Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

August 18, 2009

Encore Las Vegas: 'Switch Beach Club' Coming Q2-2010

Posted by Hunter

As we've previously reported, Encore Las Vegas is looking at replacing the Las Vegas Strip porte-cochere with a new pool complex, tentatively named the 'Switch Beach Club'.

This rendering was presented tonight to the Clark County Planning Commission:

The complex should be open for next year's Summer season.

Some recent photos of this area: Exterior 1, Exterior 2, Exterior 3, Construction Exterior.

Thanks to @mtc for the higher-res image.


Read archived comments (40 so far)
August 18, 2009 9:40 PM Posted by JK

Switch Beach Club, eh? I wonder if the outside will change or something. Can anyone make out what it says under the Encore sign? I hope it doesn't say Beach Club.
I'm still wondering how and where the pedestrians will enter the casino.
I think to make better sense of it all, I would rather have a layout than a rendering (which in my opinion looks a little disappointing. It almost echoes Palazzo)
And while before I stayed at Encore I thought that the pool was too small, when I stayed there for the first time I was pleasantly surprised that despite the hotel being full (it was incredibly busy for the entire week I was there, and I'm talking everywhere on the strip. I actually said to myself, "What recession?") you could still find seats and the intimacy of it was actually more relaxing than Palazzo (where I stayed for the third or fourth time because of comps at the tail end of my trip).

August 18, 2009 9:53 PM Posted by Tom M.

Did they say if there were going to be changes to the restaurant. Where are the pools? And where is the hotel tower in relation to the rendering? Doesn't look like much at this point, would love to see a layout too.

August 18, 2009 9:55 PM Posted by Hunter

They said basically nothing in the hearing. I have asked Wynn PR about the changes to the atrium and restaurants.

The Encore tower would be to the left, Wynn parking garage and tower to the right. This is a profile as if standing across the street.

August 18, 2009 10:43 PM Posted by John

Kinda dull.

August 18, 2009 11:52 PM Posted by mike_ch

This is about all there was, folks. The rest of it was a bunch of government speak you wouldn't know much about, one mention of Treasure Island somewhere in there in relation to some undefined bullet point from a previous meeting, and a bunch of "you called it a high roller porte-cochere but we call it a west porte-cochere, we ARE talking about the same thing, yeah?"

This was placed on the table and captured by the overhead camera for about three seconds. And that's all there was.

But, if you care, my knowledge of massage parlours has increased tenfold after this meeting.

August 19, 2009 4:27 AM Posted by detroit1051

Mike, I struggled to stay awake, watching the live feed Eastern Time but finally dozed off when they just couldn't get beyond the massage parlors.
The video of the proceedings is online this morning, and it was pretty non-controversial. Wynn's representative did object to a civil engineering report which dealt with the eventual widening of Las Vegas Blvd. The commissioners removed those concerns from their discussion, and all agreed that the road widening impact on structures needs to be addressed if and when the Strip begins such a project. Widening of the Strip would really affect all hotels/casinos and could be very disruptive. However, I wonder if it will happen in my lifetime.
Here's the link to the Wynn portion of the meeting. It starts at 1 hour, 37 minutes.

August 19, 2009 7:25 AM Posted by Brian Fey

I wonder if this would be an indoor pool area? That's what Encore had planned originally. They then changed from an indoor pool, to an outdoor pool. But from this picture, it looks like a enclosed structure. Its possible, this is just the outer wall on the Strip, and we are seeing the back of the cabana's. I'd love to see an indoor complex, that can be used year around. You won't see many people partying at XS in the pool section, come January. Very curious to see what happens.

August 19, 2009 9:07 AM Posted by jay

This image doesn't do anything for Encore, and as someone said it looks like a Palazzo extension. Wynn needs to be creative and start thinking more. having this beach club isnt the right answer, and will only ruin Tryst and XS in my opinion.

