Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

December 7, 2006

Wynn Dealers Suit Dismissed

Posted by Hunter

This is actually about a day old but due to some computer issues, I wasn't able to do much posting yesterday.

From the LV Biz Press, in the continuing saga of the Wynn Las Vegas tipping situation, a court dismissed the legal challenge, though the dealers still have several other potential remedies.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,


Read archived comments (185 so far)
December 7, 2006 10:49 AM Posted by John

I don't know if it was mentioned above, but these guys aren't giving up with this defeat. Does anyone here think they'll actually take it above the Nevada State Supreme Court, even though the judge didn't allow the dealers class action status? I mean, Steve will probably, if it goes into the State Supreme Court, and it doesn't look too optimistic, make a nice little settlement outside of court.

I have never really had a problem with the reapportionment, for the fact that it encourages promotion within the current resort staff. We don't need people who are more than qualified, and have experience being, floor managers, being dealers. We need the people who are professional, and can do these jobs, to do them.

Saying that, I don't think we will ever see this program outside of Wynn Resorts, if we even see it within Wynn in the coming months.

December 7, 2006 11:26 AM Posted by Leonard Stern

John: The District Court judge actually DID allow for this matter to be litigated under "class action" status, paving the way for not only a review by the Supreme Court of Nevada, but, even beyond that, they might decide to pursue possible federal labor realtions violations against WYNN as well. We haven't heard the end of this by any means, today's decision only continues to contribute to the decline of employee morale at all levels besides just the dealers at WLV. Steve will NEVER back down, that's his nature, and he will ultimately regret taking this position when the issue is eventually resolved for good. It is almost an absolute certainty that no other major operator will propose or attempt to enact anything remotely similar to this stupid, after-the-fact tip sharing policy.

December 7, 2006 4:40 PM Posted by John

I'm sorry, I misread that part of the article. I guess I just pulled an MIR.

December 7, 2006 6:20 PM Posted by detroit1051

Wynn's comments to a reporter after the judge's ruling:

December 7, 2006 7:07 PM Posted by mike_ch

This has become a PR campaign above all others, and I don't think dealers can win on the angle because nobody's going to cry that someone's annual salary dropped from $110,000 to $90,000 with our taxes and our cost of living.

Someone here mentioned that they've heard that people actually are struggling to make ends meet on that kind of salary. How the the blazes does that happen? Is working in the gaming industry some sort of ongoing luxury-lifestyle where you can spend $30k a year on parties or something? (Makes me think of Mike E and the gaming folks he knows that throw the crazy parties :)

Otherwise, it's a very difficult situation (trying to get the best people in management when front-line pays more) for all the resorts, but Steve fouled up trying to fix it when every other owner of the past 40 years has just hunkered down and made do with it.

December 8, 2006 10:34 AM Posted by Leonard Stern

See John, even the best informed among us makes mistakes. Now I consider we are even, I just HAD to make mention of that trivial inaccuracy in response to the earlier flack I got over the MIR issue. No hard feelings.:-) Wynn's comments reported in the LVBP only reflect the District Court's ruling in connection with the "legality" of the policy, however the larger issue here surrounds an increased call to unionize the dealers at WLV and management's apparent pressure on employees to prevent it through intimidation, as has been reported earlier. These are federal labor law issues and we haven't yet seen the end of this "fiasco" by any stretch of the imagination. Also, according to the complaint, some WLV dealers are experiencing what could amount to a reduction in their overall income potential expected to be as much as $40K annually resulting from the new tip-sharing policy. That's a pretty big hit. The spin that has been circulating where WLV dealers earn a yearly 'average' income of $100K + is simply fallacious.

December 8, 2006 7:45 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

I realize that this is slightly off-topic, but it clearly impacts Wynn Resorts in a major way. As of today's market close, 12-8-2006, Wynn Resorts, Ltd. (WYNN) per share value was equal to $95.75 which represents more than a 42% market trade premium! These data only serves to substantiate my own previous assessment, as has been concurred by several leading gaming analysts, that WYNN is now approaching the most 'overvalued' stock price within the gaming sector based on a comparative analysis of all of its major competitors. A lesson to be learned here is that the numbers never lie!

December 9, 2006 10:59 PM Posted by Chris

I respect someone who works a tipped job while they are young or inexperienced and looking to get established, someone who has long-term goals and truly appreciates and makes the most of the tips they get during that part of their career.

Sadly, there are many people in this town who have the idea in their heads that they truly deserve and "earn" 6 figures a year for parking cars or pouring drinks or dancing topless, and they become personally offended when someone looks at the big picture and suggests that their work may not actually be worth that much when compared to other salaries.

December 10, 2006 6:24 AM Posted by BrianFey

Leonard, you have to be joking right? WYNN is the most overvalued stock? WOW! Maybe you should look at LVS. Wynn has a market cap of 10 Billion, and LVS 34 Billion!!! Give me a break! LVS is worth more than MGM, and HET!!!! Come on! Wynn will do more business than LVS this quarter.

December 10, 2006 10:50 AM Posted by Leonard Stern

Brian, as far as valuation between both WYNN + LVS are concerned, the numbers clearly speak for themselves. When WYNN attained a 52-week high back in November, its shares were artificially boosted as a direct result of a $6 per-share cash dividend. Even then at its 52-week peak, WYNN had a price-earnings ratio amounting to a 'paltry' 15.01. On the other hand, LVS' price-earnings ratio was an ASTOUNDING 73.73 in comparison, even exceeding that of Wall Street darling Goggle!

December 10, 2006 3:41 PM Posted by Hunter

Judging the relative merit of someone's 'worth' is pretty difficult and you could argue the only way of reaching any kind of fair number is to let the market define the wage and if you follow that line of thinking, there can really be no inflated wages...

Do I think that dealing cards sounds 'easier' than my job(s)? I dunno. I've never done it. I know that I have a ton of stress running my own business but with risk comes reward and I have potential to do well for myself in the long run so I consider it worth it.

Given the volatility of the gaming industry's front line employee positions I personally probably wouldn't feel comfortable looking to that alone as a career. Now, I realize some want to continue up the ladder and many casino managers were once dealers and I guess if I was still looking to choose a career path I might consider working for that trajectory but looking to be a dealer as a long term career? Personally I am too ambitious to do that... Even with potential 'easy' money, I'd get seriously bored.

December 10, 2006 4:26 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Before any of you here even attempt to try and flame me, or otherwise discredit my remarks, once again, regarding my previous comment(s) let me clarify + correctly confirm that I meant to refer to "GOOGLE" (GOOG), not "Goggle", unfortunately my proof reader doesn't work on Sundays. :-) That being said, Brian, I would really like to hear any supportive argument/data from you that can otherwise confirm why WYNN is not currently the most 'overvalued' stock in the gaming sector today, based on the numbers which I have already posted/reported, even when taking into consideration [WYNN's] potential revenue over the next year in Macau, please tell me why 75% of the leading gaming analysts' are bearish on WYNN long-term?

December 11, 2006 6:51 PM Posted by Chris

Keep in mind Wynn's golf course acreage could easily hold 2 CityCenters, and it will likely be developed to that level of density over the next 10-15 years.

Detailed analyis from November 29th by Emil Lee concludes that Wynn's current value is somewhere between $11-13 billion. He states "In other words, it's likely that Wynn is trading at around fair value." However to be fair, he does close by saying he is wary of getting in at this point given future uncertainties.

December 12, 2006 10:29 AM Posted by Leonard Stern

Chris, Emil Lee's article, in his attempt to derive at a speculative valuation for Wynn Resorts, seem to echo the sentiment of many other analysts in the gaming sector, that are currently bearish on this stock + consider it presently overvalued. The biggest impact for WYNN being the future competitive capacity increases that are either proposed or under construction in both Las Vegas + Macau. Lee, clearly concludes with, his uncertainty + lack of confidence in WYNN at the present time based on his own, albeit rather imprecise, analysis; "As of now, I'm unomfortable with the stock's valuation...", "So I'm wary of the stock.", "In that sense, Wynn doesn't win for me." This is precisely what I have been reporting here based on the expert opinions which I have been given.

December 17, 2006 9:54 PM Posted by motoman

This article is seriously lacking in details, but FWIW:
"Stocks: Four Insider Favorites"
from BusinessWeek, based on insider buying and zero insider selling, plus other factors

Agilent, Consolidated Edison, Kraft Foods....
....and Wynn

December 17, 2006 10:52 PM Posted by mike_ch

Hmm, I would not buy WYNN based on that Businesweek research alone. Not because I think they're not being truthful, but I don't think that's a great reason to trust a company will have a good future.

And the reason I say this is because the reason I live in Vegas is because Agilent, also listed there, left us high and dry when they outsourced so many jobs to developing nations, causing turmoil in my family as well as many others (they were the local area's biggest economic engine.) And while I suppose it could just be a grudge, people who lasted longer than we did say that they're really just running on fumes and waiting for the floor to drop out.

So for that (admittedly personal) reason alone, I am wary of that article's advice.

December 18, 2006 12:46 AM Posted by motoman

Yes the Bus.Week piece was very superficial, a simple formula to fill a monthly article. Here's a slightly older article where Motley Fool questions Wynn's valuation (admittedly taking some educated guesses).

Agilent sounds from your description like one of those '90s dot-bombs. Though I'd note that in general, as unfortunate the situation was for you personally, it's the very kind of thing that can excite those institutional investor types. (And isn't the industry for which we have this blog, the real economic engine...?) BW's criteria was insider buying, which I wouldn't expect if they were running a hollow shell.

Anyways, sorry for the personal situation, and we really do enjoy your updates from the field.

December 18, 2006 12:33 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

mike_ch: I actually concur with you in that this BusinessWeek research article regarding "Insider Favorites" whereby WYNN has been included in the roster, appears to seriously be way off the mark in this case. The sole comment posted in response by one Derek Gossett correctly sums up a part of the reality of the situation and [he] happens to be right on the money, absent any "evidence" of actual insider trading. Virtually, almost all of the top tier WYNN executives, in ADDITION TO Jack Binion, sold off a significant number of shares in WYNN last month (November, 2006) as reported by the required SEC filings. It is widely anticipated/rumored that Binion will soon be dumping a whole lot more of his WYNN holdings in the very near future as well. Your unfortunate experience with Agilent Technology should, similarly, be a parallel indicator of what to expect will eventually befall the future of WYNN if one is actually considering holding onto this stock for the longterm.

December 18, 2006 7:25 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

motoman: This happens to be old news which has already been reported here, The Motley Fool's conclusive analysis clearly is bearish on WYNN and represents more than a reasonable expectation that the stock is grossly overvalued, which has otherwise been portrayed accurately with respect to valuation of WYNN, regardless of any "educated guesses" that were used to make this determination. On another front, I have just been informed that the Board of Directors of HET today unanimously approved Apollo/Texas Pacific's offer of $90/share to take Harrah's private. This results in a valuation of HET somewhere in the neighborhood of $16.7B resulting in another new record for the gaming sector!

December 18, 2006 8:40 PM Posted by mike_ch

(OT personal story)

motoman: I guess I didn't make myself clear. I didn't live in Las Vegas until last year, and the reason I had to move out of my hometown is because Agilent outsourced the talent, shut down an entire plant, and drastically reduced another, dramatically scaling back what was once that county's biggest employer. So, I'm like so many other people who moved here because we didn't have anything left and needed a new start. Fortunately, we've avoided falling through the cracks after a rough start and are basically living normally again. The pressure there, from what I've heard, is intense and failure is imminent at any time. But then again, we and everybody else laid off kind of hold a grudge against the place.

As the plant in our town had almost 20 decent meeting rooms alone, you can imagine the flinching face I made one day last year when I looked at the convention calendar leaving the NY-NY casino and saw Agilent bigwigs had a shindig scheduled there. And yet they couldn't afford to keep people employed. Pah!

December 20, 2006 7:42 PM Posted by Arthus

Check this out and read the comments

December 20, 2006 8:36 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Arthus, This article correctly addresses the obvious 'irregularities' that are now at issue regarding this dispute, which potentially face litigation on a much broader level (i.e. federal) in connection with Wynn's newly enacted dealer toke policy. Exactly as I reported earlier, this is a management vs employee battle (based on the different WLV employemment contracts for casino floor managers as opposed to the so-called blanket "employment agreement" that all of the dealers were obligated to sign that contain completely different language altogether. Steve's greediness surfaces once again amidst his attempt to try and make this whole episode go away...BTW -that photo of Steve has to be something like fifteen years old by now!!!

December 20, 2006 8:44 PM Posted by Hunter

This is off-topic but I think it's funny when they use really old photos of people...

My favorite is Lance Burton. The photos they use in the promo stuff have to be 10 years old! The guy is WAYYY older than he looks in those pictures.

December 21, 2006 1:56 PM Posted by Devon

Yeah, that picture of Steve in the link has to be from before bellagio, 8ish years ago.

December 21, 2006 3:33 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

I am really interested in reading the follow-up article when the author of this piece intends to explore the relevant leagalities surrounding the imposition of this questionable policy. However, so far I haven't come across a more accurate portrayal of the WLV toke issue from anyone else who dares to defy the almighty Steve Wynn. This article appears, at first blush, to be right on the money regarding [his] segregation analysis and presents a brand new angle for argument in this matter. Despite those here who have previously chosen to disagree with my original take on this, technically, this dispute falls under a MANAGEMENT vs EMPLOYEE relationship, according to a very prominent labor realtions attorney I happen to know. Just wait and see how this finally pans out. Now, about that stupid Wynn re-touched photo, I recall when it was taken and that was way back during the Bellagio design development phase, a year or two before the hotel was actually completed. One cannot help but notice Steve's "blindingly white" veneer job he had done on his teeth, how in keeping with his narcissistic personality is this? His teeth, when viewed close-up and in person, look so obviously phony that it is laughable!

December 21, 2006 5:15 PM Posted by mike_ch

The funny thing is that they use that same photo on the top of the Wynn Video Megabucks but of course he appears older in the videos when you hit the bonus.

"Hi there, I'm Steve Wynn, and you have hit OUR bonus game" (oh god I hate that OUR thing he always does)

December 21, 2006 5:49 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Here are several major analysts' current evaluation for WYNN that should spark some serious consideration to all of those misinformed "Wynnoholics" here which only serves to back-up my previous assertions:

December 21, 2006 11:07 PM Posted by Arhtus

Leonard, you are right this dispute falls under a MANAGEMENT vs EMPLOYEE relationship. It's not over as you said and new protest in front of the Wynn is comming on Friday December 29th .

December 21, 2006 11:38 PM Posted by motoman

Hm, the earlier article implies Wynn is personally claiming the toke money or giving it to executives, when really it is a reditribution directly to supervisors of the tipped employees, never "Steve's (own) money." But Leonard makes a point that it is a Labor/Management issue and certainly debatable.

And that photo! It's also on the Employment link on the Wynn website. (Not that he's the only one to ever have a photo retouched -- some even claim that certain movie actors with the clout actually have CGI applied to themselves on film. But I digress....)

December 22, 2006 10:08 AM Posted by Arthus

In order to do the redistribution of tokes Wynn Resort must prove ownership of the tokes.
I agree with Leonard too (" This article appears, at first blush, to be right on the money regarding [his] segregation analysis and presents a brand new angle for argument in this matter" )
How can Wynn Resorts give dealer's tip money to their managers unless it first becomes the property of Wynn? If no part of the tip may become the property of Wynn, how can he legally give it to someone else?" I can't give away your house unless I prove it's mine.That's what Wynn lawyers claim "It's the house money" , and that's what says here

"The judge agreed that our case may have merit, but we were weak in certain areas and he can only rule on the information presented to him. We need to focus more on property - when a dealer receives a tip, whose property is it? The defense says it belongs to the house; the dealers say it belongs to the dealers"
Only in America..

December 22, 2006 12:11 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Hey Arthus, I was aware that the dealers were planning another protest in front of WLV but didn't know exactly when. Hell, I might just decide to join them for the fun of it! :-)

December 23, 2006 10:14 AM Posted by John

Leonard, Wynn isn't the only company being downgraded by many analysts. Take a look at MGM:

Goldman Sachs has downgraded them to underperform, etc. Its not a lot, but still.

January 4, 2007 4:53 AM Posted by detroit1051

Steve Wynn's alleged temper causing problems:
"The National Labor Relations Board has issued a complaint accusing developer Steve Wynn and six managers at Wynn Las Vegas of threatening workers with job losses and reduced income if they joined a union or protested changes to the way the casino distributes card dealers' tips."

January 4, 2007 10:54 AM Posted by Leonard Stern

detroit: I just read this article in the RJ, you beat me to posting it. I told you guys previously (when are you people going to start listening to me?) that this illegal tip policy mess which Wynn brought on himself would end up in the FEDERAL arena. The NLRB is an agency that wields tremendous influenece that could permanently jeopardize Wynn Resorts' gaming license standing with the NGC if they [NLRB] decide to take enforcement action against the company. According to what I heard through reliable sources, several WLV employees have some type of recorded proof of Steve's direct threat + tirade that he would terminate ANY emmployee who participates in protests of any kind against this policy. (maybe this evidence is in the form of a seruptitious cell phone video capture of Steve's typical maniacal explosive behavior - kinda like Saddam's secretly leaked execution video, LOL). Steve will never learn that he simply does not control the universe (even his own) and his dictatorial management style of doing business is just plain bad for the industry as a whole. All of the past B.S., put out there by his spin doctors, that Steve truly "cares" about employee relations more than any other operator is just pure rubbish! This so-called "visionary" will eventually bury himself once again and this time he bit off way more than he can chew. If the feds can prove that Steve personally threatened his employees with their job security simply by them excercising the [federal] right to protest or unionize, as appears to be the case, Steveie Boy has once again found himself in some deep shit that he just might not be able to recover from. Way to go Steve, you the Man! (I mean Moron). John, I've been away so I didn't have a chance to respond to your comment on MGM. All I can say is I'm just really glad that we bought a substantial amount of shares in MGM/MIRAGE early on, let's not forget that the stock split 2 For 1 back in '05 when it reached 102! Since it is currently flirting with 60 and the company enjoyed a 52%+ operating income gain over the past year, I think I'll stick with MGM and pass on WYNN before Steve completely tanks the company - he's off to a pretty good start so far don't ya think?

January 4, 2007 2:07 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

This was also previously reported in the LV Business PRESS as well in connection with WLV + the NLRB:

This is now beginning to develop into a major publicity nightmare for Wynn Resorts at this point, not to mention the ongoing affect that has already impacted the overall employee morale at WLV which is reflected in the many recent negative guest reviews of WLV since this policy was enacted. As a direct result of the official federal NLRB "investigation" into the matter, expect many of the, now currently employed table dealers, who previously were forced to hide in the shadows for fear of losing their jobs, to now join the fray without fear of management reprisal. Finally (+ hopefully), Steve Wynn will eventually be exposed for the egocentric, incompetent bully, and clearly overrated megalomaniac tyrant he truly is!!! If the NLRB decides to actually proceed with enforcement action against Wynn Resorts, Ltd., expect WYNN to take a MAJOR hit. Advice to all of the "Wynnoholics" here who are heavily invested in WYNN, 'sell' before it is too late...folks, this is potentially really serious IF the employees/dealers actually can produce true + actual physical evidence of Steve's purported "threats" and, depending on the final outcome/opinion of a federal judge, it could result in a revocation of their gaming license if Wynn Resorts is found in violation of ANY federal labor laws.

