Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

Steve Friess chats up Steve Wynn for this weeks The Strip Podcast and there is no shortage of great quotes, particularly near the end when he gets into Adelson's claim that at one point he had offered Wynn a job.

I assume the show will be posted sometime Thursday. It's certainly worth a listen, along with a few bits on Encore and the Binkley book, "Winner Takes All".


Read archived comments (10 so far)
April 3, 2008 9:20 AM Posted by Brian Fey

I can't wait, I look very forward to hearing these. Its amazing just how many interviews Steve seems to land with Wynn, and even more amazing, is how much Wynn tends to tell him at times.

April 3, 2008 10:20 AM Posted by David McKee

When did Adelson make this claim? To coin a phrase, inquiring minds want to know. (Besides, I've been distracted by Adelson going nuclear on Terry Lanni, MGM Mirage, Atlantic City, etc., etc.)

April 3, 2008 10:30 AM Posted by Hunter

I believe the job claim was in the episode of The Strip that was posted around the time of Palazzo's opening in January.

April 3, 2008 11:34 AM Posted by detroit1051

Speaking of Adelson, George Will wrote a column about him in the Washington Post.
"The upper end is never vulnerable."

"Whales, in the language of Las Vegas, are, Adelson says, those who can win or lose $3 million in one stay. There are only a few thousand whales in the world, but they are multiplying fast in China -- thank you, People's Republic. Adelson says that when 60,000 people a day are gambling at Macao's Venetian, 40 percent of the casino's revenue comes from 59,700 of them, and 60 percent from 300 others, probably including three to eight whales. In the Venetian here, 20 percent of the gamblers provide 80 percent of the revenue. Business cycles do not dent Adelson's confidence that the rich will always be with us: "The upper end is never vulnerable."

April 3, 2008 1:14 PM Posted by dan kane

David: here's the link to the report at the time about Adelson's Wynn thing. Steve also reran the audio of that bit during this week's show.

Also, Steve does a damn fine job of cutting Christina Binkley's book to shreds. Check out his newest blog post. Yikes. I'm glad I'm not in Steve's warpath...

April 4, 2008 4:00 AM Posted by BrianFey

Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill. Shedlon, didn't exactly offer Wynn a job, as Steve Friess said. Aldelson clearly said, I told Steve maybe, he should come and work with me, helping me build mystique in my hotels. He never said, he wanted to hire him to come and build hotels for him. Steve Friess was just stirring the pot here, to make headlines, and get a rise out of Steve Wynn. This is a classic situation on how this crap gets started, and boils into a much bigger story, than it ever should.

April 4, 2008 11:35 AM Posted by Steve Friess

Now, Brian, I'm hurt. In the case of the Adelson conversation, there was another section of the discussion that I wasn't able to play (partly because Adelson went off-record on something else and I couldn't excavate the relevant material) that made it more clear that Adelson, indeed, claims that the origin of their feud was that he offered Wynn a job and Wynn was offended by the suggestion. At one point Adelson says it was a joke but wasn't taken that way, in another part he said he was serious. Either way, his claim is that Wynn took it seriously and was offended. And Wynn says that any which way, such a discussion never happened.

You gotta have a little faith in me; I show the public more of my cards than just about any journalist I know.

April 4, 2008 11:42 AM Posted by Hunter


My imperfect recollection, and I can't remember the sources, was that the story was that Adelson *did* offer him a job, just like Friess said in this recent Wynn interview...

I would assume that Friess, with the notes and having the benefit of actually doing the interview, probably knows what was said and what was meant so I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt on this one.


April 4, 2008 1:09 PM Posted by David McKee

Interesting. The time The Mirage opened, in 1989, would roughly coincide with Sheldon Adelson's falling-out with his right-hand casino man, Henri Lewin (the timeline in Jeff Burbank's "License to Steal" is somewhat fuzzy) so it might -- just might -- have occurred to Adelson to offer this promising young whelp [/irony] Steve Wynn a position in his growing Las Vegas operation.

All of this is pure hypothesis. Also, given Adelson's somewhat Sheldon-centric world view, he might not have perceived making such an offer to Wynn as condescension (assuming, of course, that the incident ever took place). The whole thing sounded implausible to me at first, but I'm keeping an open mind now.

April 4, 2008 6:47 PM Posted by Brian Fey

Steve I realize I might not have heard all of what you heard. I will say on the part you made public at least, it sounded very much joking, and at least the part I heard, he was saying Wynn could help him build mystery and mistique, not build and operate hotels for him. Don't worry, not a big deal one way or the other. I can't say why, but I think I could listen to Steve Wynn read the dictionary. I listen to him anytime I can, and I love your interviews with him, and how you do them on an ongoing basis, not just a one time interview. You and Steve seem to really click, and it always amazes me just how much he tells you. So don't be hurt, I love your work on Wynn, and look forward to each and every call your broadcast on him, no matter how small. I just thought that part of the story was a tad bit misrepresented to Wynn based off of just the part that I heard. I look forward to meeting you as well as Hunter at the Grand Opening of Encore. I know each of you works hard to keep up your sites, with littel financial reward, but know for those of us who love Vegas as much as you guys do, its very much appreciated.