August 19, 2009 9:50 AM Posted by Brian Fey

Jay, I don't want to call somebody out, or stir the pot, so to speak. But XS is the top club in town. Tryst was #1 before that. I can't be sure how much business XS has taken from Tryst, but I am told Tryst is still doing very well. So if we assume, they have at least one, and possibly two of the top places in town. Wynn has proven after a few bumps in the road, that they can deliver on owning and operating the best clubs in town, with Drai's leadership or course. So i just think you are extending yourself very far out on a limb, to say that this "will ruin Tryst and XS" If XS makes more money than Encore's casino currently does, and I'm not saying that's the case, but honestly it might be close at this point, then adding yet another highly successful club, might indeed be the answer. As a long time shareholder of Wynn Resorts, I think I speak for the rest of the shareholders, when I say, we want Wynn to make money. I don't care how he does it. Casino, nightclubs, or by offering underwater basket weaving classes. Profit is profit, we'll take it, anyway we can get it. Also, it could drive major foot traffic to the Encore casino. XS can easily be accessed from Wynn, and allowing the customers to completely by pass the Encore property, and many do. By positioning a new highly successful club in the main Encore structure, rather than the connecting hallway, they force the customer to see, and experience Encore. There is no way this won't add substantial foot traffic in Encore, which XS has not done. With almost every major hotel Wynn has built, he's gone back and corrected what he felt were major flaws. Every time he has corrected them, the correction has proven highly successful. No the Wynn bashers, will argue that an expert like him shouldn't make such mistakes, but I'll argue, that at least he sees them, and fixes them. I'll take that over a LVS or MGM, who just leaves the problems there to be a thorn in their side for years to come.

August 19, 2009 10:06 AM Posted by parchedearth

I think there are several things we can gleen from the renderings.
1) they are eliminating the strip entrance which nobody used anyway since there is almost no sidewalk traffic in that area.
2) It appears to match the present height of the casino. (2 stories) I think the dome in the rendering may be the current conservatory.
3) no major external "features/attractions" are planned. If any, they would be internal like the waterfalls at Wynn.
4) from a construction perspective, they can block this area off and guests would never know it was happening.

My guess is it will include: a) outdoor european pool w/ bar and cabanas, b) nightclub that extends into the pool area at night, c) expansion or extension of Switch (hopefully adding lunch service on a poolside patio and moving the bar to within the restaurant), d) expansion of the high limit area (moving the bar within the area and adding a high limit lounge)

August 19, 2009 10:23 AM Posted by jay

My point Brian is simple. How many clubs/pools can one hotel have without taking away from the others. It's like City Center opening up, its gonna take people away from MGM,wynn, venetian properties, basically Canabilzing itself. Wynn needs to figure out whats gonna be the allure for the next 10 years or so. I think hes done a great job with Tryst and XS, both as u said are the top clubs in town, hands down. But do u need to add another and dilute yourself more. If u dont believe that will happen, ENCORE is a big waste and eating at WYNN. he even said in an interview that he built ENCORE at the wrong time. But as you know its hard to stop once u begin the project. But Encore is one big leech to Wynn and its restaurants, gaming, etc.. the only good thing Encore has is XS. Damn, thats a costly nightclub err.. i mean hotel to have ( $1 billion) and operate ;)

August 19, 2009 11:14 AM Posted by steve_c

Interesting. It looks like they are keeping the dome over the current driveway.

August 19, 2009 12:31 PM Posted by parchedearth

Much of the adverse commentary seems to focus on the single issue of whether another nightclub is warranted. However, I believe this modification can be justified because it provides an opportunity for Steve to address quite a few issues which in combination are worthwhile. Today's Sun article on "How Clubs were Punished" actually discusses several county codes which should be considered. For example, topless pools cannot be within view of the normal pool areas (this is currently a problem at Encore). Also, I believe the gaming commission is concerned with clubs that exit directly into the casino. A new club may provide alternative exits to the strip and parking garage.
There are also noise and traffic flow benefits; not to mention the opportunity to correct what I view as design flaws with the locations of the Switch and high limit bars.

August 19, 2009 1:16 PM Posted by David McKee

What are the ramifications for the conservatory? It's hard to see how Wynn puts this new club/pool in w/o gutting the conservatory in order to provide access. But I hope to be proven wrong.

August 19, 2009 7:20 PM Posted by Mike E

Have to agree completely with David. Months before Encore opened, Wynn kept talking up the wall of glass on the east end of the casino. Well, they put a sunken bar in the way and pretty much blocked most the views in that direction unless you are actually drinking in the lounge. On the other hand, the atrium on the west end is, to me anyway, even beyond Steve Wynn superlatives. It gives Encore a day time casino vibe that is simply unmatched. If this atrium were altered in any way, I'd be very upset.