January 4, 2007 4:30 PM Posted by John

Did you just seriously comapre a man's execution to an office tirade? That is a tad bit much.

However, I will say that this is a really large problem for the company, if this turns out ot be true. Although, I am interested in seeing what Steve's written response to this is going to be and what reprocutions this is going to have. Also, does anyone know if, God frobid, the company does lose its gaming license (which is probably not going to happen) does the hotel or resort portion remain open, while the gaming area is inactive? I'm not quite sure on that protocol.

January 4, 2007 4:37 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Here is the federal statute, which falls under the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Act (with specific emphasis on Section 8, subsection 158(a) whereby Wynn Resorts, Ltd. is currently accused of being in violation of by the government:

The NLRB receives literally hundreds of thousands of requests per year seeking relief by employees nationwide but elects to investigate only 2-3% of the cases + actually proceeds with enforcement action against an even smaller number of these cases based solely on the merits and provability/substantiation of each case on an individual basis. The fact that the NLRB is moving forward with their case against WLV does not bode well for the comapny if [they] ultimately prevail + the government subsequently rules in favor of the petitioners. Unlike, within the state of Nevada, Steve Wynn represents nothing more than a mere "bump on a log" to the feds, so his legendary so-called unbridled influence will be of no use to him, or Wynn Resorts, in the final disposition of this matter.

January 4, 2007 6:27 PM Posted by mike_ch

I'm still fairly confident that none of this is going to get anywhere. Maybe it's my cynicism of the court process, but I'm pretty sure Steve hires some darn good attorneys to investigate these sort of changes in advance.

Sorry, I can't see the place losing it's gaming license over a tip dispute.

January 4, 2007 6:41 PM Posted by John

Again, I'm interested in how Steve is going to reply to this, and if there actually is concrete evidence of this supposed tirade. If there is, it doesn't bode well for Steve, and if there isn't any evidence well, some people are going to have to eat some humble pie.

January 4, 2007 9:14 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

mike_ch: You are seriously missing the most poignant point here. This is not your typical litigation being brought by the dealers/employees of WLV, but rather, it is an investigation + intent to file a complaint on behalf of the United States government into federal violations by Wynn Resorts involving labor statutes. There will no doubt be additional legal challenges made by the Plaintiffs at the appellate level in the Supreme Court of Nevada with respect to the previous state case ruled in favor of WYNN which has nothing to do with these federal labor law violations. Despite Steve's army of lawyers, if it can be established that Wynn indeed did threaten the table dealers in an open forum with termination as alleged, Steve will be toast. Trust me on this one, NO federal agency will make the decision to proceed beyond the investigative stage based purely on hearsay unless they have substantial supportive evidence of wrong doing, which apparently they have. If this ego-moron nut job Wynn actually di8d make these specific threats as purported, and it was otherwise recorded, he + Wynn Resorts could be facing major disciplinary action that could quite possibly include a revocation of their gaming license. This isn't simply a Clark County District Court civil matter, but rather, it has now become a federal investigation regarding a potential violation of Section 8 of the National Labor Relations Act. The validity of the petitioner's claim as represented to the government rests entirely on substantive proof of whether or not Wynn actually indeed threatened to terminate any employee who protested this policy. If this is factually established, Wynn is f**ked. John, my reference to Saddam's leaked execution video was meant to draw a similarity to the fact that Steve's threatening tirade was evidently recorded on someone's cell phone. However I will admit, just the mere vision of Wynn being sent to the gallows for 'crimes against the gaming industry' does sound rather enticing to me personally. LOL

January 4, 2007 9:27 PM Posted by Hunter

Can anyone cite the portion of the NRS/Gaming Control Act that would trigger revocation if a judgement was found against Wynn Resorts at the Federal level? Obviously the gaming license is a state framework.

Even if they were going to lose their license, the casino wouldn't close - they would be forced to sell as they would be in default on the bonds. The place isn't worth anything without a gaming license.

January 4, 2007 9:48 PM Posted by mike_ch

Leonard, I'm just not as impressed with the NLRB boogeyman as you are.

Who knows exactly what Steve said, so we can't figure out for sure who's right or wrong here. All I know is that even the dumbest companies know how to punish people for union rabble-rousing without directly firing them for that reason.

Steve, while not regularly the sharpest knife in the drawer, is not such a rookie at this thing that he doesn't know not to tell people point-blank that they can be fired for trying to organize.

January 4, 2007 9:53 PM Posted by John

But what happens if there is no substantial evidence against Wynn, does the NLRB just go on about its business or does WYNN have grounds to press charges for libel, either against the NLRB or the dealers themselves? Again, I'm not sure on the protocol here.

Again though, it still doesn't mean the destruction of the comapny, lest we all forget, you don't need a Nevada gaming license to operate a casino in the Special Administrative Region of Macau.

Also, I know this is just the conspiracy theorist in me coming out, but what if this is just some elaborate ploy for Wynn to gain complete control of the company. Think about it, even if the probe goes any further, with the rumors of the license being revoked, shareholders may want to unload their stock at a reasonable price. Then after the man gains control of the stock, it turns out there is no cell phone video, etc., the company's Las Vegas future is no longer in risk, and Steve Wynn now controls most of the stock in Wynn Resorts. It would be the perfect corporate coup.

January 5, 2007 12:27 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

I am quite familiar with federal protocol having personally spent the last four years facing the business end + being an unfortunate recipient of the unbridled power wielded by the USDOJ. (word of advice, never get tangled up with the feds since the cards are always stacked against you in favor of the government). First of all, like all federal agencies, the NLRB must thoroughly investigate all claims to determine whether they are of sufficient merit to proceed with filing a complaint against the employer. Only after they [NLRB] are convinced that they have significant evidence that an employer is potentially in direct violation of federal labor statutes, do they then decide to file a complaint. Evidently the NLRB has started the process by demonstrating their intent to file a formal complaint against Wynn Resorts by setting a deadlne for WYNN to respond prior to presentation of the case to a federal magistrate labor mediator in San Francisco. One must understand that federal labor regulations are completely different from individual state's labor statutes. The federal statutes are far more broad and encompass totally different regulatory compliance factors. As far as Wynn Resorts' gaming license being in jeopardy, any punitive action taken against the company would be brought at the state level by the Nevada Gaming Commission and the State Gaming Control Board based on an evaluation of the offense on a case-by-case basis. The feds have no jurisdiction whatsoever over gaming licensure. Depending on the disposition of this case against Wynn Resorts, the NGC could decide on any number of penalties against the company, up to and including, revocation of their gaming license. These are federal civil charges being brought against Wynn Resorts, not criminal, however the NGC considers any major violation of federal labor statutes to be a serious offense for holders of privileged licenses (as opposed to labor code violations at the state level). Section 8, of the National Labor Relations Act is one of the more serious offenses which, in part, permits protestation + unionization by employees without fear of management reprisal. Even I would not consider Wynn to be a stupid person, but clearly the man is in need of some type of mental health intervention to at least stabilize the delusionary world wherin he apparently exists + in order to control his often erratic behavior such as he is alleged to have displayed here. The outcome of this whole affair hinges upon the government's + the Petitioners' ability to offer up proof that Wynn actually "threatened" any of the employees with termination either individually or collectively as has been purported. Knowing the semi-deranged character typically displayed by Steve Wynn, this behavior is totally consistent with his ego-centric personality and his past history of tirades, mistreatment + berrating of executive staff, including his reported penchant for on the spot firings of low level employees over the years. For a CEO of a major multi-billion dollar company to personally make these types of threats in the company of hundreds of collective employees is not only stupid, but continues to confirm the many assertions that Wynn is completely out of touch with reality when it comes to his management style. This event is much more serious than his just "blowing his stack". I knew, long before it was reported in the media, that federal charges were pending against Wynn Resorts, and I said so here on several occasions. I am not predicting the actual demise of Wynn Resorts by any means, Steve could still emerge as the victor at the end of the day. I certainly hope that's not the case - it is high time for Wynn to learn a lesson or two! Although, just in case, I have two bottles of Cristal chilling in the fridge and at the ready. LOL

January 5, 2007 12:32 PM Posted by Hunter

I know you're not a Steve Wynn fan and you've cited your rationale many times... Still, aren't you still a shareholder in WYNN? In that case, are planning to sell and if not, why not?

January 5, 2007 12:33 PM Posted by mike_ch

Bravo, John, you earn a tinfoil hat. ;)

We don't know what was said, if anything was said. Leonard's betting that the accusation is true, I'm betting Steve isn't dumb enough to do that, and John seems to be hedging his bets both ways with a side bet on zero. Heh.

Again though, Steve, although he's a bit quirky and known to chew out staff, isn't new to this whole 'running a business' thing. The Mirage CW incident struck only a glancing blow against his reputation and I doubt he'd screw it up here.

Keep in mind that while he can't threaten to fire someone for union activity, he can express his "union = bad" opinion as much as he likes, and he CAN have that person's job replaced by someone else. Which means that the person is still employed by Wynn but isn't actually given any job to do. In this business, that could be akin to a firing because the economy weighs heavily on gratuities from customers. But then again I have no idea how much more Wynn pays in base salary than the average Strip resort. Not much if the whole pit boss pay situation we've seen was raised to begin with.

January 5, 2007 1:29 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Hunter, I personally do not, nor never have, owned any WYNN stock. Some members of my family have or still do. I am 100% behind MGM/MIRAGE and plan on increasing my position as well. John, when it comes to claims, charges, complaints, etc. filed by ANY agency of the federal government, whether it be civil or criminal, respondents/defendants have very little recourse available to them against the government in terms of seeking relief for libel, defamation or whatever. The feds are generally immune from retaliatory malicious prosecution unless it can be proven that the government intentionally "selectively prosectuted" the case by not following standard procedure and provided the case was totally without merit to begin with. Thus far, no one has successfully sued the U.S. government in a criminal case under a selective prosecution claim for damages. Also John, I don't think that Wynn or his "cronies" are capable of cooking up such a grand scheme such as the one that you theorize. After the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act several years ago which severely restricts those with fiduciary control of public corporations and restructures corporate regulatory reporting + accountability, if Steve and his minions were ever proven to be involved in any such scheme, they all would be sentenced to many decades in federal prison. Can you image Steve being Bubba's bitch? What a truly striking image evokes. BTW, the Mirage "incident" of past lore didn't exactly develop into a federal labor relations violation complaint, now did it?

January 5, 2007 1:58 PM Posted by mike_ch

No, it didn't, but you're the one who most paints Steve as obsessed with his reputation and image. I don't think that's entirely untrue, but you're certainly the most judgmental about at on this forum.

January 6, 2007 1:52 AM Posted by Chris B

....meanwhile in the Macao Daily today there is an article that mentions how the Macau employees are all so happy because Wynn gave them all a DVD player as a new year's gift. It quotes some employees saying things like "at any other company, a DVD player would only be for a winner in a prize draw, but here we all get them!" and "even though a DVD player is only worth a few hundred dollars, it shows how much the company cares for its employees". I guess people are far easier to please than in the US. .

January 6, 2007 9:16 AM Posted by Leonard Stern

Wynn has definitely gone off the deep end this time! This ego-moron nut job once again raises his vindictive head and is now trying to extract $75K in legal fees the company had to pay out defending the state lawsuit initially brought by the two table dealers by suing them individually for attorneys' fees. This is totally unprecedented since the suit was not "frivolous" in that it had potential legal merit and addressed specific state labor regulations allowing it to be challenged. Just to prove how out of control Steve has become, even if the cost of this litigation is funded using in-house legal counsel, it will easily cost the shareholders at least half that much and the chance of Wynn recovering reimbursement of their out-of-pocket legal fees in this case are practically nill. Here is the article as reported in the L.V. Business PRESS:

January 6, 2007 12:05 PM Posted by detroit1051

Wynn Sues Dealers for Legal Fees

January 6, 2007 5:35 PM Posted by John

Chris, that same gift was given to employees at WLV for Christmas. When I was up there, just before Christmas, I kept seeing all of these people walking around with the same dvd player, and I thought they were red card holders who were using Holiday Gift points, until I saw dealers walking around with them, and then I figured it out.

January 6, 2007 6:56 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

John: You are absolutely correct, for once, in that "Santa Steve" did indeed give 'outdated' DVD players to all WLV employees for Xmas, but from what I understand, they weren't even progressive scan devices. Furthermore, the cheap f*ck should have at lesat given all of his employees either, an HD-DVD or Blu-ray Disc Player, since analog DVD players are like so history due to the implementation of, and soon to be the norm, high-def displays + DVD players capable of at least 1080i and, even better resolution HD format of 1080p. You guys need to check out CES 2007 this coming week to see exactly what I am talking about. I will be there until Thursday. BFD, I was told that these "cheapo" DVD players cost Wynn Resorts LESS than $8 apiece based on the huge volume of units (like in the thousands) they purchased, and the fact that they are pieces of useless crap anyways.

January 6, 2007 6:58 PM Posted by Hunter

No progressive scan? That's pretty ghetto if true.

I do not want this to get into a home theater technology discussion but my personal belief is that neither Blu-Ray or HD-DVD will get sufficient traction before Internet delivery is advanced enough (read: fast enough) to replace it.

January 6, 2007 7:34 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Hunter: We are now dealing with a subjcet that I can speak to with absolute authority. I, also do not wish to get into a discussion of the current state of home theater technology. However, as an early adopter of HDTV since 1998 and my having spent a fortune to continue upgrading to state-of-the-art displays w/HDMI + 1080p. etc., I currently (maybe foolishly) have also invested in both HD-DVD and Blu-ray players, even though the format wars will continue for quite some time, reminiscent of the Sony Betamax/VHS battle in the early 1980's. At any rate, I personally assisted two female friends of mine, who happen to both be current WLV employees, install their "gifted" DVD players from Wynn Resorts for Xmas. To my surprise, neither devices were progressive scan players. Since WLV has something like 7,000+ employess, I cannot speak for the rest. "Ghetto" is an understatement. I know this is so off-topic and not even connected in any way with the subject matter of this forum, but I must disagree with you in connection with the next generation (HD) DVDs. Internet bandwith cannot commercially support the compression of data that [Blu-ray] is currently capable of for many years to come. Now, let's discuss my favorite topic, Steve Weinberg, err, I mean Wynn...

January 6, 2007 7:38 PM Posted by John

Personally, remembering the VHS v. Betamax battle that took place, years ago, I wouldn't side with either Blu-Ray or HD DVD until I see a clear winner. Honestly, I'm not going to go out and spend at least $600 (Sony's PlayStation 3), or more for a Blu-Ray player that might go the way of Betamax. The same applies for HD DVD.

Leonard, you are wrong on the Progressive Scan argument. When I was enjoying a lunch at Terrace Point Cafe, I saw a Keno caller walking in, to begin her shift, talking with a server, who was looking at the player and commenting "I wonder what progressive scan is?" When, I looked closer at her item, I did see "PROGRESSIVE SCAN" written in large block, white lettering on the side of the box.

January 6, 2007 7:49 PM Posted by Hunter

One thing I have learned is to never under estimate the ability of a consumer to make a poorer quality choice when convenience and cost are in the equation. :-)

I have three HDTVs in my house and we here also have Cox Cable. The do SO MUCH compression on the signal that, while in higher resolution, it's kinda a joke.

Using peer-to-peer pooling technologies like BitTorrent and then when you add something Verizon's FIOS into the mix, the Internet delivery equation is interesting... Plus, the infrastructure needs are less significant if the people moving the content to you are your ISP (i.e. Cable or DSL provider) as then you're not concerned about long route hops, Internet latency, etc...

Anyway, I don't think anyone knows how it will shake out but it will be interesting to see. One thing I know for sure... All my friends also have HDTVs and honestly not a single one of them cares at all about HD-DVD or Blu-Ray... That makes me wonder if it will end up like DAT or LaserDisc with minimal penetration.

I appreciate your desire to keep this on topic so let's drop it... Still, I am interesting to see what comes out of CES this week and also Apple's MacWorld Expo where they are almost certain to release their 'iTV' device that they pre-announced in October. 2007 should be fun!

January 6, 2007 8:24 PM Posted by mike_ch

analog DVD players are like so history

Well, I've never been able to prove how little you know about what a successful casino looks like, but at least I can prove what little you know about technology (not to mention English.)

Then again you've bought into it quite a ways it sounds like, even though there's little product to speak over and much hype and salesmanship. Are you sure you don't also own shares ofWYNN?

January 6, 2007 8:28 PM Posted by mike_ch

By the way, in case anyone didn't figure out the above post was in jest, I guess I should point out I owned a LaserDisc player at one time. ("wah wah wahhhh" sound effect here.)

I just feel nobody wants to move away from their DVD. We also have an HDTV (sorry, just one, but then again I don't stay in suites either) and can't tell the difference between the Sopranos on HBO-HD and on DVD.

Anyway, back to Wynn... He's got, what, about four days left to respond to the threats?

January 6, 2007 9:25 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

mike_ch: Dude, sometimes I wonder, after reading your posted responses, if you are actually playing with a full deck or not. Here you go again personally attacking me without any provocation on my part whatsoever. Hunter, I refuse to turn this blog into an AVS Forum, however let me say that I have four 1080p LCD flat panel HDTVs ranging in size from 23" to 47" and one 60" 1080p Pioneer Elite plasma display and subscribe to both Cox Communications HD + DirectTV HD. Unless the broadcast originates in native high definition (i.e. Mark Cuban's HDNet, INHD, Discovery HD Theater + PBS HD) most other HD channels are simply upconverted from analog to digital compression and do not result in attaining the absolute 'mimimum' HD resolution of 720p/1080i. Blu-ray + the new Sony PS3 are capable of true 1080p resolution. Now back to dealing with the self-proclaimed "genius" here, mike_ch! What the f*ck is your problem? I can assure you my friend that I am not only more knowledgeable about casino design/architecture + digital technology than you will EVER be, but I certainly have demonstrated a better grasp of the English language than you appear to possess. So lay off the uncalled for + unprovoked personal attacks you stupid cretin! Might the reason for your malicious comments be somehow connected with the fact that I have been right on-point in just about everything I posted here in connection with Wynn? What say you, Mikey? Sour grapes, hey dude?

January 6, 2007 10:41 PM Posted by John

You can go off on people, for instigating these Mr. Stern, but you further the arguments and only make them worse. If you didn't posess the need to constantly "bash" anyone who doesn't agree with you, these flame wars wouldn't get so out of control.

Although, I find it interesting, Mr. Stern, that you claim to be the most highly-informed on this site in terms of casino design, yet most of your posts center primarily on the financial aspect of the casino industry. I mean, coming from the fact, that you have never made given any examples of design work you have done on the Las Vegas Strip, yet you claim to posess this far-reaching knowledge. Also, don't flame me for asking these questions, I would just like to know this information, for personal "observation" purposes.

