Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

May 12, 2005

Dear Steve: Our Comments on Wynn Las Vegas

Posted by Hunter

This is a copy of the letter that we sent to Wynn Las Vegas management following our recent stay.

Dear Steve:

I'm writing to share my impressions of Wynn Las Vegas after a recent stay. I know that you are striving to create a perfect experience for your guests and so along with all of the great things I noticed, the end of this letter mentions a few items I think you can improve. I hope you'll indulge my opinions and I promise not to take up too much of your time.

Walking into Wynn Las Vegas makes you feel good.

Between the natural light in the casino, the magnificent flowers and trees(!), water cascading from the mountain and the whimsical use of color, your resort redefines Las Vegas and raises the bar in the entire hospitality industry.

I have an interest in resort and casino design and have studied what you've done in the past. I can honestly say that despite my extremely high expectations, Wynn Las Vegas exceeded them. Not only is the resort beautiful, it is extremely functional. I could go on and on about what I like about the resort but for the sake of brevity, I'll list just a few of my favorite things.

  • The use of color in the whole complex is stunning. The striking mosaics and carpet compliments the painted ceilings and canopies.
  • The casino is the best designed and most beautiful I have ever seen. A 100,00 square foot floor has never been so easy to navigate or flow so well but at the same time, the darker tones remind me of my favorite parts of The Mirage, which until recently was my preferred casino floor in Las Vegas.
  • Restaurants - We had the pleasure of trying several restaurants, including Corsa Cucina, the Terrace Pointe Cafe, SW Steakhouse, Wing Lei and room service. Perhaps needless to say, all of dishes we tried were fantastic. Even your room service offerings are the best in town! Having the chefs on site certainly keeps quality high. We got a chance to talk to Stephen Kalt as he was working with his staff and it is clear that your strategy makes a huge difference in the quality of the dining options at Wynn Las Vegas.
  • The 'little things' - The difference between a good resort and a great one is the attention to the hundreds of little details that define the experience. These may be things that many customers never identify directly, though some customers certainly do notice them. Nevertheless, the aggregation of these details is what lets the whole be greater than the sum of its parts. Wynn Las Vegas offers these in spades.

Now that I've gone over some of the standout features of your new resort, I wanted to share a few things that that I think you and your staff could improve at Wynn Las Vegas.

These are listed in no particular order:

  • The Tower Suites elevators make a jarring beeping sound when they pass each floor. Also, there were substantial creaking sounds passing certain floors - perhaps they are still being 'broken in'? I didn't have a chance to try the 'Resort' elevators.
  • The Terrace Pointe Cafe doesn't have any 'to-go' boxes or bags. To their credit, they did offer us a piece of foil but that is clearly an ad-hoc solution.
  • It seems that cell phones based on GSM technology don't work in most of the low-rise buildings. While CDMA cell phones from Verizon did work, GSM phones from Cingular, AT&T Wireless and T-Mobile didn't function at all. It is my understanding that many other resorts have installed repeater hardware toe alleviate the inherent difficult using phones in such dense structures.
  • In the Spa shower area (men's), there is no place to hang your towel or robe inside the shower stall, forcing guests to jump up and throw them over the top of the door. Interestingly enough, I spoke with four people about the spa and each separately mentioned this issue.
  • There didn't appear to be 'Do Not Disturb' signs or lights, which results in many eager employees knocking on the door earlier than we wanted to be disturbed.
  • Our golf course view Tower Suite room on the 32nd floor had very dirty windows.

Finally, I wanted to mention our check-in. We arrived Sunday May 1st, the resort's first day of major guest turnover. Between when we arrived at 2 p.m. and at 6 p.m. when we got to our room, we had to visit the registration staff four times before a room was available. Based on conversations I had with others in the line, we were not the only ones who were experiencing this problem.

I was surprised that this happened on such a massive scale, especially in the VIP check-in area. Perhaps this could have been mitigated if staff gave more realistic windows of availability from the beginning instead of having us check back so many times. Also, some of the tensions could possibly have been relieved if some kind of compensation had been offered, just to let the waiting guests know that hotel management understood the difficult circumstances - even something as simple as a snack at the cafe.

As a Wynn Resorts shareholder, I am thrilled the hotel is so busy but it was a frustrating experience to say the least.

Thanks for sharing your creation with the world. I look forward to visiting again soon.



Read archived comments (20 so far)
May 13, 2005 7:52 AM Posted by detroit1051

Thanks for sharing your letter. I hope you let us know what kind of reply you receive and whom it's from.

The conflicting views of Wynn continue on the lvtalk board and elsewhere.

I've emailed a host at Wynn and asked to stay there three nights in June. I'm looking forward to my stay and fully expect many of the opening week glitches to be solved by then.

May 13, 2005 1:00 PM Posted by tom

This is a very interesting letter. I will be interested if he responds. My comment on your comments are that these are mostly start up issues. I think it is unfair to judge any hotel by the problems they experience in say the first 3 months of operation. I think you should go back in 6 months to look at the property again and update your review accordingly. If they havn't fixed these issues by then, they really do have a problem. By the way, isn't having a hook inside the shower stall likely to result in a wet towel?:)

May 13, 2005 1:08 PM Posted by Hunter

You have a good point and I'm not passing any final judgement.

The shower is very large - the towel wouldn't get wet.

May 13, 2005 5:26 PM Posted by ah-ping

interesting letter. now i really want to stay there and check it out for myself!

May 14, 2005 5:29 PM Posted by adam

What was the address you sent the letter to?

May 14, 2005 5:43 PM Posted by Hunter

The resort is located at 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South.

May 14, 2005 6:41 PM Posted by Brian

Detroit, what dates will you be out in Vegas? I'll be there the nights of June 12-13 (Bellagio) and then again the night of June 16 (Wynn).

As for the reviews, I think its interesting that the people who have actually stayed as a guest have been generally more positive about the place than those who just did a walk-through. I think properties need time to grow on you.......that was certainly the case with me when the Bellagio opened. The LVR has been doing some of his reports on the Yahoo Wynn board and he sounds like he likes Wynn more and more during each visit.

May 14, 2005 6:59 PM Posted by Mark

I was just at the Terrace Pointe Cafe and they now give 'to go' boxes, well more like tupper-ware :-)

May 15, 2005 12:23 PM Posted by detroit1051

Brian, I'll be ten days behind you at both Bellagio and Wynn. It will be interesting to compare them on the same trip.

Thanks for the tip about LVR. I hadn't been reading the WYNN Board. I can tell from his posts, it's the real LVR. He is very astute in his comments about casinos, but he never had much use for Wynn's performance at MIR. As LVR once said, it should have been a $50 stock and he wouldn't have had to sell to Kerkorian.

I talked with a Host at Wynn and told her I'd read many conflicting reports on the property, especially relating to service. She told me things are quickly being corrected and service will be up to Wynn standards when I get there late next month.

May 24, 2005 1:37 PM Posted by Freesha

Dear Hunter,
My sister and I also wrote a letter to Mr. Wynn. In it we mentioned:
Good stuff about staff members, Sarah, front desk manager, and our slot hostess, Araceli who was also very nice (although, had I known that OK Wells was there, I would have asked for her) and the great rooms and wonderful beds and linens.

But, there were several problems:

Lack of toiletries (this was corrected immediately), Mirrors in the bathroom that make you look extra wide, scale didn't work, no fresh glassware for the 2nd day (the maid left the used glasses)and no room service menu (we were told there were none available).
There was one upsetting incident in the room. Just before I was leaving to check out, I was packing my makeup in the bathroom and heard someone enter. I saw a woman dressed in a suit standing at the minibar with a checklist. She was counting items and said she wanted to see what we had used from the bar. I told her that we hadn't used anything and she said, "Well, I'll just check and see for myself!" Her voice was very huffy but as I was late for my flight, I picked up my bags and left.
The casino needed more cocktail waitresses and bars where you can play poker slots as well as more 'fun' slot machines. More ash trays are needed in front of restaurants, stores and the pool.
At SW, the hostess "forgot" about us waiting in the bar and gave our long reserved window seats away.
At Okada, our table was also given away to Mr. Okada's party and although there was plenty of room, we were shown to a bare table in an unfinished room behind the dining area. We received no apology but being hungry we decided to sit at the sushi bar anyway and we were going to order hot sake, but there was none.

Although we sent a letter to Mr. Wynn, we have received no response.


May 24, 2005 9:23 PM Posted by Dr. B


I'm really curious as to whether or not you received a response to this. Interesting letter, several good points made.

It sounds like a lot of the problems you encountered are of the kind that will go away within a reasonable amount of time. Is this your expectation as well - that the release wouldn't be "bug-free" and patches will need applying in the first year?

Sorry for the computer metaphor.

May 24, 2005 9:28 PM Posted by Hunter

No one that knows anything about these openings expected it to be perfect.

Wynn has been quoted he expected at least 90 days to shake out all the problems.

May 29, 2005 12:42 PM Posted by David

May 23 for 3 nights: Executive suite with his/hers baths... so very nice.

Be sure to keep a copy of your reservation confirmation handy. We were over charged by $100/night at check-out. Lucky for us we could not use the in room check-out as there were no batteries in the keyboard in the room. Desk clerk simply shrugged.

The rooms are bugged...If you move any of the in room snacks sensors immediately charge you!

Restaurants: Alex, Bartolotta, and Corsa were fabulous (be sure to make reservations). Breakfast buffet was grand but manager was very nasty when he refused to honor comp from our slot host. Slot host had to call to take care of miscommunication. Worst part was the nasty smirk on managers face as we were getting very frustrated.