Personally, I think this hardly has anything to do with revenue generated by another club (which I doubt will be anything near the level of XS or even Tryst, but more like another Blush). As has been mentioned previously, the intent here is to give Encore a solid, separate identity from Wynn and creating a "Beach Club" directly out onto the edge of the strip is the best chance they've got.

August 19, 2009 8:04 PM Posted by mike_ch

When WLV opened, Wynn did an interview with one of the channels here and was asked about George Maloof and his clubs and lounges. Wynn said that he was aiming for the Palms crowds' parents, and when the Palms crowd gets a little older they might acquire a taste for Wynn.

So, yeah...

Again, to me it's that there's SO many party pits in Encore already. If they didn't have any cocktail waitresses I could see covering every wall with a bartop. Or if they were the size of MGM Grand, where not every bar needs to be packed but there needs to be plenty of them because the casino is so big.

It's not MGM Grand size, MGM Grand makes it look like a shoebox. That's supposed to be part of the charm, anyhow, but with waitresses running around and lounges and bars and now you've got all of this beach thing and you're really telling me there's such a demand for booze and nightlife as to saturate the place with another nightclub in addition to the largest one on the street?

Do I like these places? No. Do I speak of them somewhat derisively because they aren't for me? Yes. However, I think any independent observer would agree with the conclusion that Encore is quickly turning into a hotel attached to clubs and bars. I mean, they're not adding anything else. They haven't taken out Switch despite the negative reviews (and there's plenty) and done something else with that. The only additions since opening has been more bars and now a second club.

That young, single money just isn't there like it was a few years ago. I think Wynn jumped on the Palms thing a little too late, but even if he didn't this isn't the kind of place I'd want to vacation at. I guess somebody would.

August 19, 2009 8:13 PM Posted by JK

I'm starting to like this less and less. The Beach Club wouldn't be a bad idea for a new Steve Wynn property, but it just doesn't seem right for Encore. The west atrium is my favourite part of Encore and if anything happens to it...
It just doesn't seem worth the cost and effort (and let's not forget the risk) that it will take to put in something that (as Mike E said) would be like another Blush.
Taking out the atrium and even restricting pedestrian access would probably kill Encore rather than up its status.

I vote that Steve just leaves Encore the way it is (although it can have its Corsa, La Bete, ect.) and starts working fresh on the golf course project. But the golf course has to have more of a distinguishing factor about it than "natural light" and "a park". I hope he dumps the red carpets because people will always think of Wynn (the casino) when they see the red carpets. I've always thought the design was great, but the colour seemed a little tacky in my opinion. They need to use a different carpet or they could wind up with another Encore where people say it just looks like a newer version of Wynn. As much as I love Encore, please bring something NEW to the table other than the light sources that you're going to use!

August 20, 2009 2:22 AM Posted by Arthur

Im thinking that dome in that rendering is the current dome of the Encore atrium conservatory.Im thinking Wynn will scrap the atrium completely, and then replace it with an indoor beach club that will take the entire current area of the atrium, and the restaurants surrounding the current atrium will have views of the indoor beach. Of course, Switch is the nearest restaurant to the indoor beach, so its natural to codename it as that.

August 20, 2009 6:13 AM Posted by Brian Fey

I really, really, don't see them scraping atrium completely. I'd be shocked.

August 20, 2009 7:25 AM Posted by sean

It seems all this speculation is not necessarily a good thing for Wynn, so they had better hurry up and just spill the beans. I'm there for 4 nights in a week. I'll see what I can find out.

August 20, 2009 8:05 AM Posted by jay

I just think the whole thing will turn out to be a bust. I dont like it and Wynn is usually ahead of the curve, not behind it. This wont bring more people to Encore and really isn't the "attraction" he needs to put there to lure people in. Its like adding a Hard Rock Pool to your property minus the Rehab party's, I hope. I sometimes think that just like with Vegas as a whole, You run out of ideas and Wynn seems to have hit that wall now. I hope not, but dont see this bringing in the type of revenue he wants.

