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All Articles for Category: Interviews

July 19, 2011

Vegas Gang #63 - July 19th, 2011

Posted by Hunter

Episode #63 is up!

Listen here:

This time on the show:

* Our Guest is M Resort President Anthony Marnell III

We have a frank discussion on operating in Las Vegas in this climate, nightlife customers vs. casino customers and more. It's a great talk - you'll enjoy it.

** Sure Bets **

* Alternative Vegas Media
* M Resort
* Spotify
* Nevada Week In Review

This time on the show:

Mr. DeRuyter Butler, Executive Vice President of Architecture @ Wynn Design & Development is our special guest.

We discuss Cotai, Fontainebleau, his role at Wynn D&D as well as CityCenter and challenges of working in China. Plus, we find out that Sheldon has been giving us all the middle finger since 1999.

This is a 'don't miss' interview.

If you love casino design, construction and all the thinking behind it, check it out.

Check out the show:

Feel free to leave your comments below. If it's a question that you want asked on the show, please make that clear in your post. You can also send those to

Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin doesn't seem to think CityCenter was such a hot idea. Ok, that might be a bit of monday-morning-quarterbacking but he's also going out on a limb to say Cosmo is doomed, in his talk with Nevada journalist Jon Ralston.

He also revealed that his $1B offer for The Mirage was turned down by MGM's board just over a year ago.

Ruffin's typically one of the more restrained casino owners when it comes to making public comments. Interesting to see him coming out full on, including bashing President Obama.

I've been dropping hints for a few weeks and we can finally announce the event! The "Vegas Podcast-a-palooza" will be taking place on August 16th at the Palms in Las Vegas.

What is this event you might ask?

Live versions of Five Hundy By Midnight, The Strip Podcast and The Vegas Gang!

All the details are here:

I also need to give a big round of applause to Steve Friess for help with getting things setup, The Palms for hosting the event and taking a chance on a new idea, and to Chuck at for designing the fantastic info page.

Please, check out the page above and consider coming to the show - we really want a strong, lively audience there at The Palms.

The Vegas Gang is back and this time we cover the important issue of building safety.

The details, including links to the show and iTunes are here:

Thanks for listening and we'll be back in another two weeks. I think I know what the next show will be about but we haven't totally nailed it down yet.

We spoke with 'Winner Takes All' author Christina Binkley a few weeks ago on the Vegas Gang Podcast. Personally, I enjoyed the book and I think that others would as well but Las Vegas freelancer Steve Friess pointed out a good number of, eh, 'issues' with some of the specifics and wrote about them on his blog and in his Las Vegas Weekly column:

It seems Binkley's not backing down and is willing to back up her book. Well, to settle this once and for all I think the two authors should have a Las Vegas trivia show-down, broadcast live on the 'Net, to compete for their honor and to show all of us a good time.

Come on guys, what do you think? You in? I'll make it happen, you just have to show up (virtually).

Updated: Some people have asked me how this would work. Some of that is to be determined but I'm thinking sorta like a 'Vegas Jeopardy' type game with an array of questions on Las Vegas topics with each contestant accumulating points. I'd like to work in some sort of charity angle - still thinking of the best way to do that.

Updated Again: More on the back and forth between Binkley and Friess:

April 3, 2008

Vegas Gang #5 - Tom Breitling - April 3rd, 2008

Posted by Hunter

Episode #5 of the Vegas Gang has been posted below:

This features Tom Breitling, formerly of the Golden Nugget, talking about his new book. Enjoy!

October 10, 2007

Inside The MGM MIRAGE Brain Trust: Jim Murren

Posted by Hunter

In Business Las Vegas did a fascinating interview with MGM Mirage President and COO Jim Murren last week. It is a highly recommended read that gives great perspective into the thinking that has driven recent deals with Kerzner, Dubai World and others.

It's clear that Terry Lanni and Jim Murren 'get it' when it comes to the biz side of the gaming industry - they are re-defining the standard practices that have been common knowledge in the industry. Business as usual? Not anymore.

From partnering with interesting companies to big ambitious projects like City Center in Las Vegas, they are bringing techniques that have worked well in the general hospitality industry to gaming and it seems to be paying off in spades.

Personally, I'd love to do an interview with Murren but MGM MIRAGE sometimes looks down on Internet media, even those of us with larger numbers than some print publications. I'm hoping one of these days these companies will wake up to that. They're not as bad as some companies but they could do better in this department.

Well, that was a great conversation... We had an in-depth talk with Chuck from who just recently has gotten back from Macau.

We went over everything from specific hotel talk on topics like Wynn Macau, Venetian Macau, Galaxy Starworld, MGM Grand Macau, Casino Lisboa and more. We also talked about the business - folks like Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, SJM, Melco and others.

Cotai, gaming industry topics, casino design and more. It was a great discussion and I'm hoping we can do another segment soon.

June 11, 2007

Roger Thomas Among Architectural Digest's 100

Posted by Mike E

Roger Thomas, Executive Vice President of Design for Wynn Design and Development, is among Architectural Digest's 100--a list of some of the world's most influential designers.

AD delves deep into his fascinating life and personal residence:

Also, an exclusive feature on Wynn's six Apartment (Atrium) Villas:

Be sure to view the slideshows for both articles (and what should be the fourth slide in the latter article here).

It's refreshing to read articles such as these that focus first and foremost on interior design and the specific companies Wynn D&D commissions for their custom furnishings.

The Mansion has definitely been dethroned for this level of accommodation. We can only wait and see what Palazzo, CityCenter, and Encore have in store.

November 17, 2006

Interview On 'This Ain't Iowa Podcast'

Posted by Hunter

A heads up that I was interviewed in the latest edition of the 'This Ain't Iowa' podcast, located at:

Go ahead and check it out!

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I discovered this excellent and informative KNPR interview with Wynn Design and Development Executive Vice President Roger Thomas. This interior design guru is responsible for all interiors at Treasure Island, Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas. Listening to this interview it is clear that nothing there happened by accident. Fascinating interview.

For those that don't listen regularly, KNPR's State of Nevada is a great insight into all things Las Vegas.

Update: I had no idea that Roger Thomas is the son of E. Parry Thomas, the famous Las Vegas banker.

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Interview Completed: Posted here.

Update: I picked the questions and they are being sent to Wynn Resorts to be answered. I tried to pick questions that represented a range of topics. In some places I was able to combine questions and still retain what I believed was the questions true intent. Hopefully I maintained that for you guys. Anyway, as soon as we have a response, it will of course be posted on the blog as a new article.

We're starting a new semi-regular feature on the blog - an interview series. This series is different than other interviews for an important reason - you, the readers, submit the questions! It works like this: you add potential questions as comments on this story. In about a week, I will then pick the ten best/most interesting questions and send them to the interview subject. The responses will be printed in a follow-up story. Feel free to submit more than once but please make sure one comment = one question.

I've started to line up some interesting gaming industry heavyweights to participate. I'm personally very excited about the person we're kicking off with. DeRuyter Butler has been involved in designing some of the Strip's most iconic casinos. Working with Steve Wynn since 1982 he was involved with projects at the Golden Nugget, The Mirage and Treasure Island and was the primary design architect for Beau Rivage, Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas. Recently, Mr. Butler has been overseeing the finalization of Wynn Macau and the development of Encore, Wynn Las Vegas' sister resort. Butler's creations are one of the major inspirations that inspired this site in the first place, we are honored to have him. Please submit your questions, one per comment, below.

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