Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

February 23, 2010

UPDATED: Wynn Resorts To Enter Pennsylvania Market

Posted by Hunter

In a much rumored development, Wynn Resorts has announced that they are slated to become the managing partner for the casino project slated for the Philadelphia waterfront.

This is a slap for New Jersey and is potentially another significant nail in Atlantic City's coffin.

Here's a little more from the local media:

What's not clear is how much, if any, design influence Wynn Design and Development would have over the project. It's hard to imagine Wynn putting their name on something they didn't design or at least make-over. Time will tell.

UPDATE: Here's the Web site for the project as originally envisioned, including some renderings:


Read archived comments (47 so far)
February 23, 2010 1:39 PM Posted by David McKee

A few years back, the so-called Penn Praxis study took serious issue with the design of Foxwoods, likening it to a big-box retail store. There were also some infrastructure-related beefs. With that in mind, the City of Philadelphia will probably, uh, *encourage* Foxwoods to heed any design input from Wynn it can get.

February 23, 2010 1:46 PM Posted by Brian Fey

And I was just thinking about that. Will their name even be on it? If they are just managing the property, their may be no mention of their name? This also isn't good news for LVS. Their PA project isn't terribly far from this, but Wynn's is in a MUCH better location, being half way in between NYNY and Washington DC. Perhaps Wynn did this to take another jab at his good friend Sheldon. :) Detail, Details, I want more details, perhaps we'll get them on the call in a few days, and perhaps we wont, either.

February 23, 2010 1:50 PM Posted by Dave

This makes it official, then: Wynn is never going to return to Atlantic City. I'd been hoping however illogically that he'd buy the Pinnacle tract or the erstwhile MGM Grand site, but this rules that out.

That he chose to get involved with Philly, which has much higher tax rates, over AC speaks volumes about the problems "down the shore."

February 23, 2010 2:11 PM Posted by detroit1051

Brian, oh, no. Wynn's pr has a typo. :)
It's PEDP, not PDEP.
"...letter of intent with Philadelphia Entertainment and Development Partners, LP (PEDP), providing that an affiliate of Wynn will become the manager and managing general partner in the PDEP casino project..."

February 23, 2010 2:35 PM Posted by David McKee

Since Wynn will have control of 51% of the investment, I'd bet my copy of "Cult Vegas" he's going to put his name on it. And if I were one of the investors, I'd want that brand equity up there in big letters. This casino isn't out of the (fox)woods yet but SugarHouse actually has something to worry about for the first time.

February 23, 2010 2:37 PM Posted by Brian Fey

We got any local Phily readers on this site? I want to know the exact status of this project. Is this just a blank piece of land, or is this casino already under construction? Is it already built, and just not open?

February 23, 2010 2:38 PM Posted by detroit1051

This is getting exciting. If Wynn controls 51%, I'm sure he will use his design expertise. Since construction hasn't started(?), he can start with a clean sheet of paper and really beautify the riverfront area. The property is 16.5 acres, and the original plan was for a 3.7 million sq ft facility. This will be a major development. Hope we learn more tomorrow and certainly by March 3.

February 23, 2010 3:36 PM Posted by detroit1051

PA taxes casinos 55% on gross revenue. Wynn and other operators can compensate for the high rate with lower slot payback percentages. Now that PA has approved tables, it will be a huge market. I was quite impressed with Harrah's slot warehouse at the track in Chester when I was there last year. Philly Park just opened a new, bigger casino at their track. Steve Wynn will do just fine as long as he has control. This could be the crown jewel of Philadelphia.

February 23, 2010 6:15 PM Posted by DLOfromDC

Huge news! Should be great for the PA gaming market, bad for NJ and AC, and a solid investment for the company. Only a 2 hour drive from me...I hope Steve works some magic! What are the PA casino smoking laws?

February 23, 2010 6:33 PM Posted by mike_ch

Smoking is initially limited to 25% of the floor in PA. After operating for three months, a casino can request the regulatory board to expand smoking to as much as 50% of the floor.

