Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

With a very terse statement, Wynn Resorts announced that it was terminating the Philadelphia project that they jumped into just weeks ago.

Press Release:


The project had been met with intense criticism from some locals. Also, Wynn himself got into a little bit of hot water by showing designs ahead of time to Las Vegas freelancer Steve Friess. Friess has posted a blog entry to clarify - this was not his fault.

What will Wynn Resorts do next? Any chance of an Atlantic City resurgence given this latest move? They are opening Encore Macau later this month but after that, the development pipeline is all Wynn Cotai, which is still in the planning phase.

The company hasn't not had a hotel under construction since Wynn Las Vegas started going up in 2003 (I'm pretty sure I'm right about this - WLV opened 2005 while WM was still under construction ; WM opened late 2006 while ELV was just getting started ; ELV opened 2008 while EM was still under construction).


Read archived comments (10 so far)
April 8, 2010 2:09 PM Posted by Brian Fey

I'm the biggest Wynn fan in the world, but he does wear me out at time. I'm sure he has a good reason, but its like Singapore, its like we're in, now we're out. I don't know. I'm sure we'll hear more comments on the conference call in the next 30 days, on more details.

April 8, 2010 2:38 PM Posted by Marty

Can't say I'm surprised. When it was first announced, I posted that I didn't think it was a slam dunk. There's so much politics involved and uncertainty around site plans and community support. I never liked the location for it. It always seemed doomed. I do wonder what made Wynn change his mind so quickly. I truly think he didn't know the history of the plan at all. That seemed clear in the interviews with him.

I think this means that nobody else will give this a shot as they will feel its not worth it. Between tax rates, the fight with the community and competition, suitors won't bother. Look how long it took SugarHouse just to break ground! It's a real mess in Philly.

Maybe Wynn looks to the Gulf Coast or the Midwest for expansion. As a Clevelander, please manage Dan Gilbert's new casino here :) I can dream, can't I?

April 8, 2010 3:55 PM Posted by Pikes

Now he can buy the Revel Casino project in Atlantic City.

April 8, 2010 4:15 PM Posted by parchedearth

I'm not really suprised by this. Too many different (gov't and pseudo-gov't) groups wanted their input heard that it just wasn't worth the hassle. Philly will end up regretting this, but AC just got a 24hr stay of execution.

April 8, 2010 4:18 PM Posted by David McKee

Brian raises a good point I'd failed to consider: At what point do cities become skeptical of WYNN when it comes a-courtin'?

April 8, 2010 4:39 PM Posted by atdleft

Pikes may be onto something here... Maybe Wynn thinks he can save AC (again)?

And Marty is right about Philly and PA politics. Let's just say it's complicated out there. Between all the anti-gambling groups causing a stir and the local government screwing things up, this became a real hot mess. This was NOT Steve Friess' fault... It's all about the f*cked up politics here.

And just in time for New Jersey to get some gaming salvation...

April 8, 2010 4:44 PM Posted by Ted Newkirk

I think Wynn just said "enough". He was probably thinking "Bring Jim Murren in... see what kind of a building he builds you".

The nice thing about being an autocrat with your business (and I speak from personal experience) is that if someone bugs you or is just making too much fuss about a deal -- even a deal you'd really like to do -- you walk away.

Kind of like dating: OK... she's beautiful, but she just starts being TMW. Too Much Work.


April 8, 2010 8:03 PM Posted by Tom M

I live outside of Philly. I was looking forward to seeing this casino get built. I got the impression from the Philly Inquirer article that Wynn wanted to buy adjacent land to build a hotel. Maybe he couldn't get that land so he decided doing casino only wasn't his best move. The politics in Philly are very brutal, and there is a big fight between the state, run by former Philly mayor Rendell, and the city and the local gambling opposition. This was never going to be that easy to pull off. I like the idea of Wynn taking over something in AC, maybe the empty land on the boardwalk that Pinnacle created would be better for Wynn than taking over a half built Revel.

April 9, 2010 11:18 AM Posted by Jinx

+1 to Marty's wish list. Tax rate 'only' at 33% too here.

April 9, 2010 1:29 PM Posted by Brian Fey

I could be wrong, but I just dont see Wynn buying a half built project in AC. That just not their style. Wynn is known for their buildings, and I doubt they could ever buy a building half finished that would even begin to live up to the expectations of Wynn customers.