Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

I had heard from several sources that while reservations for Encore at Wynn Las Vegas open up this Wednesday, they would not be taking bookings for arrivals before February 6th, 2009 (Super Bowl weekend).

Well, this seemed a bit strange... I checked into it myself and it is true that you cannot reserve rooms before early February. I guess it's possible the first two months are for invite only players but I find this hard to believe.

I'm still told Encore's casino should open in December - what does this mean? A soft opening for Steve Wynn, the king of the hardest of hard openings who is on record disparaging the soft opening at The Venetian and Palazzo? I'm personally pretty shocked if this is the case.

I've heard some rumors as to why - leading me to believe they may have had no choice - but nothing I've been able to confirm.

This is developing... Still plenty of time for things to change.

Update: Fellow Vegas Gang Podcast contributor Jeff Simpson contacted Wynn Resorts for comment and, unlike myself, was actually able to get a response. Wynn and Co. are saying they plan to open in December as originally planned and they're just being super-extra-cautious by not allowing normal reservations until February. Maybe that's all there is to it. Wynn Resorts - I'm happy to be a 'witness' at the official opening. :-)


Read archived comments (20 so far)
June 16, 2008 6:17 PM Posted by VegasJohnny

Just because they have started taking reservations for dates two months after opening doesn't mean they can't or won't take reservations for December and January later on. In fact it seems like a reasonable business decision to manage the pent-up demand by getting people to confirm reservations for the softer period a few months out, BEFORE you open up the floodgates to everyone who wants to be there for New Year's.

It may be a little early to call this a "major development".

June 16, 2008 6:25 PM Posted by Hunter

Hence the question mark in the headline and the explicit note indicating that things could change and that this is not solid... but you couple this with what I'm hearing behind the scenes and it starts to get more interesting.

As I said, I'd be shocked at soft opening. It's just so 'un-Wynn'.

Jeff's comment suggests that this is nothing. It may be. We'll see. As I recall, they took reservations for WLV and Bellagio from the first couple of days on - maybe they're being more cautious this time out.

June 16, 2008 6:29 PM Posted by Hunter

Well, if Wynn and Co didn't think I was a pain in the ass before, they probably do now. :-)

Thanks for getting the extra info, Jeff. - I couldn't get Wynn PR on the phone. They still have a ways to go in figuring out this whole 'blog' thing it seems.

June 16, 2008 6:45 PM Posted by Hunter

Jeff's comment is actually on another topic:

June 16, 2008 6:53 PM Posted by chuckmonster

It sure would be a great PR to have some of the LV tourism/gaming biz bloggers cover the Encore opening events live up to the minute on the internets. Y'know from a suite. Ahem, a luxury suite. With the electronic bar tabulator thing turned off. At Encore's grand opening. *nudge wink superpoke*

June 16, 2008 7:24 PM Posted by Brian Fey

Hunter, I guess I should have told you my findings on this topic on Friday, when I found this out. It does make sense, they can start booking major trips, and conventions for next years visits. But I don't think they have an opening date as of yet, and won't, until we get closer. So As we get closer, they should open up reservations for those few weeks. FYI, Wynn did offer to take my name and put me on a list for Grand Opening reservations. They said they will contact me once they open up reservations for opening night. So while I thought this process was a tiny bit strange, it does make sense.

June 16, 2008 7:34 PM Posted by Hunter

Booking conventions further out is standard operating procedure - they can get in trouble if they cancel on someone that has that all setup.

I wouldn't have given this as much credence until I heard some background today that implied a real problem in making a December opening. That's as yet unconfirmed.

June 17, 2008 7:34 AM Posted by TC

Do you think the opening of Encore will lower the rates of Wynn a little bit, or are they just gonna say screw it keep it all the same?

June 17, 2008 11:40 AM Posted by Pisces

It's not really the same as if he were opening a wholly new property. I think of this as just an addition, even though, I guess, the two are being marketed separately.

I'm not sure why they are locked into a December date, anyway. The distraction and competition of other New Year's Eve activities compromises what could be--- more intense press and PR coverage gotten in the less harried, and calmer, months of January and February .

They don't lose anything by putting off the grand opening till January/February. If anything it makes them look more clever.

The readiness of the complex, not some arbitrary date, should determine a grand opening.

June 17, 2008 12:31 PM Posted by Brian Fey

TC - I think that's somewhat hard to predict at this point. Room rates in Vegas next year will be very dependent on how the overall economy is doing. But assuming things are ok, at times Wynn may be able to actually demand more money at Wynn that before. As his number of rooms increases, they can go after conventions and large groups they might have had to pass on in the past. Wynn has had high demand, but he was limited due to having one of the smallest hotels on the Strip. All that will change once Encore opens up. Many conventions that needed 2000-3000 rooms in once place in the past, could not stay at Wynn, but with Wynn having almost 5000 rooms now, that can change. You have to remember, Encore and Wynn are the closest major hotels to the LVCC, so their, midweek demand will be very high, and With Encore and Wynn having the highest ratings in Vegas, they will have high demand also. And if the economy gets better, as I expect it to do next year, I would guess Wynn can increase room rates at Wynn even after Encore opens up. Yes there are many new rooms coming, but right now, there are less rooms in Vegas than there was a 12-18 months ago. Palazzo opened, but you lost Stardust and Frontier. All media looks at is all these new rooms coming, but they don't bring up the fact, that thousands of rooms are gone also. Lastly, Wynn won't just say "screw it" and leave them alone. They have a very systematic approach to setting their room rates. They want the hotel mostly full. A room booked at $50 a night, is better than an empty room. Vegas works much like the cruise lines, they want to be full. Even if the price has to come down, they need to be mostly full. These resorts have to pay for that building, if its full or empty, so anything is better than nothing. If occupancy rates fall much, the price will go up. One thing I do find interesting, is if you look online at Wynn room rates for the balance of the year, business does not look too bad, I keep hearing how bad things are in Vegas, but you wouldn't know it by the room rates at Wynn Las Vegas. That tells me, while Wynn might be slower than this time last year, they are doing fine.