February 23, 2010 7:34 PM Posted by Brian Fey

I hope it does have the Wynn name on it, because if it does, i'm sure it will be a wonderful place. Wynn wouldn't put his name on a mediocre property. He's reserving the Wynn name only for properties of the highest caliber. I didn't see myself going to Phily anytime in this decade, but I suppose that might be changing.

February 23, 2010 8:43 PM Posted by Hunter

I have work in Philadelphia and typically visit 1-2 times a year.

I can't wait to stay in a Wynn hotel there, far more exciting than the crap I usually have to deal with.

February 23, 2010 8:44 PM Posted by atdleft

Brian F-

Same here! This actually makes me want to go to Philly... Or at least take a detour for a couple days when I have a chance to head to NYC. I'm also hoping this will be a Wynn signature resort, as this will really class up the PA gaming scene and give Sheldon Adelson a total run for his money. hehe ;-)


March 3? Really? Steve Wynn will be announcing this on my b-day? :-D

February 23, 2010 10:31 PM Posted by Tom M

I live just outside of philly. I will definitely be taking pictures and following construction if Wynn is involved. I am not optimistic that it will be soon. There is a tremendous resistance to these projects within the neighborhoods and given the current economy, I don't see anything breaking ground soon. However, maybe Wynn can work some magic. Can't wait to find out more.

February 24, 2010 3:48 AM Posted by detroit1051 fleshed out the story. Wynn's name will be on the building, and it will be high-end. Six Wynn execs ready to relocate? Wonder how they feel about that. An "affiliate" of Wynn will develop property. Does this minimize risk for Wynn Resorts?

February 24, 2010 3:57 AM Posted by detroit1051

LV Sun talks about how tax rate won't be a deterrent and explains lower rate for table games.

February 24, 2010 6:42 AM Posted by Brian Fey

I missed something somewhere. What's March 3rd?

February 24, 2010 11:09 AM Posted by detroit1051

March 3 is the deadline the state gave Foxwoods to present a revised plan:
"On Jan. 27, the seven-member Gaming Control Board gave the Foxwoods partners an ultimatum: Present a new design and financing details that are acceptable to the board - or risk losing your license.
Those plans will be presented to the board at a hearing in Harrisburg next Wednesday."

February 24, 2010 11:38 AM Posted by Tim

Thats great news for Philly! If only he could have bought the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. I live there and that place sucks!

February 24, 2010 2:12 PM Posted by Jeff in OKC

Hunter, baby. Surely you got enough stuff for a Vegas Gang podcast! I'm missing the punditry. It's getting bad. Think of someone beside yourself!!! :-)



February 24, 2010 2:19 PM Posted by Hunter

We're planning on doing one this week.

February 24, 2010 7:24 PM Posted by atdleft

Yay! Another Vegas Gang podcast! Will there be another trivia round? I think I have some more questions to try to "stump the tourist experts". :-p

February 24, 2010 7:25 PM Posted by Hunter

Yeah, we'll do trivia again. I still have questions from last time but as always, potential questions can be sent to

If you stump the group, you win an gift card.

February 28, 2010 5:45 AM Posted by detroit1051

Philadelphia Inquirer has a little more info on Steve Wynn entering Philly market. Casino to be called SW?
Wynn's players card data base already has 107,000 players within a close distance to the casino site. Not sure if the analogy that this will be the "Courtyard by Marriott" to Marriott as the story says is what Steve intends or not.

March 2, 2010 6:26 AM Posted by detroit1051

Philadelphia Inquirer editorialized against Wynn's casino. I'm not suprised they noted Steve's ethnic comments, the fact it won't be called Wynn Philadelphia and that it won't include a hotel.

This negative posturing reminds me of when the three Detroit casinos were approved in the 1990's. Twelve years later, I doubt anyone can say they haven't helped the city in a very difficult time. Detroit did it right, requiring each operator to build 800 room hotels but letting them open temporary casinos until the hotels were built. Reality set in, and the minimum number of rooms was reduced to 400. As an incentive to get the hotels built and open permanent casinos, the tax rate would drop 5 percentage points when the permanent facilities with hotel rooms opened. Combined state and city gaming tax rate is now 19%. MGM Grand and MotorCity Casino complied several years ago, but Greektown, the weak sister, just recently got its act together and opened its hotel.
The three casino hotels add one more incentive for conventions to consider Detroit, and the first class hotel rooms were desperately needed in Detroit. I've heard the occupancy rate is well below 50% except when large groups are in town such as the North American International Auto Show, but those are few and far between. Regardless, MGM Grand Detroit won't discount the rooms to fill them. Out of curiosity, I compared mid-week rates at MGM Detroit and Bellagio, three nights starting April 13. MGM Detroit's internet rates are $249 a night; Bellagio's are $209 a night the first two days, dropping to $189 the third night..

Detroit's original plan was to cluster the three casinos along the riverfront at the eastern edge of downtown. This quickly turned into a political nightmare when opponents said the casinos would destroy the natural beauty of the riverfront, so the plan was dropped. The casinos are now spread out, not within walking distance of each other. And, the beautiful riverfront? It sits there empty and decayed with no development and no natural beauty. Philadelphia is doing the right thing if it does allow Wynn to build on the river.

Detroit's three casinos brought in $1.3 Billion in 2009 with MGM Grand accounting for more than 40% of the total. The Detroit market has been one of the better performers for MGM, and it's startling to see how well Detroit does in revenue and EBITDA compared to its sister properties on the Las Vegas Strip.

As a side note, the three Detroit casinos are not allowed to comp alcohol. There was a loophole which Greektown pursued to permit comping drinks, but MGM and MotorCity weren't interested. It's amazing how much alcohol sales add to the bottom line as was pointed out in a recent LV Sun article.

Obviously, Detroit and Philaderlphia are totally different cities, but they share many of the same problems of urban decay and a decline of jobs within the city limits. Wynn's casino won't solve the problem, but it is one positive step, in my opinion. I hope Pennsyvania doesn't screw it up at Wednesday's hearing, and that Steve Wynn does it right in the City of Brotherly Love.

Here's the editorial:

March 3, 2010 9:11 AM Posted by Marty

I'm not sure how well this will do for Wynn. There's a lot of competition in the Philly market and some of the richer suburbs largely surround Philadelphia Park. Trying to get from Bucks County to the riverfront is a pain beyond belief. I'm not sure this is a guaranteed success even with Steve's magic touch.

And then there's the location. It's still under debate. A few months ago, Foxwoods planned to move the site to the city center in the Gallery Mall. Not sure where that stands now.

March 18, 2010 7:05 AM Posted by detroit1051

Steve Friess wrote a terrific editorial column about Wynn in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Excellent!

March 18, 2010 8:17 AM Posted by atdleft


YIKES! Did you see the comments there? I don't know if it's indicative of strong opposition (since we know just how [NOT] indicative R-J & Sun comments are of what most Las Vegans think), but it certainly seems like the anti-gambling forces (conservative and liberal, I'd add) won't be going down without a major fight.

Still, I think Mr. Steve wrote a good column and I'll have to give him some props at his blog.

March 18, 2010 8:29 AM Posted by detroit1051

Atdleft, in ancient days, people had to make an effort to write an actual Letter to the Editor. Now, it's so easy to post a comment that many times it's extremists who comment. I don't believe the anti-casino commenters in the Philly story reflect the population as a whole; they're just more vocal.

March 18, 2010 11:39 AM Posted by mike_ch

At first I thought the headline pays that article no compliments, and if we remember from the P-Ho/Times of London story, it's rare that Steve F has any control over his stories' headlines.

But then I read that stuff about elitists and so on, and got more and more annoyed.

I'm not sure what it is with blogjournos coming to the casino industry's defence lately (I could name at least one other, but don't want to start a triple-sided argument,) but they seem to be willing to have a go at anyone anywhere who dare badmouth the concept.

But I guess my biggest complaint is that the crux of these arguments always seem to fall back on a "it's their money, let them spend it how they like" message, not simply because it sounds like a conservative talking taxes, but because it could feasibly apply to anywhere. These are (well, would be, if we were a major market) the same people with the same message that would appear to back the Station-organised casino that was once proposed for my hometown.

So while I get Steve's point, at the same time I have this "Hey, Vegas people! BUTT OUT!" kind of reaction. Because while I didn't actively fight the casino proposed for my area, the last thing I would want to see is people from a town which is basically reliant on this industry popping into my hometown news to tell me how awesome these things are.

March 18, 2010 12:27 PM Posted by detroit1051

I was glad Friess wrote his column in response to the Inquirer's editorial. The leading newspaper in the city should have published a more thoughtful comment on casinos in the city, but the writer came across as just wanting to lash out at casinos in general and Wynn specifically.
My only disappointment with Friess' column was his use of the hackneyed phrase, "East Coast liberal elite".

March 18, 2010 2:27 PM Posted by atdleft

Mike C-

"I have this 'Hey, Vegas people! BUTT OUT!' kind of reaction."

But that's not entirely fair. It's not like the pro-casino forces are the only "outsiders" who often butt into these deals. This cuts both ways. How often do we hear about "Why Don't They Focus on Their Own Damned Families" and other religious right groups go into states and fund massive campaigns to stop casinos?

I wouldn't be surprised to see FotF pump more money into Pennsylvania. They're already doing it in Alabama... And ironically, they actually worked WITH Wynn, MGM, and Harrah's in blocking Indian casino expansion in California in 2004.

"I guess my biggest complaint is that the crux of these arguments always seem to fall back on a 'it's their money, let them spend it how they like' message"

As someone who's pretty left of left myself, I agree with this. It's entertainment, and why should we have the government tell people what they can and can't do on their free time with their disposable income? And besides, there isn't much difference between today's casino floors and your typical Dave & Buster's.

Plus, let's not forget that this project means more jobs in Philadelphia and more funds for the state. It will help the local economy, but the "moral minority" doesn't care about that and would rather kick all the casinos out of the state.


"My only disappointment with Friess' column was his use of the hackneyed phrase, 'East Coast liberal elite'."

Agreed. Other than that, it was a great rebuttal to The Inquirer's odd and mean-spirited editorial.

March 18, 2010 7:53 PM Posted by mike_ch

atd: My point is that these companies have enough money to defend themselves, and the only opinion that matters is the voices of those who have to live with this. Of course gambling is a political hot button even among people who come here and do it. If it wasn't, Vegas would not have established itself by being different as it has.

BTW, what is your source about Dobson working with Wynn, MGM, Harrah's, et al? I mean, Wynn Resorts didn't even have a single casino in 2004, so I find that kind of odd.

March 18, 2010 8:29 PM Posted by atdleft

Mike C-

"what is your source about Dobson working with Wynn, MGM, Harrah's, et al?"

Oops, my mistake! I was confusing the Prop 68/70 fight in 2004 with the initial Prop 5 campaign to legalize Indian casinos in California in 1998.

As you can see, the casinos (especially Mirage Resorts, ITT Caesars, and Circus Circus!) here were spending heavily in CA to defeat Prop 5... And I distinctly remember my church (my family was then attending Calvary Chapel) distributing plenty of Christian Coalition, Traditional Values Coalition, and Focus on the Family materials opposing Prop 5. It was common knowledge then that the religious right had formed an "unholy alliance" with the Nevada casinos to defeat Prop 5.

Unfortunately for both groups, however, Prop 5 won in a 62-38 landslide and the tribes were soon able to start building their casinos after an amendment to Prop 5, Prop 1A, passed in 2000 and authorized the construction of tribal casinos.

"My point is that these companies have enough money to defend themselves, and the only opinion that matters is the voices of those who have to live with this."

That's certainly a nice ideal, but the unfortunate political reality is that it doesn't work like that any more. The casinos spend on pro-gaming campaigns and the religious right spends on anti-gaming campaigns... Except in situations like the CA Prop 5 campaign where certain religious right groups work with certain gaming operators against competing casinos.

March 19, 2010 3:25 AM Posted by mike_ch

At the time of Prop 5, Las Vegas was trying to defeat casinos outside of Nevada. They have since have changed tactics and I'm not really sure they're looking for Dobson's endorsement, but it's more of a strange bedfellows.

As far as the 2008 props, I was against them both. Prop 68 would have created grind joints that prey on the most unsophisticated gamblers or those with limited mobility (more on this in a moment), while Prop 70 basically tied Sacramento's hands for 99 years and told tribal casinos that there was no limits for the next century. Given that you can't predict the economic future for the next five years, let alone 100, that was a spectacularly bad idea.

Again though, it's not that I dislike gambling, but I certainly wouldn't defend it in every instance. I would be fine, for example, with getting rid of the VP hole in the walls that exist in the grocery and convenience stores here. They have no tables, bad odds, and the only people who seem to be playing them are elderly or of limited means and thus have more difficulties getting to a real casino. They are grind joints in every meaning of the term.

I realize we've come a long way from Wynn Philly, I'll come around back to my original point next time, perhaps. It's 3:30 in the morning as I type this and I'm about to pass out if I don't get to be---------.

March 19, 2010 7:53 AM Posted by atdleft

"At the time of Prop 5, Las Vegas was trying to defeat casinos outside of Nevada. They have since have changed tactics and I'm not really sure they're looking for Dobson's endorsement, but it's more of a strange bedfellows."

Yes, the Nevada casinos have changed their tune. Instead of fighting the Indian casinos, they're joining them! MGM Mirage now has an MGM Grand at Foxwoods in CT, while both Harrah's (Rincon near San Diego) and Station (Thunder Valley near Sacto) are now in the Indian gaming market in Cali. (Both MGM's and Harrah's predecessors fought tooth and nail against Prop 5, and Station even gave thousands of dollars to No on 68 & 70 in 2004.)

However while the casinos here are now moving to build casinos elsewhere, other parts of the gaming industry don't like the new competition. For a while, the Pennsylvania "racinos" were trying to stop table game legalization there. Meanwhile in Florida, the pari-mutuels and the Seminole Tribe (which owns the Seminole Hard Rock) are trying to stop the state from legalizing non-Indian casinos. And even though religious right groups like FotF won't admit they get help from these gaming interests when campaigning against casino expansion, all one needs to do is look at the campaign finance disclosures to see otherwise.

So swerving back to SW Philly, I don't consider their politicking in PA all that inappropriate since there are so many other "outside interests" out there spending money to kill it.

March 19, 2010 11:31 AM Posted by mike_ch

atd: I'm just talking as myself, who lived (and will probably soon return to) a town that was scheduled for an Indian casino and became one of those fights that you talk about. I don't remember any FotF ads on local TV, but I do remember a lot of the activist types walking around the freeway overpass and hanging banners about kicking the casino out of town. It wasn't a "gambling is a sin" campaign, but a "we prefer the empty field that's already here" campaign that is very much in the vein of the town, which has more cows than people and is against large developments.

And yeah, I don't think just any business should be able to open up anywhere they like, and certainly not a casino. That's just part of my upbringing When I was growing up, a chain supermarket wanted to open up in my town. There was a locally-operated boutique grocery store there already, kind of like a Whole Foods if it was not a national brand and just one store run by a guy in your town. People were afraid the national retailer would put it out of business. A citywide prop was put on the ballot and passed to make any commercial buildings larger than, eh, let's say a CVS illegal unless an exception was provided. The chain grocery gave up and left.

Just before I left, Lowe's Hardware wanted to build a store there and asked for an exception, and so everybody went back to the polls again. The city was much more desperate for taxable income at this one and so it passed, but the anti-development "keep our town small" folks didn't like the reults and finangled a re-phrase of the question into a citywide special election that must have our small town a fortune. I voted for the Lowe's both times because the city needed the money and there was nothing else around for a good distance, I was too young for the grocery one but would have voted for it since I lived on the block right across from that store and wouldn't want my corner of town turning into a hoodlum park if the store died.

The casino project that was a hot issue when I moved out to LV has simmered down on my last few visits out there. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of news there anymore, though people there wish the worst future upon Station Casinos in this period where they could go under, since their financing and management deal is considered crucial for the casino to go through. This year casino aversion has spread from there through the entire county and there's calls for a county-wide protest vote.

So anyway, yeah. While I wouldn't want a ballot question for every Vons and Lowe's in a big sprawling mess of a town like Vegas, at the same time I think the Clark County Commissions approach of rarely questioning any developer and passing practically anything on the Strip sight-unseen because you don't want to question the big shots is a bit too opaque for my liking. I think a case like Wynn Philly where the state is permitting a casino to run there, that public opinion is important.

March 19, 2010 6:54 PM Posted by atdleft

Mike C-

"And yeah, I don't think just any business should be able to open up anywhere they like, and certainly not a casino."

And I understand. Believe it or not, beneath this "casino shill" veneer is an uber-progressive left-of-left anti-corporate hippie who proudly wore "No on Props 94-97" stickers at a 2007 California Democratic Party E-Board meeting because the SoCal tribal casinos that benefitted from them were anti-union and had plans to develop in environmentally sensitive areas.

In fact, back then I was quite strongly anti-gaming. I also had that "it's a regressive 'Reverse Robin Hood' way to steal from the poor to enrich the powerful" point of view, and I never would have guessed then that I'd be living in Las Vegas today applauding new casinos.

And if the Wynn Philly project were on environmentally sensitive land and planning to prevent workers from forming a union, I probably wouldn't be as supportive. And I'm sure there are people in Pennsylvania that have legitimate concerns about this and the other casino projects.

I just object to the characterization of the entire anti-casino lobby as "the people vs. the powerful", since reality is much more complicated than that. Often behind the "grassroots" opposing these casinos are religious right organizations and/or opposing gaming interests. All one needs to do to see this is to follow the money trail.

March 19, 2010 7:58 PM Posted by mike_ch

Well, let me put it this way: The only time I had a philosophical objection to gambling was back when I was uninformed about it. I feel it's a legitimate business model and there's not much of anything wrong with it, though I still disapprove of the Tribal Station proposed for my old 'hood.

But while I think that casinos are a valid business venture, they do have social impacts on their host cities (particularly the police which is a public taxpayer-funded service) and so I don't think they are entitled to the free market process of most other businesses where you simply find a space that's zoned for business, or resort hotels, and build one there. Casinos are basically something that exists on invitation from the government to build that kind of business in that space.

The whole "with invitation" thing is the way it is everywhere, from here to Philly to even Macao (which has gotta be up there as far as limited invites go.)

March 19, 2010 8:24 PM Posted by Jeff in OKC

I think "east coast liberal elite" is a perfect description. And I think we are getting a "west coast liberal elite" argument against this project. My understanding is that in the state of Pennsylvania this a legally aproved, located and limited enterprise. The question should be why the Philly natives are against the best, high-level operator in the business, who is arguably the best funded choice in the business?
If I am allowed to rant a bit here, I think the biggest problem in American society is elitism. We think we are pretty smart and educated, so we need to tell the little people what to do. From the right, we send then all to prison for doing "stupid" things, and from the left we think they are so stupid that we need to set up a program for them to function under our supervision.
The truth is that a SW casino in Philly isn't going to upset the balance of stupid in the state, or nation, one iota. Human beings are inheritenly self-destructive, and they will find a way to do it, either with gambling, chemicals, food or sexual conduct.

March 19, 2010 10:13 PM Posted by mike_ch

Jeff: Not exactly. My initial point is that some bloggers/journos interpret any criticism of this or any expansion as general gambling bashing. My point was that you can oppose an expansion and not oppose all gambling everywhere.

Then, atd jumped in and talked about how fringe right groups are supporting anti-expansion groups and things spiraled out from there.

Casinos do have a social impact, sometimes good and sometimes bad. Although I feel like quality of life here is pretty low right now, anything we do have is here in large part because of gambling, because without casinos Vegas would have nothing. If I hated it that much, why would I live here?

April 1, 2010 5:26 AM Posted by detroit1051

Steve Wynn must submit detailed drawings of Wynn Philadelphia by April 26. The Gaming Board warned him not to release any more renderings as he did to Steve Friess.

April 2, 2010 4:45 AM Posted by detroit1051

Another story that shows doing business in Philadelphia is not the same as in Vegas. New wrinkle this time on charitable contributions allegedly agreed to before Steve Wynn entered the picture.

April 6, 2010 5:13 AM Posted by detroit1051

Steve Wynn delivered Philadelphia casino plans ahead of schedule and met with both Gaming Board and Mayor Nutter. I still think it's a mistake for Steve to bring Andrea Hissom to all these meetings. First, she has no role in designing/developing the casino. Second, Philadelphia is NOT Las Vegas. Some locals will be turned off, and it reinforces their mindset that Steve is a typical Vegas billionaire who "buys" younger girlfriends. Already, there are a few ridiculous comments on the subject following the story in the Inquirer. Poor judgment on Steve's part, imo.

April 6, 2010 12:45 PM Posted by mike_ch

I wouldn't bother with comments on the newspaper; Philly's, ours, or others. I kind of take the Stephen Fry attitude about comments on news and videos on the internet: "I don't know about you but whenever I read a blog I do not let my eye drop below half the screen in case I accidentally hit the bit where the comments reside. Of all the stinking, sliding, scuttling, weird, entomological creatures that inhabit the floor of the internet those comments on blogs are the most unbearable, almost beyond imagining. Their resentment, their desire to be heard at the most vituperative level, at the most unpleasant and malevolent, genuinely ill-willed malevolent, level is terrifying and I am very often simply not able to cope with that."

Anyway, much like our Governor dragging his girlfriend around the country while attending Governors functions but doing it on his own dime, I don't think I can complain about Wynn taking his girlfriend if shareholders aren't on the hook for it (and given that I think Steve pays the company for the use of the plane, if I remember it right, then they wouldn't be). Although if he's taking her into the business meetings, yeah, that is pretty odd.

The more serious angle is that Wynn mixed a lot of business with pleasure at Mirage Resorts, using company assets like his personal playground and there's one extravagant story about the corporate jet buying him takeout, all on the company's dime. That kind of thing caused shareholders to lose faith and stock to deflate.

April 6, 2010 2:24 PM Posted by detroit1051

Mike_ch, I disagree with you. Yes, online commenters are usually idiots or worse, but sometimes there are interesting thoughts expressed. For example, I enjoyed reading bigdaddyj's recollection of his experience as a kid at Desert Inn compared to Wynn today. Of course, I like reading everything Vegas.

April 6, 2010 3:38 PM Posted by atdleft

Mike C-

Good thoughts, both of them. I mainly just glance at newspaper comments these days just to see what the wackadoodles and paid shills are saying... Then after 30 seconds, I go back to blogs like this one where I can count on more intelligent and thoughtful commentary.

And yes, in many ways Steve Wynn has matured professionally (even if his personal life still looks messy) since his days at Mirage Resorts. He no longer overleverages his company (now Wynn Resorts) in so much debt, he doesn't misuse company funds for personal shopping sprees, he seems to be able to keep his anger in check (or at least "vent" all of it toward President Obama), and he's much more careful these days in his dealmaking (notice his absence in the recent Macau triad scandals plaguing MGM Mirage and Las Vegas Sands, which seem to recall Mirage/Golden Nugget's many
mob scandals in the '80s and '90s).

Wynn Resorts is now one of the most stable casino operators in the world... Something that couldn't be said of Mirage Resorts 10 years ago, and a real testament to Steve Wynn learning from his past (corporate) mistakes.