11th largest gaming company in America to the 6th in record time. One must have to ask the obvious question, why does Steve Wynn have a consistent record/history of losing many of his most competent + talented executives? Just food for thought, and this latest Binion fiasco which continues to concern many people connected with the industry by calling into question Wynn's competency to successfully manage a public gaming enterprise of such magnitude. I believe, and have been informed by many who know a lot more than I do regarding the gaming industry, that Wynn Macau will enjoy, at best, a one year or so window of opportunity in generating profitable revenue in Macau until the "big boys" and the "real palyers" in the gaming industry (i.e Adelson + Kerkorian) end up setting up shop in Macau. Only time will tell, but there have been some really unusual goings on lately with WYNN, the $139M voluntary sale of his most prized possession, "Le Reve", the Binion resignation, etc. As I have stated here before, history, unfortunately, has a way of repeating itself! I recall that, shortly after Wynn lost Mirage Resorts to Kerkorian, he was quite adamant that he had no intention of every going public in any of his future enterprises again - something must have happened on his way to the bank, do ya think?

November 14, 2006 9:51 PM Posted by Hunter

Even as a self-described Wynn fan, I would not at all be surprised to find out that Binion quit because he couldn't deal with Wynn.

I mean, Binion, as Leonard said, is a billionaire himself. Billionaires don't like being told what to do - you don't get to that level without a certain set of qualities, which include, to an extent, megalomania - just like running for President of the United States, these guys at the top of the heap get there with a combination of viciousness, narcissism, and of course, being a control freak. There are degrees of that behavior and I think that differentiates the good folks to work for from the bad but I can't think of a single person in that spot without at least some of those qualities. Anyway... I'm surprised this story died so fast in the investment community. To mean this is a giant flag for Wynn Resorts health - this is serious.

As far as Pansy goes, there's no question that SJM/Stanley's grip on Macau extends far beyond the casinos. He's a virtual king of Macau and either has his hand in almost everything and if not, the people that do owe him more than a few favors. I'm not surprised to see folks like Wynn and Adelson working to ferry their guests to and from HK through other means. Actually, Wynn and Adelson probably could do a lot of good for each other in this category if they didn't have such a high level of personal animosity.

Regarding Dan Lee, there's no question that he is a talent and from what I've read in interviews, etc..., he was not totally comfortable at Mirage Resorts.

I've met Steve Wynn but only in passing. From everything I know about him I've determined that he is a person that for some other folks, is very hard to deal with. Some people love him to death and others can't stand him. I guess the folks in the middle recognize that they may be able to bolster their own careers by biting their lip, at least for several years.

Unlike Leonard, I think Steve will be successful financially, in both Las Vegas and Macau with Wynn Resorts. That said, many of his points are valid and deserve to be looked at and questioned. There's no doubt in my mind that this Binion thing is a total fiasco that they are trying to make look like nothing ay all. My surprise is that people are buying it to some degree.

I may be a fan of Wynn's properties but I am not blind.

November 14, 2006 9:54 PM Posted by Hunter

Ok, as an adjunct to this topic... Look at how well Lanni and Co., have done with Bellagio... Imagine what kind of numbers could be pumped out of Wynn Las Vegas if it was an MGM Mirage property...

Given Wynn Resorts 'poison pill' provisions in their stockholder agreements and Wynn/Aruze's ownership position, this is not too likely but still, it's fun to think about.