August 20, 2009 8:38 AM Posted by Jinx

The one thing I continually seem to hear about in these discussions is how XS is the best, by default it's the newest club and if you look at the history of the clubs in Vegas, best is typically defined by newest. Fact is as soon as one of the others remodel or rename, they are just as likely to be the best. Nightclub crowds are finicky and gravitate to the 'newest' thing 'best' is a relative term for them and definitely not used in the same sense of those who don't go to clubs.

Does that mean XS or Tryst won't make money after a new club or redesign/name comes to pass? Of course not, if they can establish a base, they'll continue to make money and at some point re-design as well (which is money off the top for reinvestment). But bottom line, if the business model is we are going to build more clubs because we have the best one and that's how we are going to make money is the plan, I'd be cautious in thinking it's the 'best' way to go.

August 20, 2009 2:08 PM Posted by Andy

I agree that the Strip entrance to Encore is pretty much wasted space at this point, but another club...I don't know. If Steve Wynn's inspiration for Encore is that it'll be a place for the beautiful young people and the older, rich people who want to be around beautiful young people, that leaves 30-somethings like me looking for another hotel. I'm not old, and I don't want to be vomitted on by the spray-tanned LA kids.

I wasn't exactly over-the-moon for Encore when I was there in June, and the last thing I thought it needed was another place to drink or play loud music.

More importantly, is creating a loud party-barge of a luxury hotel a viable long-term strategy? As much as I admire much of the design of Encore, the gaming floor is an afterthought. For all the talk of the natural light and the views, if you're at a blackjack table you're facing the slot machines or other tables. You can hear the fun going on behind you at the bars and restaurants and the inclination is to get up and join the party.

As the economy improves, gambling revenue will come back. At least it seems like it would. Then again, I may just have officially passed over into premature grouchy old-fogeyhood.

August 21, 2009 2:17 AM Posted by Arthur

Wynn stated that he is kinda obessed with nightclubs and beach clubs now, because he visited St. Tropaz and they have that kind of scene there, so, Im guessing he is trying to replicate St. Tropaz?

August 21, 2009 6:41 AM Posted by jay

It wouldnt surprise me Art, if Wynn got this idea visiting somewhere. The whole point is its not gonna do much for the bottom line or attracting new visitors. He usually has a vision that no one else has, this is not a new vision rather something thats been done over and over again in Vegas and hes behind the curve with it!

August 21, 2009 10:55 AM Posted by Jay

I have been thinking about this and its alittle off topic but still pertains to wynn and its shareholders (which I am), but Cramer has been pumping WYNN since the beginning of July saying it will go to $70 and thats the value with a Macao IPO. Now Cramer knows alot of CEO's and is close with many on the inside, like it or not. He uses people and people use him. So my thinking is Steve Wynn asked him to pump Wynn up since Steve and Elaine Wynn liquadated some WYNN Stock last week ( perhaps pertaining to pending divorce) Coincidence?

August 22, 2009 3:42 AM Posted by LeoNYC

Steve is also seriously thinking about coming to New York.

August 22, 2009 10:36 AM Posted by JK

I'm surprised that he hasn't started talking about the nightclub in New York already. Maybe he'll call it XL. Seems to fit with the name theme that he had going with XS. In all seriousness though, I like the idea of wynn in New York, another reason for me to get out there someday.

August 22, 2009 3:42 PM Posted by Mike E

XL's a great name, but won't work. You'd be surprised how many yelp reviewers thought "XS" stood for "Extra Small". I'll refrain from any XL jokes.

August 22, 2009 9:22 PM Posted by JK

My point exactly with XL, Mike E. Switch Beach Club seems a little uncreative after Tryst and XS. The whole concept seems really uncreative. Sorry Mr. Wynn but Encore is not Hard Rock and I don't see why you are trying to Make it be so, even if it is all about money. I believe I made that point with XS before Encore opened. Then again, XS is a huge hit for the time being. I really hope I am proven wrong about this Switch Beach Club.

August 23, 2009 11:10 PM Posted by mike_ch

Mike: XS isn't a bad name, it's just not marketed well by choice. Steve Wynn loves to market stuff as "the (thing) at (name of hotel)" with no catchphrase, no background, no nothing. He likes a black background, a logo, and as little letters as possible.

O's tagling was "The Show at Bellagio." Le Reve marketing (at least at first) ended with Steve saying "the show at Wynn Las Vegas" as a tagline. In 2005 they had a billboard when you were driving out of town that was just the Wynn logo and the words "Next time..."