Also, Mr. Stern, I hate to say, but for a professional like yourself, it seems a tad bit "childish" to do this on a website, when any one of your clients could easily views these posts.

January 7, 2007 12:38 AM Posted by mike_ch

Gosh, King, didn't the second post tell you I was kidding? I was just joking at the lack of future (from what i can tell) of the new formats. Let's face it, when you buy into both sides of a format war, you're bound to be buying a future loser on at least ONE piece of equipment. Isn't that the way it goes? I guess I expected too much to expect you to be able to laugh at yourself, though.

Do I think I care how many TVs you own? No, as we've seen in decades before, they'll all be obsolete as soon as the next "bleeding edge" thing comes along. Investing in FOUR 1080p sets means you'll just have more to replace later. I'm sure you'll go finding a new receiver soon, since that PS3 of yours isn't going to be able to cut it for TrueHD.

Anyway... You've had your say, and now I've had mine. I'm satisfied.

January 7, 2007 1:02 AM Posted by mike_ch

John: It's been established before that King Leonard is retired, where he ought to be enjoying his mammoth home theater but apparently prefers to spend his time arguing with little old me. Very strange, since it would seem that I know only one tiny thread of the enormous AIDS Quilt that represents his vast knowledge of casino enterprise and design.

Burdened with this incredible knowledge, he hangs out with the jet-set superinsiders, talks in real personal terms about casino bosses, and patrols (or in short-hand, "trolls") the Internet looking for an equal of his mammoth intellect.

Eventually, he will find his compeer, and they will meet and he will listen to this individual's compelling argument as to the future of Las Vegas and where the gaming industry will be headed in the next forty years.

And then he will tell that person that s/he is wrong because Project CityCenter will be WAY cooler than that.

Alright, I'm outta this argument. I don't think I could get any more shots in if I tried. :)

January 7, 2007 8:57 AM Posted by Hunter

This has all the ingredients for another flame war and I don't want that so let's drop the AV discussion right here.

This dealer/labor stuff is an important topic and I don't want to have to close this thread.

I believe Mike's comments are tongue in cheek - right? This isn't supposed to be a forum for personal mudslinging in any direction.

There are far better places for AV discussion, especially since I know I'm not an expert but more of an interested consumer.

January 7, 2007 12:45 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

John + mike_ch seem to be the ONLY consistent, regular "contributing instigatiors" by perpetuating a flame war on this forum, not myself, since I personally have not provoked you two in ANY way that would merit such a juvenile + uncalled for reponse from either of you in relatiation of my having attacked or discredited you guys directly, enough said! Hunter, you are correct, this blog is not an AV/Home Theater forum so let us all move forward with constructive discusssion relating to the impetus of this blog as intended, personal issues aside. John, Hunter is in possession of my complete bio that clearly + accurately supports my expertise in the field of architecture + related disciplines. Rather than try myself to convince those pundits here who cleraly have a disdain for just about any opinion I offer, Hunter, in the interest of moving forward, would YOU kindly clarify or otherwise authenticate my record so that I do not have to deal with this type of B.S. any more in the future, otherwise, you will find yourself closing down a whole lot more threads if this type of malicious behavior towards me continues. I was hoping to report to everybody on my recent tour of the CityCenter marketing center, which incidently is by appointment only, but was unfortunately sidetracked last evening by these stupid unwarranted personal attacks. Let's end it people - grow up and get a life!!!

January 7, 2007 12:50 PM Posted by Hunter

I'm glad we're in agreement that this is a rat hole no one wants to go down...

I do have Leonard's bio and it does state that he has extensive professional experience in architecture and various related fields.

Leonard - I'd be really interested to hear about the PCC walk-through.

January 7, 2007 4:58 PM Posted by John

I just asked questions, I in no way, tried to instigate a flame war, with you Mr. Stern. If you would, read my last post, I just asked question.

Back to the PCC Sales Pavilion, some family members of mine, have been able to secure an appointment towards the end of this month (we are looking at a unit in the Vdara tower). I'm planning on travelling with them, and seeing the center for myself. I've heard that the center has extensive information on some of the project wide water feature, which I am very interested in seeing for myself.

January 7, 2007 5:03 PM Posted by John

Mr. Stern, in the earnest of burying this hatchet, I would like to propose a open-dialogue between you and I, on the RateVegas chat, with Hunter's permission. I feel that if we have an open-dialogue, we can better understand each other, and move towards making a bit of peace, on the blog.

January 8, 2007 2:51 PM Posted by Leonartd Stern

John: By the time you visit the CityCenter marketing pavillion at the end of the month, they will hopefully readied their display of more detailed/finished versions of some of the presentation scale models, particularly for Jahn's Veer Towers + RV Achitecture's Vdara Condo/Hotel., which IMO are currently not up to the standards that I expect, but also I understand they are in the 'process' of being completed. My personal mission, in having a first look at CityCenter's newly opened marketing pavillion was decidedly selfish in my curiosity + interest of evaluating the quality + execution of their entire presentation, considering that MGM/MIRAGE reportedly spent more than $24M on that venue alone! All I can say to everybody is, and I don't have the time right now to go into a point-by-point detailed analysis/diatribe review, like I tend to usually do here, is that you will undoubtedly find CityCenter is/will be the most AWESOME privately developed multi-use project EVER constucted in the United States, period! The hardscape/water features you refer to, as well as ALL of the pedestrian level design features are seemlessly integrated together by a cohesive connection among the numerous various high rises incorporated within this dense site that are simply beyond description, and clearly serve to compliment the individuality of these unique towers designed by some of the world's most respected architects whose influence each take on a design execution excellence of their own. For anyone who might have questioned my earlier assertions/predictions that CityCenter is the only collective commercial project in history to be able to meld designs from some of the most respectable architects on the planet into a single development, will definately have second thoughts come 2009! CityCenter will change the future face of mega-developments, not only here in Vegas, but throughtout the U.S. Clearly this is Kerkorian's legacy to the world by doing things bigger and better than anyone else, I sincerely hope that he lives to see this madterpiece completeed. Understand that the primary purpose of MGM/MIRAGES 'off-the-hook' marketing pavillion is to pre-sell the residential components (each which have different product offerings) well befor completion + at the same time intorduce the masterplan of the project as a cohesive development. From what I understand, they already have received 50% reservations at this time and they have not even aggressively begun marketing the residential/condo components to th epublic at large! The center is NOT open to the general public and in order to arrange a tour/appointment you must go through a preferred or designated PCC real estate broker or register online in advance. What continues to amaze me is MGM/MIRAGE's incredible timing. Considering many of the recent cancellations of luxury highrise condominium towers here in town, by the time CityCenter is complete in 2009 they will be sitting on an absolute gold mine whereas the residential components will potentially serve to fund, on its own, upwards of $2.7B of the $7B total cost to construct this massive development. Also, it is now unlikely that Harrah's will proceed anytime soon with their massive strip expansion (the only exception being the proposed Caesars tower expansion) due to the company's need to reduce debt and the fact that they will DEFINATELY be going private. The recent exodus of many top Harrah's executives, who will realize absolutely "staggering" severance packages, serves as a reliable indicator of this deal going through ($27+B). That leaves CityCenter, and to a lesser extent, Boyd's Echelon Place as having the best location on the Strip. I have yet to confrim accurate details on the deisgn of Echelon, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that they will not incurr the expense of assembling anywhere near the level of 'architectural talent' that MGM/MIRAGE has committed with CityCenter. I just hope that Boyd doesn't end up having Tony Marnell design another one of his hideous creations as a part of the development (he is responsible for the current Stardust high rise tower circa 1990's about to being imploded). John, I do not prefer, nor feel entirely comfortable, engaging in one-on-one chat or open dialogue chat room discussions due to a really bad experience I previously encountered. I would rather stick to comments made on a public forum such as this as long as everyone keeps it amicable on a go-forward basis.

January 8, 2007 6:43 PM Posted by John

Well, aside from City Center, I've got questions about Wynn. He is required to file his written respons, on Wednesday, and I'm wondering if this is going to clear things up or not. I don't know, and I guess we'll just have to wait.

January 8, 2007 6:44 PM Posted by John

Also, Leonard, in one of your first lines of posts on the blog, you yourself said you would love to have a chat, on the Ratevegas chat, somtime.

January 8, 2007 8:05 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

John, with all due respect, I never recall ever indicating that I would "love to chat on". If you can produce such a post attributed to me personally in the archives for this forum, I would be most interested in reading the specific content. Regarding the NLRB complaint, yes I believe you are correct that this Wednesday is the deadline date certain set for the respondent, Wynn Resorts, Ltd. to file or otherwise submit an answer to the charges, which I am sure that they will do accordingly + in a timley fashion. If Wynn Resorts fails to respond altogether (highly unlikely) they will be found in default and the petioner(s) claim will ultimately prevail. Wynn's response is simply a matter of standard procedure/protocol and is required in order for the matter to be arbitrated. Based on the evidentiary material presented by both sides (with the burden of proof resting on the petioner), a federal magistrate must then decide whether or not these claim(s) alleging specific labor violations are sufficient + valid enough to then proceed with formal action against the company. It could go either way, however, if Wynn Resorts is found in violation of this particular offense, it will not bode well for them for sure. Then again, the whole matter could be ruled in favor of Wynn Resorts and that would be the the end of THIS specific claim.

January 8, 2007 9:14 PM Posted by John

I think this should suffice

"John, you feel free to name a time and place and I would be more then happy to discuss any of these issues with you at length in connection with my comments on Wynn."

I don't see any other place, than an undisclosed chat, in a closed room, one on one, Mr. Stern. By the way, that comment was from a post of yours on October 24, 2006 at 11:43 PM, on your very first contributing thread.

Now, I do realize that you didn't say you would love to chat on the Ratevegas chat room, but I think you're earlier post, should really suffice.

January 8, 2007 9:18 PM Posted by Hunter

What is it that you guys want to chat about?

You're welcome to use the room if you so desire... If you have a topic, I'm curious and I might want to make sure I am there if you do indeed plan to have a little meeting.

January 9, 2007 10:04 AM Posted by mike_ch

I suspect what's been said is (mostly) correct about CityCenter. It does sound fairly incredible although I personally hope the condo+casino idea doesn't last too long and that PCC is remembered as the best example of them. Selling out residences in your resort obviously gives you a lot of legal red tape when you want to blow it up some decades down the road, but PCC seems like one of the few things on the Strip that will be worth it's landmass for a good 40 years or so. My biggest concern is the stuff that isn't the towers, which appears to be trying too hard to be Frank Gehry, but obviously since there's features and things I'm not aware of then these things could have changed.

This is all going simply on oogling marketing and guesswork, though. I've got a date with that marketing building eventually but it will have to wait as I'm particularly busy right now (and so you'll notice I'm commenting less on the blog.) Obviously don't expect much out of it other than my opinions of what's inside. I'm mostly interested in the hotel/casino component and this building sounds fairly dedicated to selling condos.

January 9, 2007 4:47 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

John: I still fail to understand, or am I able to reconcile, your motivation in obsessing with such nitpicking, totally insignificant minutia as you continue to perpetuate, even after the passage of a substantial amount of time (since October '06) whereby I have clearly established my expertise/authority on the subjects being discussed here. Whatever your personal agenda might be, it really doesn't appear to based on sound, rational reasoning from where I stand. First of all you took my comment (that you cited in your previous post) completely out of context. I NEVER mentioned participating in ANY chat room discussions, including but not limited to, Since you insist on "splitting hairs", and trust me you will NEVER prevail by instigating a direct confrontation with me, YOU offered to engage in a one-on-one discussion with me PRIOR to my 10-24-06 (11:43 PM) response you quote. And I shall quote you: posted on 10-24-06 @ 8:57 PM: "Mr Stern, just give me a time and place, and I would be glad..." Now, if you insist on continuing with this type of ridiculous + juvenile nonesense, I simply will no longer dignify anything you have to offer with any sort of informed response. Enough of this crap already! BTW, if you read the chronological progression of posts on 10-24-06 in question, most of my responses were a result of having to defend myself from you, as well as other regular contributor's aggressive comments + overt attacks on my credibility as well as additional insidious comments being directed towards me. I echo Hunter's comment; what productive results + constructive dialogue do you hope to accomplish or achieve with our having a one-on-one discourse? I have devoted substantial time on this forum to try and accurately represent/clarify my position + sufficiently back up alll of my comments to the extent that I am comfortable, without crossing the line possibly subjecting me to legal liability. Your persistent aggression + non-constructive criticism does not factually contribute to the issues being discussed here + quite frankly they are totally nonproductive in nature. I could give a rat's ass if you have some sort of personal vendetta against me as a result of my controversial anti-Wynn opinions which I quite eliquently have expressed on this blog, however, this is neither the time nor place, or the proper forum for you to keep harboring/airing this type of aggressive behavior + meritless personal attacks.

January 9, 2007 5:20 PM Posted by John

Mike, I've been warming up to Liebeskind's retail component, even though it is very Gehry-esque, whose work, however imaginative it is, is just "weird" sometimes. I mean, I like Bilboa's Guggenheim and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, but after I saw his design's for the Lou Ruvo institute in Las Vegas, I was taken aback, and not in a good way. Honestly, it seems like its a little too much (i.e.- too busy). However, when I think of Frank Gehry I always reminisce about the resort, he almost designed. Actually, here I'll propose a question, who comissioned Frank Gehry to design a major resort/casino and where?

Mr. Stern, I'm wondering if you might know this one. Also, while I negated to mention my previous post, but that is neither here nor there. Also, I would really like to know where Hunter, made the post you mentioned above, I don't see it in this article, and it might be in the "Le Reve" article, but I'm not quite sure.

January 9, 2007 10:50 PM Posted by mike_ch

Oh my heavens, Kirk hired the guy who screwed up the WTC site? The guy who didn't realize that a Freedom Spire would have to be bombproof?

Sweet merciful baby....

January 10, 2007 4:06 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Actually, Daniel Libeskind ended up winning the WTC masterplan competition beating out Sir Norman Foster, Meier, et al, who had far more progressive schemes, however, the final as-built design of the Freedom Tower was actually penned by David Childs, Senior Partner of SOM/New York, with relatively little influence from Libeskind himself. Silverman, the developer, elected to have Childs design the tower instead which caused much controversy. Libeskind's main "screw up" with respect to Freedom Tower was his idiotic concept of limiting its maximumim height to only 1776' for national "symbolic" reasons. The rebuild of the WTC, particularly the centerpiece Freedom Tower, should have exceeded the height of Dubai Tower (Burj Dubai). An appropriate height, considering the opportunity for building history on that site, should have been in the neighborhood of 2000' instead. I personally am not all that enamoured with Childs' design, SOM/Chicago would have been a better choice IMO, but Silverstein + Childs have enjoyed a long time relationship spanning many years in the NYC class A commercial development scene. At any rate, it is a far better building than Libeskind's original schematic asymmetrical tower design proposal. Also, with respect to CityCenter's Strip-facing, main retail + pedestrian level component, it is not as much "Gehry-influenced" as it might appear in the renderings which have been released to the public. While 'objectively' I am in agreement that Frank Gehry is currently the most significant + important contemporary living architect in the country, however, from a purely 'subjective' standpoint, I simply cannot warm up to his convoluted, distorted + overrated designs. Gehry's design particularly in both the Guggenheim/Bilbao + the recently completed Walt Disney Concert Hall in L.A. which remind me of crumpled up aluminum foil, but I never would even think of expressing my personal opinions to anyone in the architectural community who view Gehry as an absolute God! There are substantial differences however in the CityCenter pedestrian level component + Gehry's work in that it does not incorporate the complex curves + curvilinear shapes present in almost all of his [Gehry's] buildings, but rather it is more linear in its execution. I believe it will prove to be a really successful, trend-setting design contribution + will also blend in very well by melding in with Cosmo's podium design which is far more unconventional. John, just for the record, since you are a stickler for details, it's spelled "Bilbao", not "Bilboa". :-)

January 10, 2007 5:03 PM Posted by John

Splitting hairs, isn't that what you called, it Leonard. Still, you didn't answer the question I posed, earlier. What major development, was Gehry retained as a designer for, and for whom? Its actually a sort of sad, story, but that can wait, until after the question is answered.

January 10, 2007 6:27 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

John: If you happen to have had the opportunity to have read Gehry's most recent published comments (re: Vegas architecture in general) made during the recent launch of the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, and the subsequent recent mass exhibit of his own firm's work here in Las Vegas, he continues to refer back to Robert Venturi's outdated 1970's study; "Learning from Las Vegas" by making it clear that he [Gehry] has NEVER considered Las Vegas architecture of the past to represent any positive contribution whatsoever in the advancement towards achieving memorable American architecture. The Alzheimer's Center is Gehry's first foray here in Vegas, however controversial it may be. I personally feel that Gehry's design looks like an abomination + believe it would actually cause those who already have been afflicted with severe mental health deficiencies to actually end up with [the] disease after having been forced to experience that monstrosity. That being said, Gehry Partners have just recently been awarded the largest commercial contract of their entire career, "Grand Avenue, L.A." (adjacent to his Disney Concert Hall) that will end up costing several billion dollars in total and also will become Gehry's very first major high profile multi-high rise commission. Answer to your question, I do not believe any savvy gaming operator would ever retain Gehry Partners in designing a major casino resort property here in Vegas, based primarily upon the fact that his buildings have NEVER come in within budget. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is a perfect example of excessive cost overruns that his projects tend to garner, actually at one point, that project faced the possibility of never being completed do to lack of funds and the fact that Gehry threatened to, at one point, actually walk away from the whole thing unless the developer met his requirements without compromise.

January 10, 2007 7:01 PM Posted by John

Ah, but what better than to have an architect who is known for cost over-runs be retained to develop a resort, by a developed, known for cost over-runs;-) You are correct that Gehry was never retained to build a resort in Las Vegas. He, and arcitect Philip Johnson were retained by Steve Wynn to design and build the resort that was to be known "Le Jardin Palais", shortly after Wynn was ready to open Bellagio (obviously the project didn't happen, due to Kerkorian's buyout of Mirage) on Wynn's Marina Bay project in Atlantic City, which later became Boyd/MGM's Borgata, which I don't know what you think, Leonard, but I have never been a fan of its stark, and rather boring gold windows, accented by neon running lights. Actually the Borgata, was another "nail in the coffin" in my view of Tony Marnell's architectual design ability. The final nail, in fact, was the work he did for MGM, with Bellagio's Spa Tower, even though the modern upgrades in the guest rooms and suites, are quite nice.

Leonard, I do agree with you that, while Gehry's designs may be imaginative they are, more often than not, glaring and just plain "GAH." I really do feel that Gehry does sort of embody something like a Disney architectual imagineer...on LSD.