June 17, 2008 1:34 PM Posted by Jeff Simpson

Although official "hotel room" numbers are close to the same, there have been 3,370 time share rooms and 3,864 condo-hotel units added to the market since 2002, most in the past two years. And there are thousands more time share units and 4,763 condo-hotel units under construction.

June 17, 2008 3:37 PM Posted by mike_ch

Brian, I have a rant about the philosophy of price that I could go into, but I've been saving it up for the day when I end up on a podcast or have some other way to better elucidate. Suffice it to say, it seems to me that the WLV folks would prefer an empty room by how they work. They would sooner give the room away to locals or something than go down that low.

There's a whole lot I could go onto here the upper market and how it's presented, Wynn, Bellagio, and so on. Fortunately, there's a good chance that Encore will fix what I feel is one of the bigger flaws with Wynn, which is what the visitor just passing through sees.

June 17, 2008 4:55 PM Posted by hail2skins

Mike_ch, although you've probably done so before, I'd love to hear you elaborate on the last sentence of your latest post (flaw with what visitors see walking through Wynn). Just interested in your point of view.....thanks!

June 17, 2008 5:15 PM Posted by Brian Fey

I as well, would love to have you elaborate as also. Are you implying that Encore will have more to offer people who are not staying there, like Bellagio does? Most people perfer Bellagio to Wynn, mostly those who have not stayed at Wynn. The non hotel guest, does not seem to "get it" There is little to see and do at Wynn for the non hotel guest, when compared to his previous projects like Bellagio and Mirage. Did I read you wrong, or do you think Encore will be more like Bellagio and Mirage, do you feel that he will offer more to see and do, for the person just passing by? Because I have viewed Encore as even more like Wynn, I think it might be even more guest oriented, than Wynn even is. For the looks of Encore's exterior, it had better be spectular inside, because it looks like there is nothing to see on the outside. Which to me dissapoints, because I love the outside places at Wynn, and while there will be a few things on Encore's pool area, its not near large enough, to have more than 2-3 places that overlook it. I was shocked to find out that what one could argue is the single best view of the pool area, will be more conference space. We know the night club will overlook the pool, but this is only good at night, will that beautiful view be wasted during the day? I sure hope not, hopefully its a multi-use place not unlike Tao. Encore has much less space than Wynn, so I hope they used the space wisely. Not being a clubbing person, I sure hope the space is not just wasted on a club, I want to enjoy that view as well.

June 18, 2008 8:11 AM Posted by Mike K

Called Wynn for reservations for Encore.
They are taking for Feb and later.Encore will also
have a resort side and a suite side with seperate check in and elevators.Pool views are available $ 50 extra, floors seven and above.Resort side also offers panoramic views.They
will take your info ,and will contact you if rooms
will be available sooner than Feb.

June 18, 2008 11:28 AM Posted by Adonaise

If I may add my two cents to the story. Anyone could publish anything and add a question mark after it to deflect any criticism of inaccuracy. It is a bit of a sell to say the whole thing may be bollocks but don't blame you because there was clearly a question mark in the title. The remarks about hearing things behind the scenes are far to vague to be taken with any credibility. Maybe if you can tell us exactly what you heard and who you heard it from instead of being intentionally cryptic it would be of helpful to those of us who are interested in whether or not the story has merit is or just a sensational piece.

June 18, 2008 12:44 PM Posted by Hunter

The reason I posted the story was that the extended reservations date (not something they have done in the past) *combined* with the info I got made it seem interesting enough to post, with the disclaimers in the story.

Geez people - do you think I just make stuff up? I've never invented anything in the history of this blog but if you do think that's something I would even consider, I don't really know what to tell you. This isn't an Apple rumors site.

I got some info from someone who could get in trouble for telling me anything - hence not publishing said details previously.

Since I've heard it from two people now, I still don't know if it's legit but I guess I can share more - basically, it sounded like Wynn Resorts was not sure if they could make a December opening for the guest rooms because of a dispute with a key FF&E supplier, thus they wanted to be extra cautious about taking reservations.

I tried to make it clear that it wasn't a confirmed fact. We'll know in December. Personally I hope I'm staying in an Encore room before the end of 2008 - that was my plan and I hope I can stick to it.

June 19, 2008 7:52 PM Posted by motoman

Hunter, longtime readers here certainly appreciate the lengths you've gone to for accuracy and are aware of the high standards you maintain--more than some "journalists" nowadays. Many of your commenters (and lurkers) are of course regulars since almost the beginning. The username attached to that comment is unfamiliar; maybe the person followed a link here? I wouldn't worry about it.

And as someone who _does_ follow the Apple rumor sites, I've got a big grain of salt sitting here right on my desk for whenever I go online....

June 19, 2008 8:59 PM Posted by Hunter

Thanks moto, I appreciate it.

June 20, 2008 2:15 PM Posted by Jeff Simpson

Encore story is online here: