Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

July 27, 2009

Wynn's Roger Thomas Honored - Video Interview

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to Mike E over at for catching this one - a multi-part video interview set with design genius Roger Thomas, Executive VP of Design at Wynn Design and Development as he was honored this past February in Las Vegas.

Thomas was responsible for many major Wynn designs at properties including Wynn Las Vegas, Encore Las Vegas, Wynn Macau, Bellagio, Treasure Island, Beau Rivage, The Mirage, Golden Nugget and more.

Roger Thomas - Chapter 1
Roger Thomas - Chapter 2
Roger Thomas - Chapter 3
Roger Thomas - Chapter 4
Roger Thomas - Chapter 5
Roger Thomas - Chapter 6


Read archived comments (8 so far)
July 28, 2009 4:59 AM Posted by John

Great post. I wish those videos went on forever. I love hearing about the most minute details of Wynn's resorts.

July 28, 2009 6:00 AM Posted by detroit1051

When I awakened this morning, I didn't expect to attend an hour long lecture with Roger Thomas.
Some of the details are fascinating such as security cameras built into Encore's chandeliers above the tables and air conditioners in the street lamp bases in Encore's atrium,
Some clever comments such as "Corsa orginally had all the charm of a prep school dining room."

Without trying to disparage MGM, I can't imagine them giving any designer the free rein and budget that Steve and Elaine continually give Roger Thomas. It will be interesting to see Aria, totally designed by the MGM Mirage corporation and compare it to the personal involvement of Steve Wynn at his properties. MGM has been good at acquiring and operating properties, but can they build a top tier property? Based on CityCenter's renderings of Aria, I'm not sure.
Finally, how did Roger Thomas' reversal of his retirement plans affect his previously named replacement? Is Jerry Beale still there? It must have been a big disappointment for him.

July 28, 2009 7:57 AM Posted by Hunter

I had heard most of these anecdotes before (Thomas is quite a talker when you have him in person) but there were a few, such as the camels in Macau, that I didn't know the story behind. I also didn't realize they used DI crystals in the Bartolotta chandelier - very cool.

I saw Jerry Beale at the Wynn shareholders meeting when Thomas announced he was staying on and he told me he was thrilled that Thomas was staying on - they will be working together.

July 28, 2009 2:29 PM Posted by Phil

Great find. You hear Roger talk and you can tell he's really got a hold of his dream job. Not surprisingly though Steve Wynn makes the final call and its clear he has no qualms about ripping up a near perfectly good design in Roger's eyes because its not what he wants.

Interesing too to see Roger admit what they saw as mistakes at Wynn, those seemed to be fixed within 2-3 years of its opening. I would assume we may see the same at Encore within 2 years.

July 30, 2009 1:26 PM Posted by rob

'I didn't know I couldn't do it - so I did'

Great quote !

July 30, 2009 8:16 PM Posted by Detail Fanatic

Fantastic interview. Great explanation of the details. Interesting stories.

Not sure I am gong to rush out and buy any of his furniture, nice for hotel but not for my abode, enough with the dog legs.

He is quite the name droppper. ( I am a design geek and I did not know who any of those designers were).

Too many 30 - 45 day re-dos, dont buy it, he is more of a planner than that.

Not sure I would want to be one of their vendors way too many demands, you are lucky to do business with us attitude.

July 31, 2009 10:22 AM Posted by Brian Fey

Well, I experienced two of the "re-do's", The Drugstore and Stratta, they did full makeovers, in no time flat. I have heard a story time and time over again, about Wynn making the designers tear out the Caribe Cafe at Mirage just before it opened, he hated it, and made them completely redo it before he would let them open.

August 4, 2009 4:52 AM Posted by detroit1051

"It's appropriate that Roger Thomas, executive vice president of design for Wynn Resorts Ltd., will receive the Sarno Lifetime Achievement Award at the Global Gaming Expo in November."