January 10, 2007 7:06 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

John: Just for you, I located the link as previously reported in the RJ on Gehry's Las Vegas exhibition. I'm not exactly sure what you were referring to in your previous post in connection with Gehry having been commissioned to design a major casino resort here, is this some type of quiz, or just another one of your impertinent challenges? Maybe Hunter should rename this forum "Twenty Questions". Dude, give it up already and move on, or make sure to get back on your meds for Christ's sake!! I actually attended this particular exhibition and basically all of the [Gehry] scale models on display were either constructed in-house or were made to appear to be of presentation quality, but were not. Gehry Partners prefers to use developmental scale models in the extrapolation of their design process due to constant modifications.

January 10, 2007 7:17 PM Posted by John

It was a quiz, sort of, if you read my previous posts, and also, I didn't say it was in Vegas. Also, I'll provide the link to an article, from about eight years ago, with an interview from Wynn, around the height of his feud with Donald Trump. Also, I'm just trying to point out, to you, that even Kirk Kerkorian wasn't the first to retain "world-class" architects, to design and build a resort project.

January 10, 2007 7:41 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

John, Just for the record, I personally worked on a least a half dozen or more of Steve's "proposed" unannounced never built resort projects dating back from the early 1980's up until the actual construction of the Mirage. The late, great Philip Johnson, who was also a good client of mine (Johnson/Burgee), would never have ultimately agreed to work for such a control freak client like Wynn, and, I can assure you with reasonable certainty, that no world-class architect such as Pelli, Jahn, Foster, etc. would even consider currently accepting a major commission from Steve today unless he removes hiself completely from the design process altogether. These guys don't need Steve's money + have plenty of far wealthier clients with more ambitious projects who will give them complete autonomy. Perhaps that is why Wynn Resorts have had no other choice but to continue to use their "in-house" WD+D, no talent, unestablished, brown-nosing, Steve Wynn "Yes Men", designers such as Butler/Ashworth Architects + Roger Thomas' hideous work. I doubt that even one of the premier commercial hospitality interior designers, such as Hirsch Bedner Assoc., would even consider taking on any of Steve's projects unless he gives them the necessary autonomy they require in order to achieve top-shelf results. John, I hate to have to admit that I actually agree with you on Tony's absolutely hideous, tired old gold reflective window wall, uninspired design for the Borgata. But trust me, Marnell/Corrao is doing just fine...

January 10, 2007 8:11 PM Posted by Hunter


This is the first time I think I've heard you give an opinion on Roger Thomas' work. Based on the above, it sounds like you're not much of a fan - is that correct?

Thomas' has done a lot for Wynn and unlike a lot of the architecture, Thomas' creations are often very different from each other. I'm curious if there's any of his work you like and if you do not like it, I'd be interested to hear comments.

One of his rooms I like is Alex at WLV, which I believe was mostly him and his former design partner, Jane Radoff. Some of the other restaurants at WLV that I like, such as Boloud, I believe were mostly done by some of the outside firms they hired for WLV.

January 10, 2007 8:12 PM Posted by John

Oh, I know Marnell, is doing fine as a developer/general contractor, but I really don't want to see any architectual work of his on the Strip, anytime soon. Also, I don't know if Marnell's website has been updated recently, but his only GC roles, are on primarily condo-hotel projects, I'm really surprised that he wasn't chosen for any major products, like CityCenter, Trump, or Cosmopolitan, all of which are Perini projects.

I've been wondering, and you probably know, Leonard, who the architect on Echelon is going to be? I am really hopeful that Echelon can really set of the complete re-development (Circus Circus, Riviera, Sahara, and the New Frontier) of the entire North Strip.

January 10, 2007 8:20 PM Posted by John

I was about to ask that question, as well, Hunter. I'm a fan of some of Thomas' work (Wing Lei, Alex, etc.), but there are somethings that he has done that I really dislike, most prevelant among them, the resort tower rooms at Wynn Las Vegas. That orange is just way too much for me, as I have said before. I do, though, love the interors of the Tower Suites corridors, with their deep chocolate browns, cosmopolitan still life photos, and protozoan carpet. I think its interesting, that it appears Wynn himself wasn't happy with the resort corridors at WLV, as the resort corridors at Wynn Macau are exact replicas of the Tower Suites designs.

One question I have, Thomas was responsible for the design of Prime and Picasso, wasn't he? Those are two of my favorite rooms at Bellagio, in addition to Sensi, which I know Thomas wasn't apart of.

January 10, 2007 8:52 PM Posted by mike_ch

Leonard, Libeskind had absolutely no experience with supertalls, or even regular tall buildings, so why they picked him I have no idea. However, he pretty much crashed and burned (to use a poor phrase) in my mind when it took the NYPD to remind him that there's a street and subway line that goes right by the site and that his idiotic tower (which is just as much mast as it was actual building) was an immediately lucrative terrorist target.

The compromised design to allow for safety is neither attractive nor inspiring in confidence.

As for your comment about SOM being a better pick, did they even submit anything? Unless they were part of the THINK group I don't remember seeing them up there.

Anyway, I just went through Marnell's website, and while they have done a good number of things I'm beginning to think I don't want to see any more from them because everything they've done in Las Vegas seems to have an eerie feeling of sameness, not so much the outside but certainly the interior public spaces.

January 10, 2007 9:12 PM Posted by John

Mike, I've never been a fan of the Freedom Tower plan, from the get-go. I always backed Norman Foster's dual tower deisng, which I thought, while it was reminiscent of the original Twin Towers, it gave its own unique and modern feel to the buildings. Its just sad that there has been such controversy over the entire rebuilding of that site, and I guess I'll just be glad to see something gracing the skies that were once filled by those towers.

January 10, 2007 9:49 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Hunter, Roger Thomas has actually done virtually everything for Steve for many years, suffice it to say he is Wynn's fair-haired boy! What you really need to experience for yourself, firsthand, are the stunning interiors in some the world's most "top rated" international hotels as a comparative (example being the Peninsula worldwide 5-star resorts, Burj Al Arab, etc.) in order to draw any similarities to Roger Thomas's clearly inferior, gaudy, garish + repetitive design concepts for both the Bellagio as well as WLV. Roger Thomas, who leads WD+D, is an absolute amateur when compared to the more successful, independently established world-renowned interior designers, some of whom I have already mentioned here (please note that I currently have no professional affiliation with Hirsch Bedner Assoc. whatsoever). Thomas' work IS repetitive + lacks expression of design progression that would otherwise be expected if it weren't for Wynn's total lack of the command in the professional design arena, with focus upon both interior + exterior design. Thomas has clearly found his own little 'niche' by faithfully following all of Steve's misdirected desires, just like a well-behaved puppy dog, and I'm sure that Wynn is more than adequately compensating Thomas for his loyal, resilient ability to continue to deliver on the ever changing design instructions directed by his boss without argument. Why do you think that the "average Joe" consistently has commented over and over that Bellagio + WLV interiors are considered to be basically clones of one another? Currently Wynn Resorts does NOT employ the 'Creme de la Creme' of leading designers in terms of available talent, beginning with Don Brinkerhoff and extending to Butler, Thomas, etc. Wynn really needs to eventually wake up and smell the coffee! It is truly unfortunate that CityCenter will not launch until the end of 2009. Breaking News - For all of the loyal WYNN shareholders here, today WYNN broke the $100 mark, a further indication that complete fools are continuing to buy this overvaluled stock even at its YTD high. John, I cannot factually comment regarding Echelon at this time, other than to say that Boyd will NOT be commissioning the level of sophisticated world-class architectural talent that are designing CityCener. I actually have a lot of respect for Tony Marnell as a businessman, however, he really needs to let his architectural license expire + not bother to renew it!

January 10, 2007 9:57 PM Posted by Hunter

Just because I like Las Vegas doesn't mean I'm not well traveled. :-)

I've been fortunate enough to travel all over the world and see some of the hotels you mention and of course those are examples of some of the best places to stay anywhere.

I like the Peninsula in Beverly Hills - clearly a hotel that both Wynn and Adelson have stolen concepts from.

As far as Thomas' compensation, I don't know if you've looked at the option grants and the insider trading stuff for WYNN but Thomas seems to have done quite well for himself over the years.

What's funny is that I didn't realize that Roger Thomas was the son of E. Parry Thomas, the famous banker, until a few years ago. When I found out I realized the connection should have been obvious...

January 10, 2007 10:13 PM Posted by John

Leonard, I know that many people have made the "God, Wynn looks a lot like Bellagio," comment, but after going through the resort, many, many times, I have found that the resort has its own feel that is in many ways different from Bellagio. I mean, people can draw conclusions that in some ways you can see Mirage and, to a lesser extent, Treasure Island in Bellagio's design. Now, especially, you can really see a more promounced difference between Bellagio and Wynn, due, obviously to MGM's renovation of most of the public spaces at Bellagio. However, I really find that Wynn, while he said publicly that he wanted to go for something completely different, in terms of casino design, he went for something safe, that was going to ensure sufficient profit flow. However, I think with creating a small casino (54,000 sq. ft.) flooded with light from botanical gardens, will turn Encore into something different in terms of casino design. Also, though, I think CityCenter will also make its own "radical" design changes to its casino, based on the fact that the site plans, and the "temporary" model at Bellagio includes skylights placed "periodically" throughout the casino.

January 11, 2007 1:00 AM Posted by mike_ch

I would definitely say Wynn has a lot to learn from the smaller, independent top-of-the-nation operators in hospitality. But so do most operators who have customers in the millions than a few thousand. So you could say the same thing for a lot of them.

I'm not going to deny that the HBA interiors I see on their portfolio are great, and I'm familiar with one of the listed properties already, but almost none of their clients have the kind of traffic a megaresort gets.

Leonard said:
"I doubt that even one of the premier commercial hospitality interior designers, such as Hirsch Bedner Assoc., would even consider taking on any of Steve's projects unless he gives them the necessary autonomy they require in order to achieve top-shelf results."

Funny you said that, Leonard. Guess which firm lists Okada at Wynn on their portfolio?

And Wynn Macau? In fact, guess which firm's website crows about the place and says "Steve Wynn has rejuvenated the gaming experience in Macau?"


January 11, 2007 1:11 AM Posted by mike_ch

By the way, to clarify, when I say Wynn Macau, I don't mean just Okada at Wynn Macau like I meant with WLV, but HBA actually lists the whole gosh-darned Wynn Macau.

Go their site at, click portfolio and page and click the top-center box.

January 11, 2007 7:23 AM Posted by detroit1051

Wynn filed an 8-K today. Wynn Macau's expansion won't open until Q3 this year:
"Wynn Resorts, Limited announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, Wynn Resorts (Macau), S.A., will open the previously announced expansion of Wynn Macau in one phase in the third quarter of 2007, rather than in stages throughout the year. This change is a result of continued planning for the Diamond Suites tower at Wynn Macau that was announced in November 2006 and the integration of this new tower with Wynn Macau.

The expansion, including approximately 135,000 square feet of additional gaming space, is expected to open simultaneously with the new front feature and additional food, beverage and retail amenities, in the third quarter of 2007. While the table games and slot machines originally slated for opening in February will now open in July, we will open a total of approximately 40 additional table games and 266 additional slot machines for Chinese New Year, resulting in a total of 264 table games and 632 slot machines at Wynn Macau. After completion of the expansion in July, Wynn Macau is expected to have a total of approximately 420 table games and 1,280 slot machines."

January 11, 2007 7:51 AM Posted by detroit1051

As everyone knows, I'm a very satisfied Wynn guest but a nervous investor. Steve needs to strenghen his oprations. Example: I logged on to to request a Win/Loss Statement for 2006. I had already made the same requests on MGM's and HET's sites, and the information was immediately provided on secure links. Wynn, however, still has the most cumbersome, outdated website of all gaming companies. It's slow to load and cumbersome to use. The introduction by Steve saying the site is loaded with surprises is ridiculous. The only surprise is how poor the site is.
I couldn't find any link to Win/Loss Statements, so I typed in thinking that would give me information. Instead, that page brought up an offer I received in June '06, seven months ago. That was all that was there. I called Wynn's main telephone number and told the person who answered I wanted a Win/Loss Statement. She transferred me to someone's voicemail. His message said, "This is Tim, leave a message." Since I didn't know who Tim was, I hung up and called again. Same result; no idea to whom I was being transferred. I called a third time, and this person finally offered me information. She explained who Tim was, that he was in Casino Marketing, and that I could either leave a message for him or she could give me his email address. I opted for the email, and I told her she was the only person who went out of her way to help me. She sighed, as if she were embarrassed I was let down, and she apologized. Wynn needs more staff like her. I did email my request and got a reply that I would get my Statment before the end of January.
This is not a big deal, but why doesn't Steve have the operational power to build a usable website which gives me and thousands of others the ability to make simple requests online rather than interfering with staff time.

January 11, 2007 11:12 AM Posted by John

WOW, thanks Mike. I haven't been able to find nice shots of Wynn Macau's casino, and all I can say is, "wow." It blends the design of the Las Vegas resort, in the refined design and sophistication of a more "European" casino design. Also, that one shot of the sky suite, is something I haven't seen before, it looks quite different from any "Wynn-suite" I've ever seen.

I guess Steve has really been able to get world class designers to work with him, at least for his interiors. ;-)

January 11, 2007 12:26 PM Posted by mike_ch

Yeah, I messed up on that message, it was 1AM. It seems they shift the pictures around on their portfolio section every time you visit so just use the list view and Wynn Macau is at the very end. Okada at WLV is on page 3.

If you filter by casinos, you can see there's not alot of casinos that HBA was hired on. In fact, there's only six of them around the world, although they also have a restaurant and a convention facility at MGM Grand.

So, yeah, looks like Steve isn't lacking for "premier commercial hospitality interior designers."

January 11, 2007 1:30 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

You guys never cease to amuse me! mike_ch, there is no "Oooops!" on my part for my comment regarding big-name talent + Wynn's projects. Regardless of Hirsch Bedner's specific contribution (they were just "consultants" on Wynn Macau), EVERYTHING involving the interior design components, from approval of surface finishes to virtually each and every specification on lighting design, carpet + millwork, sub-contractor selection + final design approval is decided by Wynn Design + Development + literally DICTATED by Roger Thomas himself who runs the show and basically just kisses Steve's ass. Hunter, you are correct that Roger Thomas is Parry Thomas' son and, I myself, would even kiss the almighty Steve's ass as well to have Roger Thomas' compensation package! However, history clearly confirms the fact that, if it were not for the prominent banker Parry Thomas, there would be NO Steve Wynn today, at least not in the gaming industry, period! Wynn is obviously returning a lifelong favor/obligation my making a mediocre designer like Roger Thomas head of WD+D whose influence over tried + true, well established, highly regarded firms, whom are being reduced to mere consultant status ultimately at the hands of Thomas, Butler + unfortunately finally resting with the "Man" Steve himself. Virtually every vendor in the design field I know who have had an opportunity to work on a Wynn project have expressed the same complaints to me regarding [their] complete lack of freedom + autonomy which their other high profile clients normally extend to them based on reputation. The impetus of my discussion was geared toward the LACK of AUTONOMY that world-class designers encounter with Wynn projects over-and-over again. This is also true, to some extent, with the Jerde Partnership's degree of past design influence/contributions as well. They have always served as "consultants" to a similar extent as did Hirsch Bedner Assoc. The day that a Cesar Pelli, Sir Norman Foster, Helmut Jahn, or any respected architectural talent considered to be in that same league ends up designing a Wynn project by being granted full creative autonomy without client interference, is the day I'll eat my hat! WYNN has a current P/E Ratio of 16.3 and the past 12 Month Normalized P/E Ratio has been a miserable failure @ 15.7! Las Vegas Sands just GAINED a whopping 11% today as a result of the Chinese government's approval of LVS' plans to offer a nongaming resort on Henggin Island. It's beginning to look like the start of a major trend there for long-term success, what with MGM announcing similar plans for nongaming enterprises in China as well. At the gangbuster rate Adelson is going, he might just end up being Forbes #1 next year as he had personally predicted (remember he controls 88% of LVS and is considering increasing his stake as well). If Steve had half a brain he would at least need to swallow his pride momentarily and make amends with Adelson, just for good measure...

January 11, 2007 1:55 PM Posted by Hunter

Well, my MGM MIRAGE PR reps are supposed to give me a tour of the pavilion next week... Now I just need to make sure I am in town to receive it. I can take photos and I will be doing so...

January 11, 2007 2:21 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Hunter: You will be simply blown-away at the scale of this awesome, ambitious project. Not all of the scale models are in finished presentation stage, however. The apparent penchant for using interior illuminated architectural (tower) models defeats the whole point of being able to accurately replicate the exterior facade materials + curtain wall, and quite frankly, I think it is a bad trend that everyone seems to be doing now. Fiber-optic lighting should be used to illuminate interior lobby details/finishes + the exterior tower lighting scheme, like for the crown, or setbacks, etc. Anyways, make sure to get permission from them before you post any pictures of the center. For some reason they were being really overly cautious in allowing photos of the interior displays of the pavillion for public release when I visited it, I really don't quite know exactly why. When you're there, take a look at the site + see how fast Perini is moving ahead with construction of the central Pelli hotel tower component. Unbelievable progress they have made in a very short time.

January 11, 2007 2:37 PM Posted by Hunter

It should be interesting. I have access to MGM MIRAGE people (I don't know who) for questions if there are any... So, while I will be thinking, feel free to drop a question here and maybe I'll ask it.

Regarding photos, I have approval from MGM MIRAGE PR to post whatever so we should be okay... The PR for CC is actually being handled by an outside firm in the pre-opening phase but MGM is being very cooperative with me this time around, which is nice.

Also, MGM MIRAGE has posted a new presentation with some new rough renderings:

January 11, 2007 5:17 PM Posted by John

Those CityCenter renderings are really interesting, Hunter. Everytime, I see MGM's presentations, I get more and more excited about City Center and MGM Macau (which is really progressing). I also got excited, when I saw the photos of the sales pavillion, especially the Vdara portion, which, as I've said before, my family is looking in to.

Also, I was thinking of the pictures on HBA's website, and I'm still smitten over the design and appearance of Wynn Macau's casino. It really is somthing different, and it is a complete change from Sheldy's Box of Bac and Stanley Ho's Lisboa, which is probably going to end up being the Caesars Palace of the Far East. However, this also got me wondering if this is a design we may see implemented in Encore's casino

Oh, Leonard, since you've had access to PCC's rendering, I was wondering if you have seen any information as to what the main hotel/casino's interior elements are going to be? I've been wondering if MGM is going for a bright-airy, California design or it they are going for something more "modern".

January 11, 2007 6:05 PM Posted by John

Actually, Leonard, LVS didn't receive approval from the Chinese government, for Hengqin Island. According to, which quotes information from LVS, the company has only received word from the government that a "project coordination committee for the proposed resort" has been established to act as a government liaison for the project, which they state as a definite step in the right direction.

Here's the article:

January 12, 2007 11:48 AM Posted by Molly

Mr. Stern,

I accidently bumped into this thread and have been fascinated by your views on Wynn for nearly a week.

I'm under the impression that you live in California.

I am currently extremely involved in the employee charges against Wynn.

In case you didn't know, the NLB filed a 2nd charge Wednesday. Funny. It doesn't seem to ever get mentioned in the LVRJ.

I feel certain there are more to follow.

I am NOT an employee of Wynn, thank God. Just a business woman who'strying to help those he's stealing from.

Furthermore, Mark Garrity allegedly quit after the first union buster meeting when Wynn violated federal laws. It is that meeting that led to the first complaint. Can he be forced to testify during this hearing since he witness the outbursts? His attorney's received a postponement on the Feb 1st hearing on Tuesday.

What I am more interested in is the time line of many events lately which I believe show a company in severe financial distress.

Frankly, I do not believe for a moment that this Picasso fiasco was an "accident", especailly after he filed suit against Loyds of London yesterday because they denied his $54 million insurance claim.

Since I have never posted to this site, I'm not sure if this will even pop up, but if it does, would you be willing to speak with me, one on one?

It is my opinion that this nut is mentally unbalanced, which is fine by me. But I'm sick of him screwing up everyone else's life.

Thanks, Molly.

January 12, 2007 4:47 PM Posted by mike_ch

I think you'd need an attorney who understands the precedents and procedures behind the situation. Leonard's just going on his own opinions and from his experiences in federal court (which, I'm guessing and if he wants to correct me then he can go ahead, didn't involve labor law disputes.) Take them as one man's opinion, which they are.

Welcome to the blog. It'd be nice if you were a bit more open about your participation in the case if you're going to shoot off opinion, though. It helps give some context for the reader.

January 12, 2007 5:20 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Molly, I would be more than pleased + really quite interested to have the opportunity to communicate with you on a "one-on-one" basis in connection with my anti-Wynn viewpoint which you evidently share with me on this forum since you are obviously privy to inside information that clearly mirror my own comments posted here - evidently my reporting of the facts must have some credence! Molly, FYI - Hunter (who is the moderator of this forum), I am giving you my permission to provide Molly directly with my registered e-mail address, since I cannot publish it publically. I also happen to have the recent "411" on Steve's ludicrous lawsuit against Lloyd's of London for his claim of $54M (which will ABSOLUTELY never be paid out) based on the "current" actual appraised value of the "repaired" Picasso that this legally-blind, moron + a complete discrace to, not only the gaming industry, but the fine arts community as a whole, will never collect. According to the experts, there is a major difference between "restoring" a masterpiece as opposed to "repairing" it. For Christ's sake, even the Mona Lisa has never been "repaird" due to negligent damage and it happens to be many hundreds of years older than "Le Reve"! Steve actually went on record stating that he only punctured this priceless masterpiece resulting in only a "thumb-sized" hole, however, even Barbara Walters, who witnessed the so-called mishap, admitted that it was more like the size of a "large silver dollar HOLE". If you guys remember, there were several media reports inferring that "Le Reve" would actually INCREASE in value as a result of Steve's damage upon such a priceless work of art, well guess what, EXACTLEY as I had confirmed through several of my personal conatcts, who just happen to include some of the leading fine art experts in the nation, this Picasso might actually now be worth LESS than the the $48M that Steve originally paid for it back in the late nineties. The fact that there was a 'pending' sale for $139M means absolutely nothing whatsoever. Lloyd's have already reimbursed Wynn for the consultant's fees + repair cost, and I will guarantee you that Steve will never see a dime more from them unless he has had the masterpiece specifically appraised + subsequently paid the associated premium to insure this priceles work for $139M BEFORE he decided to sell it. Molly, I was not aware that the NLRB had filed a SECOND claim Wednesday against Wynn Resorts, Ltd. This only confirms the fact that the feds apparently have additional evidence of actual labor law violations which they believe to be provable in the process of federal mediation. Hunter, just a side note, evidently a lot of the architectural + gaming industry executives apparently have discovered + seem to visit this forum on a regular basis, since my decision to not remain anonymous whereby using my true name, I have been receiving between 3-6 e-mail communications weekly from prominent players in the business who know me, but have not communicated with me personally for many years, since I first started posting comments here late last year. Anyways, Molly, I would really like to hear more from you on the recent NLRB complaint in connection with WLV as well as any other information you might be able to contribute.

January 12, 2007 6:33 PM Posted by Molly

Mike CH.,

Will this work?

I think Wynn has the best damned self parking garage in Vegas. And THAT'S the truth! I wish they were ALL like that.

Does that make me sound a little less rigid in my thoughts about WLV?

If not, I had some Kobe sliders there once that were to DIE for!

Plus, he's made it so easy to identify the hookers that walk the back hallway that it's impossible for a guy to get into legal trouble, if you know what I mean.


January 12, 2007 8:51 PM Posted by Hunter

Has anyone else had trouble posting comments? I added a new anti-spam mechanism and I have had one report of an error message but it seems like it is working overall. Please let me know if you see anything strange.

Leonard - are you implying that people more important me read the blog? :-) Well, if there are a cadre of high-level gaming execs reading, please drop me a line. I'd love to do some interviews and I'm a very, very quiet place to drop anonymous tips.

January 12, 2007 9:23 PM Posted by John

Actually, Molly, the thing is, Wynn isn't physically taking the money from his employees. Wynn has expanded the tip pool to include the dealers, you can ask Leonard, but apparently I really like to split hairs on the blog. Now, I you have a valid argument that Wynn, might have, and at this point, it is becoming more and more clear that he did, threaten his employees. Also, you might have been able to tell by my previous posts but I am a huge Wynn fan, and eventhough he has done some really stupid things, in the past couple of months, I'll stand by him and his company. However, at this point, while I haven't been informed as to the exact procees with the NLRB is, in terms of the NGC, after this, Wynn could be hit with a very large fine or he could lose his gaming license. However, it would probably be in the least interest of all parties involved for Wynn Resorts to lose its Nevada gaming license, due to the fact that if that license is revoked, each and every one of those dealers will be SOL, now that they have lost around 75,000-90,000 dollars in income, due to the imminent closure of the resort, because as Hunter has stated, there is no way it could operate without that license. Not only would it hurt the dealers, because it was there law suit, it would hurt each and every employee at Wynn Las Vegas, from the people who manicure the golf course, to the valet parking attendents, to the waiters and waitresses.

January 12, 2007 10:12 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Hunter: I have already responded to your post 1-12-07 @ 8:51 PM. Please check your personal e-mail for the details.

January 12, 2007 11:48 PM Posted by mike_ch

Molly, while there's definitely some "Wynn groupies" on this board I'm very neutral. I'm not saying you need to praise WLV to impress me.

I'm saying that if you're going to make opinions about this dispute, I'm going to assume you don't know any more than the rest of us (which is that there's multiple sides and we're going to have to wait to find out the facts) but if you do know something we don't then maybe it lends more credibility.

You yourself said you are "currently extremely involved." I am asking you to clarify what that means. What is it you are doing exactly? I'm not asking you to reveal any information that needs to be kept secret. I'm just asking you to identify your relation.

January 13, 2007 12:00 AM Posted by mike_ch

I was the one here that talked about a value increase, Leonard, but I said it would not be for Le Reve but the other untouched Picassos. Simply because there's now one less untouched painting by the man on the planet. There's no way Steve's elbow dent would EVER be considered an improvement in any forum.

I think it's funny how Mr. Elusive will come out of hiding for just anyone who walks up and expresses negative opinion over one certain man in particular who shall remain nameless.

January 13, 2007 4:56 AM Posted by detroit1051

Leonard, did you go down to the Biltmore to hear Steve's address? LOL.

January 13, 2007 1:00 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Detroit: Darn, I'm really sorry that I missed it! Why didn't someone tell me about Steve's "inspirational" speech, I would have really wanted to have attended? You've gotta give this guy some credit though, he just oozes B.S. from literally every pore on his body. I love the part about his "biological + sociological studies" having contributed to his projects "human inspiration" which is what sets him apart from other, mere mortal, operators. What takes the cake, however, is Steve's claim, that through his studies in comparative religion + personal friendship with the 'Dalai Lama' (for Christ's sake), is what makes his resort(s) superior to the competition's. After reading this piece, there is no question in my mind whatsoever that Steve exists in a totally delusionary world of his own making and really appears to be in need of some serious mental health (psychiatric) treatment, before he ends up relegated to a padded cell! Hey, look at the bright side, [they] might even let him decorate his 'rubber room' with a few of his priceless works of art, you know, just to liven it up a bit. LOL If there were ever a 21st Century P.T. Barnum, Steve Wynn would definitely take home the prize...This guy is a real "special" piece of work indeed, perhaps even a national treasure!

January 13, 2007 2:28 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Apparently Wynn makes his case by personally speaking out on his battle with Lloyd's in connection with the ridiculous claim for $54M he is asking them to pay up in addition to the repair + consulting costs already settled for his damage to 'Le Reve'. He has gone ahead and filed a federal lawsuit against Lloyd's in N.Y. Sue, sue + still sue again if you don't get your way, that is what Steve is really most adept at doing more than anything else. His middle name should be changed from Alan to "Litigious". Stephen Litigious Wynn, has a nice ring to it. I just wonder if all of those innocent WYNN shareholders are going to end up having to flip the bill for this very expensive lawsuit in U.S. District Court, considering that the Picasso is privately owned by Wynn himself. As reported in Saturday's USA Today:

January 13, 2007 2:38 PM Posted by Molly

First off, Mr. Stern.

I emailed you my address and a few additional comments.

It is Saturday afternoon and I will try to answer the questions that have been asked since I initially posted.

But here is my problem. I do NOT understand this board yet. For instance, when I initially discovered it I had been googling terms such as Le Reve, Picasso, depreciation, accidental or on purpose, etc. Eventually it took me to another thread on this board where many people were talking about architecture, something I know NOTHING about.

But I did see postings by Mr Stern and eventually read the whole thread because I thought his experience with Wynn's lawsuit was very relevant to what thhe Wynn Dealers are going through right now.

Now THIS thread is entitled Wynn Dealers Suit Dismissed. Does that mean I can speak all I want about my thoughts regarding everything that's happened since the night that whale took Wynn for 5 million dollars while Steve was in Macau?

That's what started this whole mess. He is so hot-headed that he flew immediately back to Vegas and without so much as consulting a lawyer promptly called in the dealers for a mandatory meeting where he set forth new rules that are more along the lines of the Communist culture he is currently involved with. Buddhist, my ass. He's more similar to Hitler.

I have been very involved in this since that August event. But I'm also scared to post specifics if there are Wynn executives reading here.

I have posted many derogatory comments on Steve Wynn and his actions and the man's not an idiot. I think he's seriously unbalanced and needs mental help, that he never HAS been the genius others see, and that his world is collapsing all around him. I don't care WHAT the latest stock figures would have people believe.

I have seen his vindictiveness, firsthand, and I feel certain that if he doesn't know who I am yet, he most certainly will, eventually.

For that reason, I am afraid to post links to the sites where I have made my comments because it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to compare my writing styles both here and there.

So I'm in a quandry. I don't know who any of you are. I only know that I can relate very well to the things Mr. Stern is saying and believe me, he is being much kinder than things I am saying elsewhere. Maybe because time heals wounds and Mr. Stern has had time to calm down.

But I have open wounds and realize there are still more to come, which is why I can't be gentle or unbiased on my opinions of Mr Weinber.... sorry. I mean, Wynn.

This is getting uglier by the day here.

So I guess, what I'm asking is how do I tell you everything I know without getting the wind knocked out of me, or even worse?

I WANT to answer your questions. I just don't know how.


January 13, 2007 4:23 PM Posted by Hunter

Hey Molly,

Just to give you a heads up on how this site works. It is a blog that allows comments on the postings. So that means that I (and a few select others) can create stories that go on the main page. These stories support comments.

We try to stay on topic inside the threads themselves but if it is a relevant and interesting off-shoot, proceed using your best judgement.

If there is a story that you think deserves the main page article treatment but we haven't posted it some reason, please send it to:

The site is run by me, Hunter. I have no official connection to any Las Vegas hotel or casino other than enjoying them as guests. Sometimes we have advertisements on the site from casinos, though those are brokered by a third party, I don't sell directly to the casinos or make them any promises about treatment.

Also, we collect a small percentage of the cost of your trip when you book through one of the 'Book Here' links on the blog or the main site. This is universal to all hotels though, not for a specific property.

I personally used to own some casinos stocks but I have since liquidated my positions. That's my story.

As far as your anonymity, we don't give out the personal details of any posters and you can even post anonymously without an account. I guess there could be some situation where a court order could compel me to disclose information about the posters but since I don't collect or store hardly any personal info, there wouldn't be much to share even in the worst case.

I know that it can be scary to share some info given that it is possible others might be upset/take offense/go nuclear... If you're worried then I would suggest taking it slow at first and as you get more comfortable, continue to post more details. I don't want you to disclose anything that you're not comfortable with but at the same time, I'm sure it would further an important discussion. It's up to you.

I hope this answers your questions.


January 13, 2007 4:26 PM Posted by Hunter

On the topic of this insurance thing, from what I know about it, Wynn doesn't have a chance in hell of recovering the delta between what the proposed sale indicates it might have been worth and what it is appraised at today. You can't use your insurance company to 'take equity' out of your art collection! Leonard is 100% correct in that he would have had to have increased his coverage, paid premiums, etc... I doubt that happened.

And lastly, if Wynn is funding this lawsuit with company funds, that just seems wrong to me. Very wrong.

January 13, 2007 4:37 PM Posted by John

Molly, your comments, sound very similar to those I have been reading on another Las Vegas message board, especially the fact about the 5 million take the whale made, and then toking his croupier 500,000, which, from what I have heard was what really set Wynn off. Also, from your post, regarding Wynn's "vindictiveness", I'm being led to believe that you might have been sitting in on some of those boardroom meetings, where Wynn was rumored to threaten his employees. Again, as I said in my previous post, I realize the dealers right to pursue legal action against Wynn, but at what expense? If they do indeed take it to the point, in which, the casino loses its gaming license, will it have been worth it. Will it have been worth, putting all of those people out of work, as a result of the imminent closing of sale of the resort? I would really like to hear your take on this, thanks.

January 13, 2007 6:15 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

"Molly": I already sent you a personal response, sorry for the delay. Check your mail.

January 13, 2007 11:29 PM Posted by mike_ch

Molly, if it doesn't benefit you to tell us exactly what relations to the case are, then fine. You and Leonard can go co-conspire over email or something. But if you're really that concerned about your own pseudo-anonymity, it doesn't do your wish to privacy any favors to compare people to dictators and such on this public board.

What I'm getting at is that since I don't have the vaguest idea of your relation, I can't take your opinion to be worth much. I can only speak for myself on that, of course. But I can only draw my own conclusions from reading your writing. For all I know you're some sort of unionist wonk or something.

'Tis all I'm trying to say.

January 13, 2007 11:32 PM Posted by Hunter


Molly sent me her materials privately and there is a lot of interesting stuff there. I'm hoping we can work out a way to get them all published in a way that protects her as well. It would certainly add to the debate.

Without them though, I understand what you're saying. It's like only hearing one side of a conversation - not very useful.


January 13, 2007 11:37 PM Posted by mike_ch

By the way, if that came off a bit cold, I apologize. I'm not trying to pressure anyone, but when someone posts bold opinion about an issue like this, it's valuable to know where they're coming from.

January 14, 2007 4:39 AM Posted by Chris B

What's the issue with posting the stuff?

Frankly, if the content of Molly's knowledge is in any way confidential, and Molly has (as publicly disclosed on this blog) decided to pass that content on to people via their personal email addresses, then I'm afraid that the confidentiality of that information has already been breached - it doesn't matter if it is disclosed to 1 person or 50 people, the mere fact of disclosure to someone outside of those to whom it is permitted to be disclosed is a breach of confidentiality.

So either (i) Molly has already crossed the line, or the (ii) information is able to be posted on this site. If (i), then I'd be recommending that the various posts on this topic be removed from the blog.

January 14, 2007 12:34 PM Posted by Hunter

Based on what I saw, it's not really a black and white case of confidentiality being breached. It's more about her comfort level about coming out with this stuff against a guy that's known to go after people that he feels are disparaging his image, etc... I can understand the hesitation but I hope that once Molly feels more comfortable, we can get some of the stuff posted.

January 15, 2007 12:30 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Yikes! Hunter, this forum is starting to transform itself into an "anti-Wynn" blog! Please say it aint so, who pray tell, other than mike_ch, will I then be able to be at odds with? :-)

January 15, 2007 4:26 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

OK, tell me that Wynn hasn't completely lost it now? I heard about this several weeks ago but didn't believe it was true until it has now been made official. Steve is evidently the primary impetus behind the "resurrection" of Michael Jackson's now tanked career by making him a headliner at WLV a la Celine Dion! Steve Wynn is in serious need of psychotropic medication, this is the absolute worst bluder the man has ever made, considering that Michael Jackson's career is all but washed up here in the U.S. for good. Wynn's greed has taken over whereby he is hoping to attract the Baharian whales to WLV whom have DISOWNED Jackson some time ago + tossed his ass out of the country. Steve had a close relationship with Wacko Jacko prior to the child molestation charges having been brought against him. The only people who would pay to see this freak are pedophiles + 10 year old boys. Steve is doing an excellent job at gradually trashing his own personal image + reputation right down the toilet! As reported on Steve Miller's site:

January 15, 2007 5:11 PM Posted by detroit1051

Leonard, not exactly first class, objective journalism. Having said that, we discussed this on another Board several weeks ago. If Jacko ever performs at Wynn, I'll never return.

What is this? I thought Ken Wynn resigned. He still has a gaming license?
"Nonetheless, Ken Wynn is a "Pillar of the community," a keynote speaker at the Urban Land Institute, and currently holds a key gaming license at the Wynn resort -- the same place that's about to covet Michael Jackson."

January 15, 2007 6:00 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

detroit: Kenny's little "problem" with the feds is far from being over with. Although the feds raided Kenny's $10M Summerlin manse almost 3 years ago now, seizing all of his personal computers plus other "undisclosed" materials, that doesn't mean that this is still not an ongoing criminal investigation. Trust me, I speak from my own experience on this subject, the feds proceed at their "own" pace before seeking a federal grand jury criminal indictment against their target + apparently Kenny is alleged to haven taken part in some type of global child porn ring which involves multiple targets, that is probably why it could be taking so long. The FBI + other federal agencies cannot simply raid his private residence without first obtaining a federal grand jury subpoena/warrant, that process is held in secret. They have a 5 year statute of limitations to indict or file criminal charges based upon the last date the alleged offense(s) occurred. Notice how quickly Kenny resigned as head of WD+D after this story broke. Steve apparently wanted to distance himself from his little brother as quickly as possible. The reason he still holds a privileged gaming license is that he has neither been charged, nor convicted of any crime to date. Technically, the NGC cannot rescind his license until after a felony CONVICTION. Since this case is under seal, we won't hear anything until/if he is ultimately indicted. So they [the feds] still have another 2 years left. Something tells me we haven't heard the end of this yet. In addition, should he be convicted of a felony offense, he would also be barred for life from ever holding a fiduciary position such as an officer of any public corporation. BTW - I did some digging around + just spoke with a very reliable source who has informed me that it is absolutely the TRUTH, Steve is developing a deal with Jackson as a long-term feature headliner at WLV. Jacko aint exactly Barry Manilow, now is he? LOL Steve is definitely off his f*ucking rocker!

January 15, 2007 9:13 PM Posted by mike_ch

Oh, you're kidding me. Please. Steve Miller? 'Scuze me while I go dig out my tinfoil hat.

Lenny, if helps turn this blog around, I guess I should mention I was hoping Lloyds was going to tell Steve that they would pay him damages as soon as they could get some money from the bloke who damaged the thing in the first place.

Really, that suit marked the point where he went out into the zone of the unexplainable. I've got no excuses there.

January 15, 2007 10:08 PM Posted by John

None of us do, Mike.

January 15, 2007 10:31 PM Posted by mike_ch

Since this seems to have become the official WynnTracker thread, I should point out that he'll be on "Conversations with Michael Eisner" (CNBC) on Wednesday.

Those two egos and personalities are incredibly alike, although Eisner is more money-driven they both have that "I think this is good so everyone should think it is good" mantra going on. Perhaps maybe Eisner can tell a few stories to Steve about what it's like to lose shareholder confidence.

January 16, 2007 6:53 AM Posted by detroit1051

"Perhaps maybe Eisner can tell a few stories to Steve about what it's like to lose shareholder confidence."
And, Steve can explain how he lost shareholder confidence at MIR and ended up losing it to Kirk.
One good sign at Wynn Las Vegas. Corsa is open for lunch again.
"Until further notice, from 11:45 a.m. until 2:45 p.m. every Wednesday through Sunday, Corsa is offering special three-course lunches for only $20.07. The best part about it: Kalt�s menu offers dozens of options throughout the various courses, ensuring even the pickiest eater will be able to create his dream lunch. From calamari to caprese to chicken Milanese, we promise you that Kalt�s cuisine will impress. Corsa Cucina is located in Wynn Las Vegas adjacent to the Poker Room and across from the Wynn Las Vegas box office."

January 16, 2007 6:50 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

mike_ch: I just wanted to go on record by responding to your previous comment in connection with Steve Miller's 'Wynn piece' which was recently published on his site RE Michael Jackson, notwithstanding your personal opinion of Miller's journalistic inetegrity. Might I suggest that this would be an opportune time for you to permanently retire that stupid "tinfoil hat" of yours we all keep hearing about, at this particular juncture. While I personally am not aware of what specifically motivates Miller's own agenda by his weekly reporting of "confirmed" inside information on the questionable criminal activity here in Las Vegas that continues to be perpetrated at the highest levels, including but not limited to, the likes of Rizzolo, Wynn, et al, I can tell you, with absolute certainty, that EVERYTHING he [Miller] has publshed on his website(s) have not only been confirmed or otherwise established to have proven to be 100% accurate, but are based entirely on substantiated fact. According to Miller, Wynn has evidently threatened to sue him on NUMEROUS occasions over the past years, but Steve [Wynn] has yet to file a SINGLE complaint against him! Gee, I wonder why? Miller is the ONLY online journalist that I know of who has the balls to actually publish a true + accurate copy, on the Internet, of the entire Scotland Yard investigation dating back to the early 1980's in which Wynn was exposed to have an indirect/direct + apparent association with the Genovese Crime Family. As a result of that report, Steve was not considered suitable to hold or be eligible to be granted a gaming license in the U.K., at that time, which also apparently affected his ability to obtain PERMANENT licensure as being an operator of the brand new Golden Nugget, Atlantic City, hence Wynn's quick sale to Hilton + immediate retreat from A.C. altogether ever since. Read the complete Scotland Yard report for yourself + make your own conclusion that Wynn was, or was not, at that particular time, nothing more than a background "front man" for LCN. Wynn has attempted, on numerous occasions, through his high-paid army of legal minions to try + have the "Scotland Yard Report" permanently redacted from ever being published on the Internet, all to no avail! Since Wynn Resorts', Ltd. share price, as of today, reflects a run-up resulting in its highest close ever, I know of not a SINGLE broker who who would even consider placing any of their clients in WYNN at the, now artifically overvalued price of 107. Apparently there are a whole lot of misinformed individual investors out there willing to buy this security at its present inflated value, ALL of whom will be sorry at the end of the day. These shareholders are evidently "banking" on the fact that Wynn Macau will propel the company well into the BLACK in its Q4 '06 earnings report. Well, we will see! Steve has recently displayed an undisputed example, by his recent actions, in his decision to continue to file frivolous lawsuits at the expense of WYNN shareholders, his alleged/pending federal labor statute violations, signing a deal with "Wacko Jacko" (Michael Jackson, etc.) which is indicative that he no longer has the capacity to be capable of responsible + reasonable judgement in exercising his fiduciary duty as CEO to represent the best interset of the Wynn Resorts, Ltd. shareholders. mike_ch, I can now positively confirm the fact that Steve is DEFINATELY preparing to transform Michael Jackson into the "Celine Dion" or "Barry Manilow" of WLV. mike_ch, please don't skirt this specific issue by changing the subjet, I would really like to know your personal reaction to Steve's latest "brilliant" faux pas!

January 16, 2007 7:03 PM Posted by Hunter

I'm not mike but I'll chime in...

Miller seems like a bit of a conspiracy theorist from what I have read but I admit to not looking into the issue too deeply (due to aforementioned reaction to writings I did read).

I personally never put much stock in the Scotland Yard stuff. It just didn't 'seem' credible to me based on what I have read. I'm no investigator and have only a light familiarity with the topic. I'm not claiming to be an expert, just sharing my reaction to what I have read.

That totally aside, if Wynn signs up Michael Jackson, I can't help but think it will change my opinion of the place. I live in Santa Barbara and our elected DA tried him on the molestation charges. Some people thought it was a witch-hunt but I think the DA did the right thing going after him. I was so sure the guy was going to get nailed, I still can't believe he walked... Anyway, if he ends up at WLV, I don't know what I'll do. I know that I'll feel a little creepy walking through there, if it does happen... Will I just go back to Bellagio? Probably not but man... I *seriously hope* this doesn't happen.

January 16, 2007 7:07 PM Posted by Hunter

When is he on the Eisner show? I don't see it in my listings...

January 16, 2007 7:24 PM Posted by John

Well, through all of this, one of my questions is, where would Wynn put MJ? I don't know, if Le Reve would go the way of Avenue Q, and we would see an aquatic fantasty, starring Michael Jackson. Even though, its a tad bit scary how "grotesque" a title like that sounds.

However, I'm still reminded, when I hear this news about Jackson, about the news surrounding Bette Midler's imminent and potential signing at Wynn Las Vegas in September/October of 2005. That didn't happen, while Midler will be performing at Caesars, so it is still a possibility that Steve, in his "egotistical" and "mentally imbalanced thought", could make this deal go sour.

January 16, 2007 9:31 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Hunter, actually the primary reason that Michael Jackson was ultimately acquitted of the child molestation charges was a direct result of the incompetence of [your] Santa Barbara County D.A., Tom Sneddon. He was so confident + overly ambitious in his desire to prosecute Jackson, that he + his assistant D.A.'s were no match for the legal genius of Tom Mesereau, who as I had mentioned here before, was my own defense attorney who represented me in Steve's lawsuit against me back in 1991. Actually, Mesereau was dispatched to Las Vegas to personally depose Steve in my case. Tom Mesereau is one of the few first rate defense attorneys on the planet, IMO + Jacko owes him, not only a ton of unpaid legal fees, but his FREEDOM! Sneddon pursued this case with reckless abandon, and while there is NO doubt whatsoever that Michael Jackson is a pedophile, as charged, Mesereau pulled off a miracle on this one. I can now say, with reasonable certainty, that it is true that Steve is behind backing Jacko's "comeback" + it will be at WLV! I currently am not privy to the specifics in terms of contract details, etc., but I will make sure to report any new information as soon as I find out. So, Hunter, when Steve officially "signs up" Jacko, which now appears to be inevitable, I'm just curious what all of the "pro-Wynn advocates" will think then? I'm sure that Steve will simply justify/spin this as another one of his, as he often says, + I quote: "delicious experiences". LOL

January 16, 2007 11:22 PM Posted by mike_ch

Hunter, the Eisner show is supposed to be tomorrow, unless the page hasn't been updated for a year or something. See:

Leonard, I'm well aware of all the legitimate criticism surrounding Wynn and his places (some of which you brought up) but the Scotland Yard stuff didn't seem really concrete. Never scoured over the stuff in-depth, just saying. Am I fool who just wants to think what he wants to? Your call. As for Miller, the guy has a lot of political motives, another community crusader who co-ops whatever issue makes his opponents look bad and hangs out with the other crusaders, some of which don't seem quite sane. At least they make the citizens' speech segments on the channel 2 city council meetings very entertaining.

As for Jackson, that's about twenty years too late, isn't it. I don't care if he's playing at Wild Wild West, I wouldn't buy a ticket at any price.

January 16, 2007 11:29 PM Posted by Hunter


Maybe it's not on here? That's strange though because I believe CNBC only has one feed... Didn't that show get cancelled? Maybe it is a year old... If anyone sees it, let me know.

January 17, 2007 1:46 AM Posted by mike_ch

I sent an email to CNBC's feedback box for that show. Kind of short notice, but I can't imagine it gets a ton of feedback. Their TV front-page still lists Eisner as a host and their transcripts page has an interview with Alec Baldwin talking about 30 Rock starting in (last) October so I know it's not year-old data. I know this is one of those shows that only does a few episodes a year due to a small audience and the host not wanting to commit to a regular TV run.

I've asked if it will be rescheduled.

January 17, 2007 6:06 AM Posted by detroit1051

Wynn: Is she legit, or is she a union shill?

January 17, 2007 9:52 AM Posted by Leonard Stern

detroit: I was just going to post this article appearing in today's RJ. She IS legit, I remember her name was mentioned in another article or on some blog at the time, identifying her as the specific dealer who Steve went ballistic on. Her termination is no conicidence, Wynn mamagement (at Steve's direction) is fanning the flames even more, and this isn't a fire that they can afford to have spread any further! I keep telling you guys, Wynn's dictatorial management style will eventually come back + bite him in the ass! It is also no coincidence that Arte Nathan, Steve's chief of Human Resources for decades on all of his properties, decided to "retire" from the company as soon as the toke policy was enacted. All this [termination] will accomplish, is increased negative press which will only help to develop solidarity among other WLV employees. Now WLV is facing two federal complaints against them brought by the NLRB, + possibly more, since the agency has now continued the hearing until March. The NLRB alreay made it clear that they have enough evidence to file official complaint(s) for federal labor violations against the company.

January 17, 2007 9:59 AM Posted by Hunter

I'm not sure the Nathan retirement is connected.

Jane Radoff, former SVP of Interiors at Wynn Design and Development told me that several long-time Wynn employees were planning to leave once WLV was up and running. That included herself (she's gone) and she mentioned Arte. That was June 2005.

January 17, 2007 10:34 AM Posted by mike_ch

As far as I know, there's only one complaint. Ms Fields filed the original complaint. Her firing does seem suspicious, but it's still a one person's word versus another's thing that not fully investigated. I think management would have to be a little bone-headed to do something like that.

What I've never seen in print is someone recording Steve's comments with their phone, which is what Leonard suggested way earlier in this thing.

January 17, 2007 11:42 AM Posted by Leonard Stern

mike_ch: I had heard the cell phone rumor from several independent sources, but who knows for sure. What I can confirm with certainty, however, is that Steve had a whole slew of his security "goons" lined up + stategically stationed on both sides of the room carefully watching everybody, in order to avoid anyone getting a video capture of the, evidently "heated" scene. Considering this so-called meeting was comprised of some 600 WLV dealers in one room, it is still possible that someone was able to capture "the momment" + that wouldn't exactly bode well for Stevie. The second claim with the NLRB was also brought by Ms. Fields for 'false termination' + is totally independent of the earlier filing by the NLRB which potentially could result in far more damaging consequences to the company.

January 17, 2007 4:51 PM Posted by John

So, wait, Leonard are you saying that there is now a possiblilty that a cell phone video doesn't exist? Very interesting.

This brings up my next question. What would the least possible retribution, from the feds, a slap on the wrist? I'm not quite sure, so...

January 17, 2007 6:45 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

John: I cannot confirm, nor deny, that a cell phone video capture of Steve's threatening 'tirade' actually exists. If indeed it does, as I have previously been informed, or that the NLRB has been able to obtain whatever adequate, substantive proof necessary for them to decide to file federal labor statute violations against WLV, which they [NLRB] evidently believe they are able to support, it is now up to a Federal Magistrate to make the final decision, based upon all of the facts/evidence as a result of their [NLRB] investigation. If a cellular phone video capture actually does exist, + based on the NLRB complaint, WLV could either be fined or in actual jeopardy of losing or having their gaming license revoked by the NGC as a result of the final outcome...

January 17, 2007 6:59 PM Posted by detroit1051

Is Wynn's request at tonight's Zoning meeting the first step in developing the golf course?
"This is a request to combine many parcels, approximately 216 acres, into a one lot commercial subdivision. The new commercial subdivision will include the Wynn Las Vegas Resort Hotel, the site of the Encore Resort Hotel (second phase of the Wynn Las Vegas Resort Hotel), and the Wynn Golf course with all accessory uses."

LVS is also on the agenda:

January 18, 2007 9:02 AM Posted by Molly

Good morning.

I'm sorry to say that I forgot where this board was.

Hunter, thank you for understanding my situation.

And thank all of you for being soniceon here.

I just quickly scanned through here and there was a question of whether Cynthia is legitimate or a union shill.

I don't know if she's interested in joining the union or not but she is DEFINITELY not a union shill.

This is what I posted on another board that may more clearly explain her circumstances.

Leonard, I seriously doubt there was a phone video but if there was that's great. There was just too much security at that meeting watching for such things, in my opinion.

If there IS one, I imagine whichever "goon" was assigned to that aisle of people has now been terminated.


My post elsewhere:

Here are some comments I'd like to address and then I'll tell you what Cynthia told me the morning after this happened.

Incidentally, a "team leader" has been terminated now and dealers are being written up by the dozens for the stupidest reasons.

When Wynn had his initial meeting with the dealers back in August, after he informed them of all the BAD new rules, he then ended by saying that the GOOD news is that dealers could start earning bonuses. I guess this was supposed to make them feel better.

However, to qualify you must have a perfect attendance (which means you can't miss one single shift in 365 days) and perfect work record.

With the massive writeup's that are occuring Wynn won't have to pay out any bonuses.

Coincidence this is happening now? I don't think so.

If his Q4 earnings don't finally show a first time profit instead of loss, I think he's toast.

As for my comments on posts that have been made....

*** said,
"She either got permission to leave or she didn�t.

I can�t imagine Wynn firing her if she really had a supervisor�s permission to leave. It just doesn�t sound credible.

Another scenario � perhaps more believable � is that she got upset and angry about her performance report and just told her supervisor that she was leaving for the day. And, left.

I wasn�t there and don�t know what really happened. But, on the face of it, I have a hard time believing she really had a supervisor�s permission to leave. Again, it doesn't make sense that Wynn would fire her if she had permission to leave."

My response:
***, I'll explain the specifics of what allegedly occurred in a sec but tihs is a very common ploy the casinos use in letting someone "go".

I've seen it MANY times.

The shift supervisor, or in Cynthia's case, the "scheduler" allows her to go home but for some reason the shift manager is never informed by the supervisor.

Therefore it's considered job abandonment and grounds for immediate dismissal.

******* said,
"The problem is that some people think, foolishly, that because they have file a charge with the NLRB that they are some how "protected"!
The best thing she could have done is file the charge and then be the model employee until the case is heard."

My response:
***, she WAS a model employee and there are many other Wynn employees and customers who are writing statements addressing that, including supervisors. That is part of the reason the NLRB is continuing their investigation. They have plenty already to bust Wynn and you'd think he'd end this insane behavior.

The people he has hired to "protect" him are backing off in droves. They want nothing to do with this.

His Employee PR/HR guy that's been with him for over 30 years (Arte Nathan) resigned the day after the tyranical August meeting.

The union buster that Wynn hired (Mark Garrity, who was allegedly going to cost Wynn millions for his services) walked away after the first employee "morale" meeting when Wynn violated federal laws in his tirade. For the life of me I don't understand why Wynn can't just shut up and do what his attorney's TELL him to do.

I feel certain this whole Picasso "accident" is going to backfire on him as well. Lloyd's of London has a much more solid reputation than Wynn does and I think the results of THAT are going to be a nightmare for him.

The NLRB was WRONG, in my opinion for making Cynthia attend that "firing" alone. And they shouldn't keep making employees feel that they are "safe" from BEING fired once they've made a complaint.

Cynthia asked her employer if she could have a third party, such as a witness or attorney present and was told no. The NLRB told her she had to go anyway, alone or not, and that there was nothing to worry about- that she was "protected".

I KNEW she was walking into a landmine and urged her to at LEAST find a way to record the session with a hidden recorder.

*** said,
"I don't understand why anyone would pay the rates charged at places like Wynn.

My response:
***, in December you could stay at Wynn for as little as 99 dollars per night and you didn't have to have played much there to get that rate.

************* said, in answer to ************'s comment,
"And if that employee has already filed a very public complaint? I'm not saying it's right or fair or good for society, but firing that person should be the LAST thing you do. It's just the way the world works."

******'s response,
"That's what I don't get. the perception is that she was fired for filing the complaint. However, I'd never want to go up against a casino Corporation in court."

My response:
*****, I'll explain the whole thing in a sec but you're right. You can't fight a casino and win. It doesn't matter if you're an employee, a contractor, a person who hit "Megabucks" but was denied the win because the computer is always deemed to have "malfunctioned", or for any number of other reasons.

Even the man who started this chain of events, the guy who hit Wynn for a 5 milliion dollar win, is ALLEGEDLY not allowed back in Wynn's casino.

*** said,
"Documentation of employee misconduct/incompetence is key, without it, you have to settle."

My response:
***, HR can and DOES shred documents, CREATE documents, falsify documents, etc. if it is in their best interest to do so.

Make sure and look at the following comments I make about the documents Cynthia was shown, leading to her suspension and ultimate termination.

Incidently, she will NOT be able to collect unemploment compensation because that's another way the casinos win. If you were fired for "insubordination or job abandonment" you are denied. Almost anything can fall into one of those two categories.

In my case with Harrah's, the HR director told me it would be best to "voluntarily resign" and that she would personally see to it that my records (YEARS of excellent employee reviews, etc.) would ensure that I was an extremely hireable candidate at any of Harrah's property other than the one I was working in.

I was denied unemployment because I "resigned".

You can't win and I only hope Cynthia had as much money in her savings acount as I did because she won't be working or getting any financial assitance for a very LONG time.

OK. About Cynthia.

On Sunday, January 7th we had a long conversation regarding her suspension the previous night, Saturday, the 6th. Keep in mind that her suspension came only a day after the Friday, January 5th lawsuit Wynn filed on the two employees who represented the dealers on STATE charges based on the initial August meeting.

