Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

July 1, 2010

Max Jacobson Interviews Roger Thomas

Posted by Hunter

I'm always game for a new Roger Thomas interview and when this one popped into my RSS reader, it didn't disappoint. Happy to see a bit of new ground covered - Thomas profile and interview pieces are often much of the same over and over.

Local food expert Max Jacobson sits down with Thomas to discuss his origin, background and influences.

Part one of a two part series.


Read archived comments (4 so far)
July 2, 2010 3:49 AM Posted by Brian Fey

Roger is brilliant no doubt. He's a huge part of what makes Wynn Resorts so successful. You don't have to look much further than City Center, to see what a huge difference the right interior designer can make, and even with spending $9 billion dollars, they still couldn't re-create the amazing look and feel of a Roger Thomas atmosphere.

A few weeks ago, on my last visit to Wyncore I was lucky enough to have a short meeting with Roger Thomas which was set up by a manager at Wynn for me and some of my company. My step mother is a national awarded interior designer, and had always dreamt of meeting Roger Thomas, as she's his biggest fan. The opportunity presented itself, and of course we took the offer. One thing we were all simply blown away by, was just how "down to earth" for lack of a better term, Roger was. Roger is arguably one of the most successful and famous designers in the world, yet he just comes across as a genuinely great friend which you've known your whole life. He didn't have the sense of arrogance you'd might expect someone of his fame and stature to have. I think much of that stems from the fact, that not only does he love his job, but more importantly, he loves how his work and the spaces he designs make his guest feel and react. I'm no artist, but I can imagine that the greatest feeling there must be is to enjoy watching people love your work. It must be a great sense of accomplishment for Roger to spend a great deal of time within the Wynn complex, where he gets to watch people be mesmerized daily by his work.

Great interview, I'll look forward to part 2.

July 2, 2010 4:58 AM Posted by detroit1051

Excellent, plus I'm glad you found a site where I can follow Max Jacobson again. Roger Thomas gave an example of what puts Wynn in a different league than the other major operators:
"I have a secret weapon. I have one of the best engineering departments to back me up. We have better maintenance than anyone else. Marty Brown has been with Steve since he was a kid. His expectations are as high as his. Steve demands that we do it right and he gives us enough money to do it right."

I also learned of Roger's connection to Michigan through Interlochen and Cranbrook. Interesting.

July 3, 2010 3:35 PM Posted by AndyA

Although I love Roger Thomas' work, I don't think it's fair to compare his design with CityCenter's design. We are talking about a devoted "maximalist" vs. a more minimalism, modern aesthetic. I stayed at Aria last week and happened to be pretty blown away. And, I realize I'm in the minority here, but I much prefer it to Wynncore, especially the more that Wynn and Encore move toward becoming South Beach in the desert.

July 8, 2010 1:45 AM Posted by motoman

Well, the atmosphere of South Beach douchebaggery doesn't really have anything to do with the design of the place, so I'd say it's not quite fair to hold that against Wynn's (Thomas') designs. It is fair to say that his style isn't for everyone, and there are certainly those who would prefer the modernism of City Center. I'd expect CC to really start taking convention business from LVS, if/when that aspect of Vegas ever gets up off its knees.

Brian, your stepmom must have been thrilled to death. I'm thrilled he defies the stereotype of the arrogant designer. The only other designer I'd be as interested to meet would be Candice Olson from TV's "Divine Design." Her work IMHO could stand up there with Thomas'.