November 14, 2006 11:28 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Hunter: Terry Lanni, is without a doubt one of the most competent chief executives in the gaming industry today. The fact that Kerkorian has placed unbridled faith in [Lanni] is very similar to his undying trust in the late Fred Benninger, who was Kerkorian's right hand man for 30 years. Benninger was a hard-nosed bean-counter, but nonetheless he was responsible for Kerkorian's tremendous success from the very start in order for him [Kerkorian] to become the premier gaming operator in all of Las Vegas history. Thankfully for all of us, Kerkorian has given Lanni the directive and autonomy to retain the "best world-renowned architects ever assembled" in one single project, albeit the largest private commercial enterprise in U.S. history, and be able to pull it off with 100% success + I can assure you it will also result in guaranteed profitability from day one, unlike Wynn's floundering attempt at becoming profitable after a year and a half when spending billions upon billions of dollars. CityCenter will not only raise the bar in terms of offering one of the greatest architectural design experiences, not only for Las Vegas, but the entire world. Never, with the possible exception of Canary Wharf in London, has there ever been a melding of such incredible design talent at such a massive scale. I can say this with absolute certainty because most of the dozen or so 'starchitects' were all previous clients of mine. I personally worked with Helmut Jahn (Murphy/Jahn) 20 years ago and did a substantial amount of work for Cesar Pelli, KPF, and Gensler who are the Executive Architects for CityCenter. When CityCenter is finally completed, it will force overrated + overhyped operators such as Wynn to need to seriously consider moving up several notches by retaining a whole new level of design talent and make sure to keep his nose out of the design process by leaving it to the established professionals. Wynn is in serious need of new blood, and if he doesn't make an honest attempt to modify his management style pretty soon, the public will look upon his mediocre properties as nothing but "pedestrian" overpriced, overrated and overhyped attempts at providing the best available quality accommodations. Steve will either need to step up to the plate sooner or later and swallow his inflated ego, or ultimately end up building the same uninspiring and outdated projcets like WLV. Wynn just plain lucked out with his timing by joint venturing with Okada (Aruze), because the criminal charges against him [Okada] in Japan for tax fraud eventually were dropped making way for him for Aruze to be eligible for licensure as a gaming operator in Nevada whereby, between the both of them collectively having controlling interest in WYNN. There is really a lot of serious concern regarding this Binion resignation among the inner circles in the industry from what I am hearing, but we just have to wait and see what the outcome is. It still looks to me like there might be potential trouble brewing in WYNNLAND.

November 15, 2006 4:43 AM Posted by Brian Fey

I think Jack is talanted, I think you guys are right, Binion and Wynn, probably were not a good mix. I could tell that on the call last week. Binion was silent, when Wynn ask him to talk, he said a word. I could tell Wynn was disappointed. I don't know if he is just shy or what? I don't know why he took the job, he sure didn't need it, especially at his age. I have to assume he didn't want to work too hard anymore, or he would never have sold his company when he did. But to say that Wynn will fail in Macau without Binion is a joke. Binion only came into the scene, just a short time ago. Now all the sudden, he is the leaves, and Wynn's going to fail in Macau? Comee on, give me a break. You keep acting like MGM is going to kill Wynn in Macau, oh my! Wynn has proven his buildings do more business than most of his competitors. People loved Wynn before Binion was there, now he isn't there, and everyone thinks the company is in serious trouble. Wynn having 12% of the market share in Macau isn't due to Jack Binion, sorry guys.

November 15, 2006 5:12 AM Posted by detroit1051

*What would it take for Aruze and Wynn to take Wynn private?
*Would MGM be interested in the entire Wynn Resorts or just Wynn Asia?
*Would MGM have regulatory problems taking more Strip property if it did want Wynn/Encore/golf course property?
*If CityCenter is as successful as many believe it will be because of MGM's ability to pull together world-class architects and build it on time within budget, the timing would be perfect for Wynn's golf course to be Act II.
*When is MGM going to get moving:
1 Year Comparison, WYNN

November 15, 2006 7:22 AM Posted by Brian Fey

Do you guys want me to jump off a building or something? What are you talking about? Wynn isn't going anywhere. MGM isn't buying anyone. They have more debt, than they could possibly know what to do with. Wynn is fine, healthy, and living. You guys already have this company in the coffin? OMG. If anything drastic happens at Wynn, they'll go private. They did the dividen to just buy more of the company. I am just shocked here. People are so shorted sighted. Venetian didn't make money for a while either. Wynn's days of not making money are over. From here on out its profitable. Wall Street seems to think this company is in the best shape its ever been in.

November 15, 2006 8:43 AM Posted by Hunter

I'm not saying WYNN is dead, or even in trouble... I'm just extrapolating cause it is kinda fun.

I agree that MGM MIRAGE has too much debt to acquire WYNN at this juncture and given the way Wynn Resorts is setup, I highly doubt that it could even be acquired without the Steve's blessing.

November 15, 2006 9:59 AM Posted by Brian Fey

Leonard - Did you see Wynn is up another 5$ today? Up to $96 now. Wall Street sure does hate this company. They sure seem pretty concerned with their future!

November 15, 2006 10:16 AM Posted by mike_ch

.......... =/

Careful, Brian. I'm afraid talk like that will devolve this site into one of those Yahoo! Stock boards whereupon everyone says nothing but good/bad things about a company question and all the cheerleaders and all the party poopers argue over it.

Not that we're near that point, and not that my concerns have any power behind them. Just advising you not go in that direction.

November 15, 2006 10:49 AM Posted by Leonard Stern

Hey Brian, WYNN still needs to gain another 45 points or so before I will be forced to "convert over to the OTHER side". LOL

November 15, 2006 1:25 PM Posted by detroit1051

"Terry Lanni, is without a doubt one of the most competent chief executives in the gaming industry today."
I agree and also give a lot of credit to Jim Murren. He and Lanni appear to work perfectly together. Murren is much more than a bean counter, and I see him eventually moving further when Lanni does decide to retire. I don't know whose decision it was to hire him away from Deutsche Bank as MGM CFO eight years ago, but it was a brilliant move. Wasn't there some talk a few years ago of Lanni wanting to retire and stay home in California with his horses?

November 15, 2006 1:39 PM Posted by Hunter

There was. For a long time he was splitting time between LA and Las Vegas but he has now relocated to LV full time and will be moving into CityCenter when that opens as well.

November 15, 2006 2:33 PM Posted by Devon

Looks like WYNN dropped about 4% in the last three hours of the day. When do you guys think this ride is going to end? I mean it's up $20 in the past 10 days. I'm guessing the stocks going to settle around $80 until the 4th quarter results.

November 15, 2006 3:33 PM Posted by Devon

On the Macau note...
Wynn Resorts is adding onto Wynn Macau with the "Wynn Diamond Suites" This could have an affect on the stock.

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=132059&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=931859&highlight=

November 15, 2006 4:51 PM Posted by Hunter

I don't get where this new hotel tower is going to go... Didn't they use up all their space already?

November 15, 2006 5:32 PM Posted by detroit1051

Bert posted a link to photos the other day that showed Wynn's Phase II. I'm assuming the new tower will curve the other direction and be behind the construction covered in green netting:
http://macaudailyblog.com/smf/index.php?topic=3.msg86#msg86

November 15, 2006 5:37 PM Posted by Hunter

Perhaps but building a high-rise after the low-rise building is already done/open is tough - tougher than doing it in more well-planned stages.

November 15, 2006 5:41 PM Posted by Hunter

And lets not forget this:

http://www.macautourism.gov.mo/news/mttdetail.phtml?lan=en&id=3203

I don't think this is the current plan however.

November 15, 2006 6:14 PM Posted by John

Well, this seems to be bigger news, than it looks like some people think it is (Wynn Diamond Suites). Honestly, this should be a large amount of evidence to convince most people that Wynn Resorts will remain the luxury operator in Macau. I know people have noted the Venetian being able to take that postition, but, honestly I believe that 500,000 sq. ft. is way too large for a luxury casino. The place will be way too large, and judging by LVS's interior design crew, and their cost cutting initiatives, it will be a fairly large un decorated and spartan space. As I stated above, there is little or no way that a cavernous resort, with over 500,000 sq. ft. of gaming space will be able to be anything more than an overrated tourist attraction.

I will, however make a concession on MGM Grand Macau. This resort will have some very interesting interior design elements including, but not limited to, the MGM Atrium (a cross between the Bellagio Conservatory and the Mansion's Atrium), some of the dining and entertainment spaces, and the design of the rooms, with their glass enclosed/curtained off bathrooms, (which looks very interesting).

However, this doens't mean that we can't expect incredible things out of Wynn Diamond Suites. This will be a very interesting tower, with inovative new room designs, which I am assuming will bare a striking resemblance to the room designs of Encore (i.e.- Close to, or over 1,000 sq. ft. in size.)

