Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

December 9, 2010

Vegas Gang: "Unwin-terview" - December 9th, 2010

Posted by Hunter

This time on the show:

* Special Edition - Hunter and Chuck interview John Unwin, CEO of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Check out the show:

Feel free to leave your comments below. If it's a question that you want asked on the show, please make that clear in your post. You can also send those to


Read archived comments (7 so far)
December 10, 2010 7:31 AM Posted by detroit1051

The Unwinterview was a great way to start my day My observations:

* John Unwin comes across as the real deal, knowledgeable and confident, but a genuine person. I contrast him to Steve Wynn who is also knowledgeable and confident but one who is always on stage. At the other end of the spectrum are Gary Loveman and Jim Murren who are always in corporate-speak mode. Very refreshing to hear John Unwin.

* "The size of the footprint helped create an intimate feeling." Unwin's comments didn't sound like he was trying to put a positiive spin on a potentially negative aspect of the property. He convinced me that the compact size will create synergy between customers, shops, casino, restaurants, meeting space, etc. Very exciting!

* He sold the 150,000 sq ft of meeting/convention space as being set up ideally for the convenience of attendees, no walking miles to get to meetings. Marriott convention staff has already been to Cosmopolitan and will help get meetings there and boost related hotel occupancy.

* Wow! Unwin is serious about being a big player in the gaming market. He said they've hired 51 casino executives, ALL of whom came with their casino customers. Cosmopolitan has already held events in Miami, Dallas, NYC, etc to line up gaming customers.
Most impressive: 600 rooms blocked for casino event in January, and it sold out in two days.

* Aria's 24 page plan to fight Casomopolitan was news to me. I inferred from what I could hear on the tape that it was also news to Unwin. The fact that Aria/CC/MGM is taking this new independent kid on the block so seriously is a sign of how powerful Cosmopolitan is likely to become.

Hunter and Chuck, great interview! Thanks.

December 10, 2010 8:20 AM Posted by Brian Fey

Well I'll have to admit, the closer this place gets to opening, and the more I see and hear about it, the more interested I get. As Wynn has said time after time, bigger isn't better, better is better. And I think Cosmo might have taken that philosophy. The place and the many interior pictures i've seen that are starting to find their way out, look pretty amazing. I find this place much more fascinating than I did Aria when the pics first started leaking out on that property. I do love the idea of a terrace on the rooms. But I don't need to remind people, that this isn't a new idea, only an old one, that's been brought back to life. I believe that balconies could be found on both the old Dunes, and Sands properties if I'm not mistaken. John seems like a pretty cool dude, much more personable than some of the other casino executives. I realize they can't all be a Steve Wynn, for there is only one of him.

December 10, 2010 9:55 AM Posted by Mike P.

They're going to attract a whole new kind of client who wouldn't otherwise consider Vegas? I wonder where I've heard that before?

Oh that's right, I heard it a year ago from Murren.

And once you get past the marketing speak they're basically going after the same type of clientele that Aria was supposed to attract.

I guess I'm a little more skeptical than most of the commenters here and at VT. They have too many dining venues for that size hotel and they're competing in an over-saturated section of the strip. Most of the rooms are on the small side, and like Vdara they're equipped with amenities that mostly just take up space.

They should draw a lot of pedestrian traffic, and that could be a real positive for them. But will they drop some money there or just gawk at the chandelier on their way somewhere else?

December 10, 2010 11:46 AM Posted by Hunter


You're right - most of this stuff is just words at this point. They still have a lot to prove.

About the rooms though, they were pretty impressive. We didn't see a City Room but we did see three other room types including the huge 'Wrap Around'. You're right that they have stuff, like Vdara, that many people won't use that much if at all.

I think it's interesting you say they have too many dining options. Why is that?

December 10, 2010 1:41 PM Posted by Mike P.


The Cosmo web site lists 10 restaurants including a wine bar that serves food, plus there's a buffet, the "secret" pizza shop and a coffee/snack bar. That just seems like a lot to me for what's opening as a 2000 room hotel. I know foodies are excited because they've got a new to Vegas lineup of chefs, so we'll see.

December 10, 2010 11:43 PM Posted by Chris77

Unfortunately foodies alone do not fill dining rooms Sun-Thurs. STK will do fine, Scarpetta will get by and Holstein's, the pizza place and the buffet will stay busy enough. The rest will be cutting their weeknight hours and offering $39.99 prix fixe menus as soon as CES is over, just like every other restaurant in Vegas has been doing.

December 12, 2010 12:45 PM Posted by Gypsy

Mike P -
You've got some bad information, my friend. Most of the rooms (77%) are actually larger than the average Las Vegas hotel room size of 620 sq ft.
The Studio Terrace rooms are roughly the size of similar rooms in Venetian/Palazzo, with a distinct bathroom-living area-bedroom arrangement. Possibly a bit smaller, but comparable.
The condo amenities in the Studio terrace rooms are unobtrusive, more of a kitchenette counter set-up. Even in the Wraparounds that Hunter mentioned, the kitchen is smaller than what you would find in, say, Mandarin for example.

The restaurant collection is large, but there is something for all the usual tastes; Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Latin, Steak, Fish, Tapas, burgers, buffet, grab&go. Nobody will have to leave Cosmopolitan to satisfy thier cravings.