Overall we plan to return soon and have left a message for manager about our problems... so far no response. Maybe we should send a letter detailing problems??? What should we ask for as fair compensation.

May 29, 2005 7:16 PM Posted by Hunter

If you want your problems to be heard, a letter is usually better than a call.

As far as 'fair compensation', it sounds like they fixed all the problems you had, so the only lasting damage was the inconvenience? I don't usually demand compensation when I write detailing my hotel experiences - I think it comes off as pushy and makes it sound like you have an agenda.

May 31, 2005 8:05 AM Posted by detroit1051

Frequent complaints about housekeeping (or lack thereof) at Wynn keep surfacing on Las Vegas message boards. The most recent I saw was from someone who arrived to an unmade room on May 26.
I'm surprised there are these easily correctible problems a month after opening. Are the rumors true that Wynn has lost a lot of staff who are disenchanted and want to return to their old properties?

I'll be very disappointed if I experience similar problems toward the end of June.

May 31, 2005 8:18 AM Posted by Hunter

As much as I like the hotel, if that continues, it is inexcusable. As you stated, it is something they have direct control over.

I've heard some stories about some folks leaving, some frustrated with payroll systems problems that prevented paychecks going out.

Still, these rumors have a way of picking up steam on their own. One well-placed source indicated that while they have lost folks, a big part of the reduction was expected and part of the their plan.

Steve has stated he expected 90 days to work out the kinks... Something like housekeeping I would have expected to be worked out sooner rather than later.

June 3, 2005 11:34 PM Posted by Mike

Everything about my stay (May 8th through the 10th) was perfect with an exception to housekeeping. Actually, I was very impressed when 5 minutes after I had walked into my room, a housekeeper knocked and asked if everything was okay and if I needed anything, but after that, I can't say too much. I don't expect a lot since I'm extra sloppy in a hotel room anyway, but only the beds were made the one time they did come in.

Regarding the mostly negative reviews, other than start-up issues, I think a lot of people came into the hotel disillusioned from all the hype. Despite being the grandest project in Las Vegas to date, it's still Vegas and that means lines to check-in, to eat, to get a cab, get your car from the valet and a general inconsistency in service that is apparent in any property of Wynn's size.

Also, there's been lots of complaints about the small entrance. When I was waiting for my car, I noticed that a good majority of the cars coming out of the valet had Nevada plates. Wynn built a separate entrance just as large as the main one for both suite guest and local visitor (according to the website) so they can bypass the check-in area and general crowds and closer to the Esplanade. Once word gets around about that entrance, I'm sure the traffic will flow better.

June 8, 2005 11:46 AM Posted by Hunter

Response info here:

November 19, 2006 1:11 AM Posted by Jasan Ayhen

Dear Steve
How I knoe you and your resorts?
I sent my two students to your Macau branch.
My name is Aaron(阿依肯),minority(Kazak).
I am 28years old.I am working at educational system for 5 years.
I am an english teacher in Urumqi Xinjiang China.I draduated from North-west Normal University Lanzhou China.I major in English and Tourism and got bachelor degree.
Usually I teach English at a high school,in summer and winter holidays I work at China youth travel service as an adveture guide or an interpreter.
I ever guide for many kinds of tourist groups,,just like expeditions,trekkings,mountaineering and common routes....
Now I am looking for some new surroundings to improve my skill and intercommunicate.But most important thing is training myself to challange.
I been a lot of places in this province and come across a lot children of many
minorities.I can speak Kazak,Chinese,English and some native languages.
I ma writing the letter if I can contact with you or not

January 25, 2011 3:45 PM Posted by Bruce

I Love it! No facility is perfect and with that understanding, I honestly appreciate all the Wynn Resort and Casino do. I've been a regular since the resort opened and will continue to do so. There is just one thing that has yet to be fixed. I wrote a letter to your engineering dept back in 2006 about it but every year it hasn't been addressed. So please understand, I am not complaining but just stating a fact. So when you read this, put yourself in my place and the hundreds of thousands people the stay and visit. Wether you're a regular to the Wynn or more so a first-timer the confusion of where you are on the casino floor continues to confuse the public. For example,most people that enter the casino floor don't realize the casino is divided into 4 sections so that begins the confusion. So I'm sitting at a slot machine and I get a call from my wife, she ask where I'm at, I stand up look around and have nothing telling me what section i'm in. There's no signs, nothing. My suggestion is this...mount from the ceiling a 3 sided signso you can see it from all directions that simply says something like North Section, South Section, East Section, West Section or A, B C & D Areas, Just something that when people call and want to know where you're at all the have to do is look up and say "I'm in the South Section" Thant's all! Love the place!
Bruce Loeffler - Louisville