Also, my final note, concerning City Center is that, you should never judge a book by its cover. While each of these building may be strking from an exterior, architectual standpoint, we have little or no idea what the interior design of the resort, residences will be. I guess we shall have to wait, until we see more renderings, before anyone should pass judgement on this development.

November 15, 2006 7:00 PM Posted by Brian Fey

Yeah, the model years ago showed two towers, just like the picture you posted the link too. I wonder if this was not in the plan all the time, but they were waiting to see the demand first. This makes sense, because Cotai Strip is a long way off, for Wynn at least.

I agree I can't see how nice you can make a 500,000 sq ft casino. Sounds like it may look like Walmart to me. Maybe they will even have VCT tile on the floor, and floursent lights above the tables! :)

I saw pictures of the rooms at MGM Macau, and they really look fantastic. Even better than Wynn's. So he'll just have to up them with his new Diamond tower.

November 15, 2006 7:12 PM Posted by Hunter

MGM Grand Macau room photos?

Link?

November 15, 2006 7:37 PM Posted by detroit1051

MGM Mirage presented at G2E Monday. The slides show photos of CityCenter and Macau, including two of rooms. The atrium at MGM Macau looks interesting.
MGM Mirage Presentation

November 15, 2006 8:51 PM Posted by John

Hmm, I missed that presentation, thanks Detroit.

Well, it does show some new renderings that I haven't seen, and some of them are quite interesting. I do like what I see with the Foster & Partners tower (The Harmon), and the Mandarin Oriental Residences. I'm still skeptical on Pelli's Casino/Resort, as none of those renderings do a lot for me, the VEER towers, and VDARA, which I am not a fan of. I've enjoyed Vinoly's work throughout the years, but it looks too industrial and too much like an office building. I mean, each development at City Center has a "spectacle" to it. VEER has its leaning towers, the Mandarin Oriental has an interesting curtain wall, and its Sky Lobby, while the Harmon has its very interesting glass curtain (which Foster is known for), and the Pelli Casino/Resort, well Pelli has included some intersting and inviting curves, into the building (take Wynn's example of how a curve is sexy and invites customers to explore). However, Vinoly hasn't really done anything super interesting with VDARA. Well, I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Also, I'm very gald that MGM Grand Macau is moving along nicely. There is another presentation that focuses solely on the resort itself, which is quite intersting and has quite a few casino renderings, etc.

http://www.corporate-ir.net/media_files/irol/10/101502/presentations/091406DB.pdf

I do like the rendering of the Baccarat Salon, its very elegant and very european. However, it is nice to see that MGM Mirage Design will be catering to the local market, as referenced in their use of more Asisan influences (blacks, reds, stained woods, interesting chadeliers). Looking again at the Baccarat Salon rendering, it closely replicates what I would assume the Masion Casino looks like. Maybe someone could enlighten me, seeing as I haven't been inside the Mansion's Casino? However, the dining renderings are really catching my eyes. I'm noticing a Wynn-esque influence in their designs, which is a very good thing.

All in all, I'm actually very excited to see if MGM Grand can pull this thing off. I actually can't wait.

November 15, 2006 11:24 PM Posted by Mike E

John, I played at The Mansion my last trip. It does indeed look similar to the second rendering, although to a cozier scale (but still large for a high limit room).

Those presentations are really impressive. The one-two punch of neighboring Wynn and MGM Macau will keep business locked away from Cotai for several years. If the final product is as nice as these renderings would have me believe, then I'd have no desire to head to Cotai just to see the Venetian.