Cynthia and two others had decided to bypass the state and file with the National Labor board after the December meeting she was forced to attend. This meeting was the only one that Mark Garrity attended before he walked off. Doesn't that speak VOLUMES about what occurred in that meeting? That one of the most reputable "union busters, employee morale/PR guys"(or whatver you want to call them) decided to walk away from a million+ dollar deal with Wynn after he witnessed what occurred in that meeting?

During our conversation she gave me specifics and asked me to keep them confidential until the news became "official". After viewing what was reported in today's LVRJ, I consider it to be official and my comments on the specifics she gave me are only those which are no longer private but explain more fully what occurred.

There ARE parts of that hour long conversation that have NOT come out yet and I will NOT discuss any of that because I wouldn't want to jeopardize her or others in the matters which are also occuring.

Cynthia has worked at WLV since day one. She is considered by her co-workers, supervisors and customers to possess excellent customer services skills, attendence, attitude and personality.

Several months ago, maybe even since the beginning, Wynn began hiring "secret shoppers" to observe and write reports on interaction with employees.

In December, as dealers were still being required to attend these "morale" meetings, management was trying to appease them with positive comments, hoping to quiet all of this mess.

One of their comments was that they had piles of "secret shopper" reports that were all excellent. Not one single bad report existed, they were told. Personally, having used this service in my past management days I find this hard to believe. There's always some negative comment on something.

Cynthia was "tapped off" of her game at approx 1 pm on that Saturday and told to go to her supervisor's office where they showed her a shoppers report that was so vile and so obviously exaggerated and blatantly full of things she knew to be untrue that she was VERY upset.

Think of how you would feel if the police knocked on your door right now and "found" bags of cocaine on your kitchen counter.

She tried to pull herself together but couldn't keep from crying. She looked likea mess (a major Wynn no-no) and realized it would be impossible to remain mentally alert if she went back upstairs to resume her game.

For all of those who think dealers have it so easy, please think about the mental discipline it takes to perform your job. You cannot let your mind wander. You MUST stay focused at all times so that you don't cost the casino.

The proper procedure at Wynn is to go to your supervisor/scheduler if you are ill and cannot perform as expected.

Cynthia did this.

In fact she followed the EXACT same procedure as a coworker had just a few days earlier. That person was having a personal relationship problem and apparently after a phone conversation during her break that left her very upset she went to the supervisor (just like Cynthia), allowed to go home (just like Cynthia) and was NOT suspended (unLIKE Cynthia).

Cynthia explained to the supervisor that she was TRYING very hard to compose herself but didn't think she could pull it off.

The scheduler gave her permission to go home.

In fact, she told the supervisor, she felt it would even cause embarrasment to her employer (due to her tear stained, runny, made-up face) if she were to even go upstairs and sign/clock out in the visible area where customers would see her.

The supervisor agreed and offered to go clock her out.

It is THEN the responsibility of the supervisor to inform the shift manager.

Cynthia went immediately home.

Within an hour the shift manager called her at home, telling her that she was "suspended, pending termination". She asked why and he told her it was because she didn't have permission to leave.

She replied that she HAD been granted permission to leave but the shift manager maintained that she had NOT been.

The next day she went to the NLRB to get advice. They basically assured her that she would not be fired.

When WLV called her to come in for the results of their "investigation" she asked if she could bring a witness or attorney. They told her no.

The NLRB told her she MUST go.

I told her that I've learned the hard way and will NEVER go into THAT kind of trap again, unprepared. I urged her to find some way to secretly record the meeting for future documentation.

Now to me, the worst part is that there were two dates of shoppers reports. 11/08, I believe, and 12/09. I may be wrong on those dates.

But first, if those reports had been so bad, why wait until January 6th to call her in?

Well, because Wynn didn't know about the NLRB complaint that she had filed until January.

In my opinion, it is after he found out that those reports were created. Which goes back to Don's comments on documentation. They are created and detroyed all the time to benefit the employer. Not just here but throughout America.

I know because I have seen how it's done, firsthand, many times.

At any rate, I hope this clears up the questions regarding her permission to leave, her suspension and her termination.

January 19, 2007 12:13 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

I'm not trying to resurrect the "elbow" Picasso thread, but TheSmokingGun has published a copy of Wynn's pre-damage appraisal for "Le Reve" justifying his lawsuit against Lloyd's for an additional $54M. What makes this claim so outrageous is the fact that the $139M deal was NEVER actually comsummated wherbey any funds ever changed hands. I also recently spoke with one of L.A.'s leading fine art dealers who informed me that the current appraised value (after repairs) most likely will not even be close to the $84M Wynn claims. Evidently one of the conclusive tests used to determine + confrim whether or not the work has been "retouched/restored" or actually "repaired" as is the case with "Le Reve" is the fact that the repaired hole/tear/puncture will always be forever visible under blacklight inspection. Evidently a repair job of this nature permanently devalues the work significantly + Wynn appears to be trying to make up the difference between the current appraised value + a figure based on a sale that never transpired. Sounds pretty dicey to me...

January 19, 2007 3:18 PM Posted by Molly

Leonard, Here's my problem with all of this.

Wynn purchased Le Reve in 1997 for $48.4 million.

In May of 2006 a comparable Picasso sold for $95.2 million.

This is ALSO the same time (May 2006) that he took out insurance with Lloyd's.

On 9/30/06, BEFORE the accident Wynn says Le Reve is worth $139 million.

Is it due to apprasiers? I don't think so. Is it due to hundreds of Picasso fans beating on his door, wanting to pay $139 million for this painting?


It is because ONE man allegegly offered him $139 million for this painting. Does anyone find it interesting that only 1 week later, mere hours before this man was to pay up, a freak accident occurred to prevent this sale?

Did Wynn rush out and take out more insurance with Lloyds after his Sept 30th statement that his Picasso was now worth $139 million, and not the $95.2 million it was probably worth only 3 months earlier when compared to a similar Picasso?

I think Lloyd's will tell you that he did not.

I have a PT Cruiser sitting in my driveway that is completely insured.

IF, and that's a very big IF, some nut comes to me and asks to buy it from me for 2 million dollars and then someone rear-ends it in a parking garage, do you HONESTLY think my insurance company is going to write me a check for almost 2 million dollars more than it's worth?

Of course not. They'd probably be tempted to drop me as their customer and might even check into charging me with insurance fraud.

And yes, I KNOW a Picaso and a PT are like comparing apples and oranges. But you could substitute dozens of other examples.

Until an appraisor comes along and is willing to vouch that the Picasso had indeed risen to this worth, I will remain sceptical.

As far as I can see only Wynn and Cohen are the ones to think so. Ironically, Cohen isn't saying a word.

This entire lawsuit (yet another one....) makes me sick and I hope once and for all, Wynn is finally shown for what he's made of.


January 19, 2007 3:29 PM Posted by Hunter

Ok, this is way off topic as this thread shouldn't have anything to do with 'Le Reve'. Let's try to stay on topic please!

While I personally don't worry about this enough to be disgusted, I seriously doubt he'll collect on this policy and maybe he was just trying to see if he could pull it off. Whatever.

January 19, 2007 5:25 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Hunter, Due to recent negative publicity surrounding the elbow incident + "Le Reve", maybe you need to rethink having shut down the thread some time ago. You personally posted your own comment the other day in connection with the recent Wynn/Lloyd's lawsuit on that very thread, considering that so much time has elapsed since you decided to close it down, YOU essentially brought the topic back up for open discussion, but are, on the other hand, denyiing those here who wish to continue to make valid comments concerning the subject.

January 19, 2007 11:50 PM Posted by Molly

I'm sorry, Hunter.

I was wondering if I should reply to the post here or transfer it to the other page about Picasso.

If you are able to move it to the appropriate place that would be great. If not, I promise I'll be more observant to "straying" in the future.

Thanks and have a great night.


January 20, 2007 3:38 AM Posted by Hunter

Well, fortunately it is my site and I can do whatever I want. :-)

I added that link to the old page because I thought it would be useful.

January 21, 2007 8:39 PM Posted by Molly

I just got home and am starting to read 2 days of emails.

This was sent to me about 4 pm today (Sunday).

By the wording used as well as dates, I am assuming Wynn has not received his certified letter yet.

I wouldn't want to be anywhere NEAR him when he gets wind of this!
In the last line, I believe the major national union they are refering to is the teamsters.


Here's the news release. It is being sent out to the world as we speak.

So, everyone, make copies and distribute it to all. That includes dealers, management, all public officials, legislators, politicians, and of course the press. This is D-Day!


Attached letter reads:

International Union of Gaming Employees
P.O. Box 71961
Las Vegas, NV 89170
January 22, 2007
NEWS RELEASE---for immediate release
Contact: Jack Lipsman, VP IUGE
Phone Numbers: (702) 279-1780, (702) 456-8272

The IUGE Executive Board has voted unanimously to initiate a card signing effort to establish a Casino Dealers Union at the Wynn-Las Vegas starting at 12:01 AM Friday January 26, 2007.
Employee organizers have been selected and both the Wynn-Las Vegas Human Resources Department and the National Labor Relations Board have been made aware of their names by certified mail.
Wynn dealers will be provided with detailed informational booklets outlining their rights and responsibilities during this process. The book also defines what is considered unfair labor practices by employers and the steps needed to report these types of violations. The protections given by the National Labor Relations Act to workers attempting to unionize has been the subject of many inquiries by the Wynn casino dealers in the past several weeks. Specific protections are outlined in the book.
The IUGE has scheduled numerous meetings with the dealers to counter the information given to them by the Garrity group of union-busters hired by Steve Wynn to stifle the union effort.
Talks between the IUGE and a major national union regarding a possible affiliation are ongoing and, if implemented, will provide additional impetus to the drive.


January 21, 2007 8:58 PM Posted by John

Okay, that is semi-believable, aside from this quote, "The IUGE has scheduled numerous meetings with the dealers to counter the information given to them by the Garrity group of union-busters hired by Steve Wynn to stifle the union effort. " I just cannot, I'm my right mind, believe that any press agent, would put that in a press release. It sounds way too vemonous, if you know what I mean. Also, why would the release mention Garrity if he quit, after Wynn's first meeting with his employees? That is way too suspicious, and borderline non-believeable. I will be watching out for something akin to his tomorrow, though, just to see if that message has any substantial truth to it, Molly.

January 22, 2007 10:46 AM Posted by mike_ch

The reason for that tone is that the IUGE is basically a guy sitting on his thumb writing self-important press releases. Well, okay, a few guys. ;)

It's about as active as an organization as Mt Fuji is an active volcano.

January 22, 2007 8:37 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Mike (mike_ch): The IUGE is definitely + stategically taking advantage of the current "timing" by submitting the call to unionize the WLV dealers, at the most opportune time, based solely on the negative press already released regardig WLV's alleged federal labor code violations as charged by the NLRB. In addition, the authorities' increased scrutiny of WLV does not bode well for Wynn Resorts' defensive position. Personally, I don't think that WLV stands a chance, long-term, to beat this rap, however, there certainly exists the future potential that WLV's frontline employees (read dealers) will eventually unite at some point in time, regardless of the final outcome of the current NLRB complaint, as a result of Wynn's "questionable" toke policy + his apparent illegal threats which were made in front of 600+ WLV employees! BTW - literally EVERY major competing operator (including, but not limited to, HET, MGM, LVS, etc.) have publicly affirmed that they do NOT intend to impose a similar dealer tip-sharing policy at any of their properties. Gee, I kinda wonder what example that this sets for Steve + Wynn Resorts' reputation?

January 22, 2007 9:06 PM Posted by mike_ch

So far what I can gather about this is:

1) Being a dealer is tough work
2) New policy reduces income
3) Bosses now make more than dealers

Regardless of how you feel about tip policy, the underlying question nobody has asked is why don't the dealers instead of complaining try to become bosses? That was the point of the whole idea. If it is such a stressful, unpleasant job then many would be eager to move up out of the field anyway.

January 23, 2007 11:36 AM Posted by Leonard Stern

This article on the WLV dealers unionization appeared in today's RJ with their usual pro-Wynn spin:

January 23, 2007 3:30 PM Posted by John

Yeah, I was about to post a link on that.

January 24, 2007 12:01 PM Posted by Molly

Mike Ch, I would like to answer the questions you posed above in just a sec, but first.....

I received these two emails , today, which I have permission to post.

The card distribution starts this Friday. I also found the ruling in the Houston restaurant case interesting due to it's similarities.

Here's the first email:


For those of you that we have an address for, you will be getting a union card of interest with a return envelope, it�s very important you get this card back to us ASAP. There will be inside organizers on all three shifts at Wynn Las Vegas to hand out cards and return envelopes to those of you that we don�t have an address for starting Friday the 26th for you to take and send back to us. Remember you are fully protected by federal law in signing these cards even in your place of employment in non-work areas during non-work times which includes the dealer�s room and cafeteria and your welcome to take them and mail them back to us in the return envelope provided. Your job will actually be more secure after signing the union card of interest than before. Please revue your rights below.

You have a right to:

� Join a union.

� Talk to your co-workers about joining a union.

� Pass out literature about joining a union (in non-work areas during non-work times).

� Sign up your coworkers on petitions in non-work areas and during non-work times.

� Join with your coworkers for the purpose of forming a union.

� Join with your coworkers for the purpose of improving working conditions in your place of employment.

The above rights are spelled out in Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act.

Your employer does NOT have a right to:

� Interfere with, restrain or coerce you in such a way as to prevent you from exercising the rights listed above.

� Form a union that is financed or controlled by an employer, instead of by you and your coworkers.

� Discriminate against you or your coworkers in hiring and firing simply because you have chosen to join (or not to join) a union.

� Fire you because you have exercised any of your rights under the National Labor Relations Act, including your right to file complaints and testify against your employer if you believe he or she has violated your rights.

� Refuse to bargain collectively with you and your coworkers, if you choose to form a union.

The above limits on employer activity are spelled out in Section 8(a) of the National Labor Relations Act.

National Labor Relations Act

Section 1
"It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States to eliminate the causes of certain substantial obstructions to the free flow of commerce and to mitigate and eliminate these obstructions when they have occurred by encouraging the practice and procedure of collective bargaining and by protecting the exercise by workers of full freedom of association, self organization, and designation of representatives of their own choosing, for the purpose of negotiating the terms and conditions of their employment or other mutual aid or protection."

Section 7
"Employees shall have the right to self organization, to form, join or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, and shall have the right to refrain from any or all of such activities except to the extent that such right may be affected by an agreement requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment as authorized in section 8(a)3."

Section 8
"It shall be an unfair labor practice for an employer:

(1) to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of rights guaranteed in Section 7.

(2) to dominate or interfere with the formation . . . of any labor organization . . .

(3) by discrimination in regard to hire or tenure of employment or any term or condition of employment, to encourage or discourage membership in any labor organization . . .

(4) to discharge or otherwise discriminate against an employee because he filed charges or given testimony under this Act.

(5) to refuse to bargain collectively with the representative of his employees . . .

Email #2:

News Release

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: WH-03-03
Tues., Jan. 7, 2003

Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd


Sam's Boat Restaurant in Houston Agrees to Back Wages For Workers Who Had To Share Tips With Managers U.S. Department of Labor Recovers Pay for 48 Employees
DALLAS -- Employees at Sam's Boat restaurant in Houston who were required to share their tips with managers will recover more than $112,000 in back wages, under an agreement the restaurant has reached with the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division.

"Wage standards are designed to ensure fairness and preserve the dignity of work," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "These standards are especially important to protect low wage employees and those for whom tips are a significant part of their pay."

Richmond SB Interests Inc., doing business as, Sam's Boat, has agreed to pay $112,702 in back wages to 48 employees.

An investigation conducted by the Houston district office of the Wage and Hour Division, covering the period Aug. 6, 2000, to Aug. 4, 2002, determined that Sam's Boat had a practice of tip-pooling or totaling daily sales of tipped employees and requiring those employees to pay managers 3 percent of the sales.

"Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, tip-pooling is allowed but limited to employees who customarily and regularly receive more than $30 a month in tips," explained Betty Campbell, Wage and Hour district director in Houston. "This would include waiters, waitresses, countermen, busboys and service bartenders. Managers, however, are not included."

Campbell said that to promote compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) within the restaurant industry, the Wage and Hour office in Houston is working with the Greater Houston Restaurant Association and the Small Business Administration to provide compliance outreach information to more than 4,000 Houston restaurants.

The FLSA requires employees to be paid the minimum wage of $5.15 per hour for all hours worked and time and one-half their regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 per week. Employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.

Employers may consider tips as part of an employee's wages but must pay at least $2.13 an hour in direct wages. If an employer counts tips toward meeting the minimum wage obligation, employees must generally be allowed to retain their tips.

For more information about the FLSA, call the Wage Hour Houston district office at (713) 339-5500 or the Department of Labor's toll-free help line at 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243). Information is also available on the Internet at:

Mike Ch,

I would like to answer your questions regarding why a dealer doesn't want to step in to management. I can only use the reasons I would not want to if I were in their position. And I have been in that position several times, only in the food and beverage area, and not the table games division.

But first I'd really like to explain how tipped income works, in case anyone reading this is not aware.

Until last August, casino tipped employees and casino managers have standardly worked as follows in Las Vegas:

A casino tipped employee who is NOT union makes minimum wage. Their paychecks reflect the approximate amount of tips they received over that pay period. This can either be calculated by sales, the tip amount the employee actually reports to his employer or more commonly by tip allocation.

Tip allocation was set up during the years I owned my bar in Florida in the mid 90's. The IRS was wise that many employees across America were under-reporting their tipped income and they came up with a plan. They sat down with every employer who had tipped employees and negotiated what they believed to be a fair rate to deduct out of an employee's pay check.

I remember all of my confused employees coming into my office asking what I would do if it were me since they had a choice to keep reporting tips as they had been accustomed, or sign the IRS form.

I told them, by all MEANS sign the IRS form, if only because there was a little gem in that contract that wasn't highly publicized:

Because the IRS WANTED everyone to sign, they also agreed that anyone who signed this form would be exempt from future audits due to income related to their job.

If you've ever been through an audit, believe me, this ALONE is reason enough to sign.

Because the taxes are taken out of the paycheck the paychecks can be very small. Based upon your tip rate (there are probably 100 different rates in any casino)I have actually seen paychecks of a full time employee be as little as $2.00 for two weeks of work. THIS is one reason I believe this issue has become so heated.

A tipped employee must manage his household finances in an entirely different manner than one who KNOWS what his paycheck is going to be every two weeks.

It takes discipline when you're carrying large amounts of cash with you on a daily basis. First of all, no-one wants to go stand in line at the bank on a daily basis or even worse at an ATM at 2 in the morning. It's not safe to stash it under your mattress for days on end.

It's hard for people not in this position to understand. I know that the many years I was in business and hotel management I was very organized with paying invoices, bills, etc.