Problem is, you can't really get people to understand XS with understatement. They need ads that say something like "If you're going to party, party with XS" or "Vegas: All About XS" so that people see XS as "excess" instead of "Extra Small."

When a Disney used that name for the sci-fi Alien Encounter ride, they had commercials that said things like "If you can't do it with XS, it's not worth doing at all." and the tagline "seize the future with XS." It helped establish that you're supposed to read it like "excess."

Lest I suggest that billionaires could learn from an amusement park ride, Wynn Resorts' tastefully low-key advertising, usually consisting of an XS logo and an Encore logo sitting next to each other on a billboard or on the jumbotron, don't hammer the meaning behind the name.

Customers need to be guided along and somebody in the company thought the customers are more witty or perceptive than they really are.

August 24, 2009 9:56 PM Posted by Doug

The name might change before the club opens - who knows...

Also, Wynn/Encore together is a large casino and I think Wynn looks at it as one casino anyway. An example: Wynn/Encore has a total of 15 crap tables and the MGM only has 10. (Oddly enough, the blackjack rules at Encore are a little worse at the lower limits than Wynn and I can't figure out why. Of course, Bellagio still has the best overall blackjack in town).

Anyway, I still think the club is a good idea.

August 28, 2009 6:19 AM Posted by detroit1051

The Beach Club proposal moves to the Zoning Committee on September 2 in its next step toward getting all approvals. No roadblocks are expected.

At the same meeting, Treaure Island is appearing to present its plans for an outside bar/restaurant on the Strip at the south end of the property:
"The outside dining area is 3,321
square feet which includes an outside bar, and is in conjunction with a proposed 10,885 square
foot restaurant/bar interior to the resort hotel."
"Proposed" interior restaurant? Is this something new or replacing an existing restaurant? I can't figure it out from the property map:

August 28, 2009 7:23 AM Posted by Hunter

I believe that TI change is the new Gilley's joint that Ruffin told Steve Friess about a few months back.

I could be wrong but I think the spot between the porte-cochere and the walkway to the Siren's show is where this is going to be done. Repurposing existing space.

August 28, 2009 8:48 AM Posted by mike_ch

Detroit, Hunter: I originally thought it to come out of the wall somewhere in the building to the right edge of this picture:

Thing is, I don't know where it will begin. People expect them to take out Mist but there's Francesco's and a lot of pirate show stuff (pretty important stuff, too, the blast doors) between there and you'd need an odd shaped property.

I'm starting to think that Frencesco's will close down for this. They've now got signs outside boasting an earlier open, though.

August 28, 2009 8:50 AM Posted by Hunter

Yeah, I think you're right about the spot.

There's some bell desk/luggage storage stuff inside that area - perhaps that will be moved and some of the other space re-configured. Hard to tell.

August 31, 2009 7:24 PM Posted by briguyx

I remember reading a quote from Wynn about how lower room rates meant he was getting a different crowd than he had built the hotel for. So a second pool area would give him the best of both worlds: one for the older crowd and one for the partyers, plus he could go after the Wet Republic/Rehab business...

September 13, 2009 7:04 AM Posted by detroit1051

"Norm" has a few details on Beach Club. Opening is Summer 2010. I doubted the original Spring projection. Also, I had expected Victor Drai to operate it. That's not the case:

September 13, 2009 12:03 PM Posted by Changes5

Say goodbye to the Atrium and High Limit Slots area.

September 30, 2009 11:26 PM Posted by 0oooo

I think another nightclub in that location would be good for traffic flow in the casino. considering the lines and cover charges at XS, they easily could market a more subdued place below that. I love the feel of the Encore casino, but it lacks action people wise.. even on a saturday night. On my stay over labor day weekend Wynn casino always seemed much busier than Encore. The flow of people into XS definitely was heavy from Wynn side. The atrium side of the casino is damn near dead most of the time, a shame since its probably the most stunning area of the resort. There's just nothing to pull people over there. Yea, a beach club or nightclub might bring a few barfing 21 year olds around.. but I think Wynn has rightfully adapted to the fact that Encore will not be $300 a night enclave for the rich, and he has to reach out to a larger audience.