November 16, 2006 9:31 AM Posted by Leonard Stern

Re: CityCenter, the (design development) CAD generated renderings recently published by MGM/MIRAGE do not begin to represent or accurately depict, in 'specific detail', the sophistication of the various tower window wall facades, and other major design elements (such-as the pedestrian Strip facing podium retail component) and the uniqueness that the various individual towers will entail. However, one can clearly envision ultimately what a wonderfully progressive architectural statement that CityCenter will achieve fom just viewing these basic schematic renderings, confirming the impact that this assemblage of architects + designers will be able to contribute by making CityCenter a future benchmark of great design for other architects to follow. This will force Las Vegas in the future to a new level of architectural design potential than anything that currently exist here. Needless to say, it's going to be a tough act to follow the likes of Helmut Jahn, Sir Norman Foster + Cesar Pelli. When the public has the opportunity to view the finalized, detailed renderings + presentation scale models, I can assure you, they will truly be blown away! The reatil, pedestrian Strip level element has quite a bit of Frank Gehry 'influence' to it. From the looks of how MGM Macau is developing, purely from a design + luxury quality perspective, Wynn's proposed new Diamond Suites tower in Macau has a lot of catching up to do if they plan on competing with the new MGM property there. Hopefully he would have learned his lesson from the past and retain a completely new design team from the ground up on that one, but only time will tell.

November 16, 2006 9:34 AM Posted by Hunter

I'm very impressed with the MGM Grand Macau renderings in the above documents - they are putting together a respectable team for that project, clearly.

November 16, 2006 10:42 AM Posted by mike_ch

"wonderful progressive architectural statement" What statement? It's a bunch of firms working independently and MGM trying to bring it all into a cohesive plan.

November 16, 2006 11:25 AM Posted by Leonard Stern

I wouldn't exactly refer to this particular group or choice of architects as representing merely just "a bunch of firms." The fact that they have been given unprecedented, independent autonomy and design responsibility by MGM/MIRAGE for each of their respective towers and/or components contained within such a massive project, AND the fact that it will ultimately result in a highly efficient cohesive plan, is indeed an insight into this operator's "vision" - that definitely qualifies this project as an "architectural statement" even based upon the most objective of standards.

November 16, 2006 7:23 PM Posted by charlie

MGM Grand Macau is looking pretty sharp. From purely a brading perspective, any chance that CityCenter (Cesar Pelli) becomes MGM Grand (#3)? Or would this simply cause too much identity chaos?

While I'm curious on what to expect from a guest perspective, I think that CityCenter is stellar from a concept perspective, especially in its ability to expand over time. From a location perspective, you might as well expand CC west to the 4 Panorama Towers (especially with Light Group connection) and the future WWW Station. development. The land behind MC and NYNY is certainly in play, as is MC at some future time (2012), IMO.

If done correctly, and certainly Leonard could shed some light on this, the density of CC is the attraction (or hook). It could be absolutely dizzying (in a good way) if done right. I'm also interested to see if/how they incorporate any "fresh air" elements into CityCenter. Again, Leonard maybe you could elaborate. I think this is important, because concrete and A/C isn't that exciting after a couple of visits, whereas, Central Park is at your doorstep at the Mandarin in NY.

November 16, 2006 9:03 PM Posted by John

Well, I've always heard that since CityCenter is persuing LEED certification, that they will include roof top gardens, etc., so I don't think there is a lot to worry about in that area.

Also, Charlie, I've had questions about Pelli's resort becoming MGM Grand, due to the fact that, at one time, I saw a rendering for CityCenter that had the lion logo in a few different places. I don't know if this would be for their executive offices, or something else, but there is always that possibility that, however small, that MGM could go that route (eventhough I highly doubt it will happen, due to the fact that MGM has invested way too much in the Green Giant at the south end of the Strip).

The one question I still have is, what MGM has included in terms of a connection to Bellagio? I remember seeing a garden connection at one point, but VDARAR is occupying that space now. I assume the only connection might be the people mover that MGM has discussed.