A couple of years ago, while cocktailing on the Strip my ex from those Florida years was out here and driving around with me (we've remained on good terms despite our breakup) and I'd say, "Hang on. Nevada Power is just right there. I need to pay my bill." Then I'd grab two or three hundred bills from my purse and run in and pay it. Then we'd pass Sprint and I'd say the same thing, grab some more cash and go in and pay it.

It drove him crazy, especially because it was so different than the way I had managed things when I wasn't a tipped employee. It's just different. And because it becomes engrained in you that you are going to walk with the amount you EARNED that day, which you have already assigned to a particular upcoming mortgage payment, etc. it really WOULD almost feel like theft when you were forced to begin turning over a percentage of YOUR earnings to a group of managers who knew full well coming in what they would be making.

Not only that, but at least I was able to COUNT my money to see what I earned before tipping out my bartender for his services but when Wynn implemented this new policy he immediately removed the dealer representative from the count room so there was no witness as to how much they made. They could only rely on what the managers told them.

When WLV opened almost 2 years ago, he hired the boxmen, floormen, etc. at the pay rate of $250 per shift. This was a salaried mangement position. No tips were expected or promised.

He hired the dealers at minimum wage. Tips were not only expected but as Wynn began courting the best dealers in Vegas he was promising them they would be making more tips than they had ever DREAMED, should they come work for him. It was during this period that MGM actually 86'ed Arte Nathan (Wynn's HR/PR guy of 30 years who RESIGNED the day after the heated August meeting where Wynn announced the new tip policy. Coincidence?)from their properties.

I believe Wynn gave the dealers a $1/hour raise 90 days later. I could be wrong on the dates they began receiving $6.15 per hour.

In most circumstances casino middle management are former bartenders, dealers, etc. who are just plain burned out by their years of dealing directly with drunks and pissed off gamblers. They don't want to change out 50 pound kegs or have cigarette smoke blown into their face from someone who is losing money.

And before anyone jumps in here with the argument that it is management who steps in and halts these situations I can guarantee you it is NOT.

I worked in a volatile department that managers wanted NOTHING to do with. You could call them, page them, try to hunt them down, etc. but eventually you STILL had to end up handling things on your own because they just wouldn't come.

When I first moved out here I was the opposite. I was sick of working 80 hour weeks running my company or making a lot of money for someone else.

For me, being able to use my customer service skills, clock out at the end of 8 hours and not go home to a phone ringing off the hook with CASH in my pocket was a dream job which I'd felt I'd earned.

It took me almost a full year to get a cocktail job. Why? Because everywhere I went the manager interviewing me tried to persuade me to apply for management instead.

On any given day you can scan all the casino web employment pages and there will be beverage manager positions.

Management means the following to me. Long hours (which is very different than hard work) lesser pay than those I would be managing and a job that is one step closer to interacting with the "Top Dog".

At LVT, that would be Steve Wynn.

That is one reason I found Wynn's comments on pay disparity so amusing. Did it even once occur to him the reason why many people don't WANT to work in management at Wynn? Believe me, it isn't money related.

Now there IS a solution to Steve Wynn's dilemma and it is entirely legal and would achieve the same results he's after (more $$$) only going about it through a different angle.

But I'll let the genius figure it out himself.


January 24, 2007 12:03 PM Posted by Hunter

In allowing that posting, I want to make it clear that the commenter is re-printing an email she has permission to make public and that it appearing here is not an endorsement of any kind from us. The disclaimer at the bottom of each page applies, as always.

January 24, 2007 2:15 PM Posted by Molly


If this helps any liability issues that should occur, maybe this statement will help.

I posted the above two emails after receiving permission from the people who sent them to me.

Further, I did so without contacting any owner or moderator of this website. I assume 100% responsibility in posting what could be construed by some to be private correspondence, on a public forum.

Hunter, I'd just as soon not sign my full private name to the above but you should have it in your files if you need it for any reason.



February 2, 2007 7:45 AM Posted by Mike_J

Steve Wynn reputation was one of the best employer in gaming industry ( if not the best in my opinion) and every single employee dreamed to work for him. What happen to Steve?
This article seams to be right on the point,

Also in the news today..

February 28, 2007 8:59 AM Posted by Leonard Stern

And the drama continues. New lawsuit brought by the female dealers against Steve for going completely ballistic, threatening ALL of the 600 dealers with their jobs. Wynn claims that "he is most powerful man in Nevada" + can do whatever he wants. Steveie Boy, wake up + smell the coffee, you aren't even close to being the most influential man in Nevada, on the contrary, you have become the laughing stock of the entire community with your ridiculous egocentric antics.

This sheds some new light on the rumored existence of a video capture of the entire incident or similar related evidence to support plaintiffs' allegations. Of course Wynn will be fighing the lawsuit vigorously, I wonder if he prevails, will he then sue the plaintiffs in order to recover those massive legal defense fees? LOL

February 28, 2007 12:48 PM Posted by detroit1051

Leonard, what new light does the RJ article shed "on the rumored existence of a video capture..."?
I hope this goes far enough for the public to determine the credibility and competence of the two dealer plaintiffs. Something doesn't sound right.

February 28, 2007 3:43 PM Posted by Devon

Leonard, while you obviously have some sort of personal vendetta towards steve wynn, your recent posts have simply been out of line.

"Steveie Boy, wake up + smell the coffee, you aren't even close to being the most influential man in Nevada, on the contrary, you have become the laughing stock of the entire community with your ridiculous egocentric antics."

Calling Wynn a laughing stock is not even close being true. Numerous former employees of Wynn -from Bellagio and Mirage-have said nothing but good things about their former boss, and would gladly give up their jobs at MGM Mirage to go work for Las Vegas's most influential person. Steve Wynn is given a certain type of respect by former employees -the fountain workers still allow Wynn to go behind the scenes and control songs- and gaming execs. from other companies.

Steve Wynn may not be the wealthiest (he never has been), but he will continue to be the most powerful executive in las vegas...for better or worse.

February 28, 2007 5:57 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Devon: First of all who are you to make the subjective determination that my comments which refer to Steve Wynn as a "laughing stock" based on his recent, highly suspect behavior are "out of line", which has already affected the majority of employees who currently are employeed by the company, but if you care to indulge in a little online research, you will quickly discover that Steve no longer commands the respect that he personally, (once) profoundly claimed ten years ago + he has most recently lost all of his previous "luster" whereby falsely claiming to represent himself as the most sympathetic operator towards his so-called 'team member' employees. This recent lawsuit, if it goes to trial, will confrim the man is a maniac. WLV employees are currently + factually in a congruous state of serious morale decline which appears to be going downhill quite rapidly. Get this straight, Steve Wynn has NEVER been the most "powerful executive in Las Vegas", anyone who possesses even a limited knowledge of this city's history knows that title belongs to Kerkorian. You can chose to believe the hype that Wynn + his spin doctors continue to espouse, that however ended a long time ago + the high-end gaming industry has made some major paradigm shifts since Steve built the Mirage in 1989, which he ended up forfeiting all of it to Kerkorian. GMAB, lay off drinking the Kool-Aid! I have known the man for almost 30 years since he bought the original Golden Nugget + you are telling ME that my posts are inappropriate? Well Devon, have you ever met, or do you know Steve Wynn personally? I think not. Detroit, of course the plaintiffs will not reveal what form of evidence they have in order to prove their case. The so-called video capture is rumor + pure speculation, however I can assure you of one thing with absolute certainty, they [the plaintiffs] either have a video capture or a whole slew of witnesses who were present willing to come forward + testify under oath as to what actually occurred. Trust me, they NEVER would bring a complaint like this against Steve directly if it were not supported by some sort of evidence. Remember, this is a civil matter + the ruling/verdict will be based on a much lower standard than in a criminal case - that being preponderance of the evidence. If Steve had half a brain, he would just give these two a cash settlement (terms of which would be sealed by the Court) in order to avoid a public trial where it will become public information.

March 1, 2007 7:19 AM Posted by Devon

Leonard, did you not notice the closing of my post, "for bettor or worse?" I wouldn't doubt that Wynn hasn't treated his dealers like sh*t on many occasions. His temper has always been a huge problem, and there is no doubt in my mind that something like this could happen. In fact, the massive amount of negative publicity this ordeal has garnered for Wynn could have a huge effect on his reputation. I base all my info. about executive's opinion of wynn from what I've heard, but I assume you know more about that than I do.

My entire point was that no man in the gaming industry today has more of a grasp on the citizens of the las vegas valley. Whether Wynn is less of a 'model' businessman than Kerkorian was not my point. To run a company, I'd be dumb not to choose Kerkorian. But Wynn is still looked upon, by Las Vegas residents, as the 'king' of Las Vegas, and is in no way a "laughing stock."

March 1, 2007 4:03 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Devon: I personally have numerous viable + very reliable resources direcrly connected with the mainstream architectural community, General Contractor/construction, + those involved in the marketing for the gaming industry ranging from graphic artists, to audio-video production companies, including EVERY business concern who have been commissioned in providing the presentation scale models for any/all of these projects + whom are currently participating in just about every one of the current wave of Las Vegas mega-projects being developed or under construction, many of those projects will arguably be considered to be at an "equal" level, or even EXCEED, what WLV/Encore will ultimately be able to offer upon completion. I attended the A.I.A. convention here in Las Vegas two years ago @ WLV + had the "opportunity" to participate in hearing Steve's rambling diatribe whereby he attempted to demonstrate his so-called "formula" in achieving the level of success that all of his porperties enjoyed as a result of [his] unique design expertise. Tooting His Own Horn to 'deaf ears' by addressing representatives of many of the the most respected architectural firms in the nation, i.e., SOM Chicago/San Francisco/Los Angeles/New York, KPF, Gensler, Murphy/Jahn, HOK, Ellerbe Becket, Pelli Clarke Pelli, Pei Cobb Freed + Partners, etc., etc., by claming that [his] projects represented, a design 'model' due to his 'exclusive insight' in building the best gaming properties the world has ever "experienced". He actually had both Tony Marnell + Don Brinkerhoff (Lifescapes, Int'l.) propped up on stage in order to support the fact that Steve was the next best thing to sliced bread! What a f*cking joke this whole presentation was, and to think, everyony had to pay for the "priviledge" of listening to Steve just blab on + on (fortunately I got in free!). Well, let me tell you after a "special" tour of the entire WLV property, there was not ONE single architect who had attended the conference that believed WLV was worth the $2.7B construction cost, in addition, as I have opined here before, everyone (representing the major firms) found that the planning execution of the entire property to be subpar + the curtain wall detail + design of the tower represented nothing more than out-of-date 1980's architecture. The interiors were viewed as both "garish + gaudy" + not in keeping with the current trend for interior design of hospitality properties. Steve Wynn, as a result of the fact that he has continued to act more like a micromanager egotistical idiot, has resulted in Wynn now becoming the "laughing stock" of the community + for those respected archtects (whom he will eventially need to retain in the future) are wary of working for him, from what I have been told, based on his recent irrational behavior + his constant interference by injecting himself in the design process. I applaude these two female dealers who have filed a complaint directly against Steve personally, while I am not aware of what evidence they have in order to support their case, I can assure you that it must be substantial enough for them to go forward with a "David + Goliath" lawsuit such as this. Devon, FYI - Steve has always tried to maintain his excellent relationship whith his work force/employees, one cannot agrue that his reputation has now been reduced to toast + he has INDEED become a laughing stock. Read the blogs! The man is a complete moron + will eventually get what he deserves at the end of the day.

BTW - micke_ch, I'm STILL waiting for a public apology from you in connection with your irresponsible + defamatory comments. You evidently want this type of juvenile behavior to continue by ignoring my request to resolve this on an amicable basis.

March 1, 2007 4:53 PM Posted by mike_ch

Leonard, I'm sorry I offended you with my comment that was meant purely in jest although wasn't written in the kindest of spirits. I can't take any responsibility for your claims of defamation though, you could use such admissions against me. However, I was never seriously trying to declare that you read building specs on the backs of cocktail napkins. I thought the reader could discern the sarcasm.

So I hope you'll accept that this "stupid f*ck" didn't really mean to hurt any feelings with his silly namecalling. Perhaps now we can return to more fortunate days, the days before this regretful namecalling, back to talking about how Steve Wynn is an off the handle egomaniac?

March 1, 2007 5:43 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

mike_ch: OK, I accept your apology, although I do not agree with the fact that your previous, specific comments were simply meant in "jest", however, let's now put this entire episode behind us in favor of moving forward with the intent to offer constructive discourse here from both of our own opposing viewpoints. Did I read you response correctly, whereby you actually concur that "Steve Wynn is an off the handle egomaniac"? If that is indeed your personal POV, what the f*ck are we arguing over anyways?

March 1, 2007 7:29 PM Posted by mike_ch

Actually, that was a combination of terms you've used for Wynn, although more and more as I discover the "delicious experience" of WLV the more I find myself unable to disagree with you about the design team as well as Steve's ego, which seems to permeate the place.

March 1, 2007 7:47 PM Posted by John

Well, as everyone knows chocolate is quite "DELICIOUS" ;-)

I do agree with both of you in that WLV can be a tad bit garrish in certain spots. However, like I've posted before, certain restaurants (like DB Brasserie) and public spaces (Tower Suites and the rotundas in the Esplanade {i'm a fan of the apricot "clouds"}) are well designed and elegant.

The one question I'm asked quite often by family, though, is this. What is the point of having so much red, black, browns, and golds in the casino at WLV? I don't know if you might have some insight Leonard, but I've always considered the answer was the large Asian customer base. I mean, red, blacks, and golds are quite prevalant in Asian art and I've been wondering if that is in fact that answer.

March 1, 2007 9:33 PM Posted by mike_ch

As far as gold in the casino goes, I can chime in just a small remark and say that every place that was owned at any point by Wynn would buy their machines with the metal elements (front panel, speakers, handles if any, etc) in gold instead of their usual chrome. Since the buyout, MGM has mostly continued this practice at Mirage properties, although Landry's has discontinued it at the Golden Nugget and so now there's a mix of gold and chrome machines.

Wynn is overall pickier about it than anyone else is, though. If you notice, you never see any machines that can't offer that service, while IIRC Bellagio has a fair number.

March 3, 2007 8:27 AM Posted by mike_j

It's getting ugly..

March 3, 2007 2:22 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

mike_ch, I never thought that I would ever live to hear the day when you would utter such positive remarks, after hundreds of exchanges here, you are actually in favor of [my] POV when it comes to opinions re Wynn + how he has elected to run (or should I say ruin) his gaming operation empire). Kudos to you for at least recognizing opposing opinions such as mine which represents established facts, both objective + subjective, regardless of your own personal viewpoints + admiration for Steve. As far as THE sanctioned Chinese "lucky color" is concerned, for many, many centuries it has always been 'CHINESE RED'. I do not believe that Thomas' use of gold + red in designing the interiors of WLV was significantly influenced by Chinese culture when you consider that most of the place is adorned in dark chocolate brown tones, both throughout the public spaces + the tower suites, etc. BTW - Joel [Bergman] is using the SAME out-of-date exterior gold reflective exterior glazing he specified on (Trump (I + II), Mirage the multiple Sig Towers @ MGM Grand, the proposed THEplace @ Mandalay Bay), not only has he spec'd this crap on Landry's brand new Golden Nugget future tower expansion, but also in the re-skinning of the existing (original) G.N. towers as well. Maybe Joel should have considered reflective "RED" window wall instead, after all, Tony [Marnell] originally used it on a limited basis when he built the [his] final phase for the Rio tower expansion. I'm not quite sure that the G.N will be attracting a significant number of Chinese "whales" which Steve hopes will substantially add to WYNN's bottom line in spades! Hell, MGM Grand (II) went with that hideous green curtain wall (further accentuated at night by intense bright green spotlights) just to be different, maybe it's time for a bright all-RED relective glass tower! Imagie if Wynn relpaced the hideous existing WLV tower window wall + the future Encore tower glazing in bright red reflective glass assuming that it will at least incorporate "well designed" mullion/sprandrel detailing (he needs to hire SOM for that). Anyways, he would attract more Chinese "whales" coming to Vegas than his joint in Macau simply based on the exterior color of the building itself! :-)

March 3, 2007 4:27 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

mike_j: This is only the beginning to how "ugly" the outcome of the whole Wynn situation will eventually become long-term. There are a whole lot of similar, confirmed so-called "shocking" news events coming in the very near future [re WYNN] since the media has obviously been reluctant to report (on a real-time basis) what's really going on over there without first making sure they confirm their sources via every avaliable avenue, I would otherwise take great delight if I were able to be the first to report various, not so flattering news, that will significantly have a serious negative impact on the future operations of Wynn Resorts, Ltd. in a very big way! We all need to be patient + sit back + watch the 'sparks fly' in short order. I'm not at liberty to reveal my information, however, I really would LOVE to be the first one to take credit for "spilling the beans", however, I'm NOT that stupid havng been through this with him in the past.. I'm really not prepared for another personal assaultive lawsuit from Steve.

March 3, 2007 5:22 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

mike_j: Sorry, I have been multi-tasking here all day + I failed to mention in my previous post that David McKees's piece in today's Business PRESS which you provided the direct link to, is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the "TURMOIL at WYNN". Excellent post BTW (I actually missed it myself), all of which continues to support my prediction(s) that Steve Wynn's days are numbered.

I have to give this journalist [McKee] tremendous credit for having the balls to expose the apparent illegal activities + suspect practices that continue to plague WLV, from top management all the way down to the floor frontline personnel. Steve's recent irrational/questionable behavior, a la Britney Spears, could possibly be the result of imminent mental illness + when combinded with the fact that he is now nearly totally blind, this is a reasonably good indication that he needs to be removed as CEO of WYNN before he suffers a complete nervous breakdown that will certainly not be in the best interest of its shareholders. The Nevada Gaming Commission requires specific procedures of checks + balances to insure the integrity of cash revenues/tips under supervision of + custody of those assigned with the position of tracking + reporting each + every dollar the house collects. I can't wait for Steve to end up losing his gaming license + potentiallly be facing civil charges from the SEC + possible criminal prosecution by the Justice Department. Don't say I didn't warn you guys that "Something is Rotten in Denmark" when it comes to Wynn's method of doing business!

March 3, 2007 9:37 PM Posted by mike_ch

Don't count me as fully converted yet, Leonard. I still like Bellagio (especially since MGM has now proved that they're willing to step up to running it like an actual contender instead of letting it slide on it's location/name) and I'm still a little concerned that PCC looks a little too much like any other city's tower cluster, but seeing the actual building rise out of the ground it looks more like a resort than any of the concepts did, so I'm optimistic.

I've said my opinions a lot of times already, though: At Bellagio, Steve built a hotel that catered to the market (even if you want to argue he couldn't run it for beans, then fine.) But at WLV he built a hotel to appeal to his own specifications and seems determined to build himself as a brand. Donald Trump does this a lot and he's a public laughingstock for it. No matter what you think of his buildings, he's a terrible business figure and I think he and Steve deserve each other.

I think Adelson is a pretty cocky/smug dude, but at least I don't have to see Sheldon's Megabucks machines at the Venetian.