November 17, 2006 6:35 AM Posted by detroit1051

Watch out below today.
Binion sold 400,000 shares, Citigroup downgraded.
Binion Sells 400,000+ Shares

November 17, 2006 2:17 PM Posted by dave s

I guess noone on this blog can read. It says that Binion will commence his duties as principal of the macau development team. Commence means begin. Does that sound like he can't stand working with steve or some other bullshit that Wynn bashers on this board continue to spout. That's absolutely amazing to me. As for disposing of le reve; it's well known that steve is one of the biggest players in the art world. he recently paid $37 million for a Turner. the highest price ever paid for an american artist.He buys and sells all the time.Idiots on this board are probably going to start speculating that Wynn needs to sell le reve to build a new keno lounge located near the B Bar.
In other words try to get a clue. As for Wynn losing money in these first few quarters,almost every new company does. Remember Ebay and Amazon?They lost money for quarter after quarter before becoming the greatest new age companies on earth. As for wynn selling to Mirage(perhaps the least knowledgable most ignorant speculation ever mentioned in realtion to Steve),the whole point of Wynn las vegas was revenge gaginst Mgm mirage. Wynn will never sell there.He will as he has said"build on the property for the rest of his life. Whoever comes up with this crap on this blog knows nothing about steve wynny the way, i know Steve personally. He's one of the true gentlemen left in this business. Never a crude asshole like Adelson or Kerkorian. Sw is a man of vision. 'Nuff said.


November 17, 2006 2:39 PM Posted by Hunter

Whoa, dave s., thanks for writing but please turn down the flame-thrower.

As far as painting us with the same brush as 'Wynn haters', that's actually pretty darn funny considering everything that has been said on this site in the last month or so. I've been called a lot of things in my time but 'Wynn hater' is certainly not one of them and you can check my record on that.

I'm a self-described fan of Steve Wynn's hotels but this thing with Binion is clearly a marriage gone south. The concept of him having duties on some kind of governing board sounds like Binion's way of letting Steve (and the stock) save some face. Binion dumped 400k shares today - that sounds like someone that is re-thinking his commitment to the company. I think WYNN will be very successful in Macau without Binion's help.

The speculation about WYNN and MGM was just a 'what if', interesting scenario. As I myself stated, I have the highest possible level of doubt this would ever happen, mostly due to the poison pill provisions that Wynn put into Wynn Resorts when it was incorporated. Sometimes it is fun to speculate and that's all that was.

Regarding Le Reve, I'm personally glad that he's not selling it - it is probably my fave Picasso. The idea of Stephen Cohen grabbing it and sticking it in his CT mansion where no one could see it would have been a shame.

You say that you know Steve personally. I'd be interested to hear more about that and any other insights you can offer if you have the time.

November 18, 2006 2:24 AM Posted by Mike E

Dave S, this surprising bit of recent news along with the childish attitude of one particular poster with an axe to grind may have given off the impression that we're "anti-Wynn". Most of us here are by no means "Wynn-bashers". I've had the good fortune of conversing with the man himself and Wynn LV is by far my favorite property in Las Vegas; I'm looking forward to my ninth stay next month. Needless to say, myself and many others on this blog have the utmost respect for him.

Welcome to the blog. We look forward to your contributions.

November 18, 2006 12:29 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Hey Mike E, you just wouldn't happen to be referring to ME as that particular poster "with the childish attitude" and "an axe to grind" now would you? You evidently must be some glutton for punishment or a masochist of the highest order by attempting to 'stir this up' again! Based on your last comment, it's quite apparent that the immature one here might just be you - unless of course you were NOT directing that particular remark towards me...

November 19, 2006 8:25 AM Posted by John

Well, after reading the latest Jeff Simpson column, in today's LV Sun, it looks like Wynn Diamond Suites will be placed closer to MGM Grand. Which means it will probably be designed to the point where the two points on the tower are symmetrical. I guess we'll just have to wait for some renderings, though.

November 19, 2006 10:04 AM Posted by Leonard Stern

I know that this is slightly off-topic, but I just felt compelled to have to share this little tidbit reported in Sunday's R-J "Inside Gaming" column in connection with Wynn poking his elbow through "Le Reve":

http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2006/Nov-19-Sun-2006/business/10881755.html

November 20, 2006 10:50 AM Posted by Brian Fey

Dave S. - You will not find a bigger Wynn fan than me. Not on any scale. I even named my first child after the man.

John - If you are waiting for a rendering from Wynn, prepare for a long wait. Wynn LV was done, before any renderings were ever released. Looks like Encore will be the same way. We can only wish!