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Encore Now Open!

By Chuckmonster on Sunday, 12th July 2009 2:06am
  » filed under Wynn Resorts  comments: 19


Six months later, Encore Is Now Open! At least if you trust the marquee at Wynn Las Vegas, as spotted in early July 2009.

Which reminds me of a conversation I had with Admiral H.H.H. the other night, paraphrased thusly:

Why is it that nobody knows...
a) what Encore is
b) if Encore is open
c) where Encore is
d) if you can get to Encore from Wynn Las Vegas

Perhaps Wynn should consider taking the name Encore off the tower and replacing it with Wynn and calling the whole Encore brand an "experiment". This way they could disconnect one website, disconnect one reservation system and spread guests around in each hotel tower however they they want OR give guests the opportunity to choose "Wynn Encore Select" rooms as a preference or as a price point in their room assortment.

What say you... should Wynn give Encore the hook?



Comments & Discussion:

I think they already do enough cross marketing, I wouldn't be worth changing the name, and dropping Encore at this point. When you visit, Wynn it already shows all the Encore room rates, etc when you make a Wynn reservation. And the word is getting out, and I think that most people that are big spenders, world renowned travelers, do realize its open. Now Mr. & Mrs. X, that make 20k a year, and visit LV every 5 years, might not know what it is, and where it is, but lets me brutally honest, Wynn doesn't want that customer visiting his property any how. If you look at all the celeberties that have already hit XS, I'd say 90% of the people that matter, know Encore. Clearly, the biggest disadvantage Encore has, is its location, its the north MB, there is nothing anywhere around it. If you like to visit other hotels, and hit the center strip, its pretty far away from the action. Personally for me, I can go to Vegas, for 3 days, and never leave the Wynncore property.

Agree wholeheartedly with your first point. It's amazing, the dismissive, "Oh," and shoulder shrug that you get from people who have no idea what Encore is when you tell them that's where you are staying. Furthermore, you get the impression from these types of folks that if they've never heard of it, it either doesn't exist, isn't worth their time, or sucks. And yet, Encore is arguably the poshest resort on the strip. For the moment, I'm happy to enjoy Encore as the hidden gem it apparently is, but I also wonder if that's a sound business model. Thought provoking piece, Chuckmonster.

Obviously you know how I feel since I ranted at you for at least 10 minutes the other day...

I dunno if changing the name is the solution but I disagree with Brian - there absolutely is a problem here.

Talking to friends that visit Vegas often, they have no idea. A good friend that is a black chip player at Wynn had no clue what it was and didn't even visit it on his last trip in.

The tower design doesn't evoke 'new resort, this way', plus the connection of the new retail esplanade with the theater corridor is an issue - no one walks towards a closed theater so there's no natural foot traffic. Even when you do get down there, you see a few shops and then a bend in the walkway. What about an eatery in one of those spots with people hustling and bustling?

It may just take time and as a customer, I kinda love it because the casino is mellow but it does seem that there is a bit of a disconnect.

I always hated the name "Encore" (about as much as "Echelon"). I figure both of them should quickly look back and notice they already had a good name before their owners cleared the sites. How about "Desert Wynn"? "Echelon" just has to go, though -- and the current status makes a good opportunity for bringing back "Stardust". Why not?

The name isn't indicative of anything. Access is a mess because of a parking garage in the way. And finally there isn't much there. Wynn murders Encore in terms of things being offered to someone just walking in off the street, so nobody really feels like they need to walk over there. It's not a general "Well all casinos are doing bad" thing because Wynn can be boppin' while Encore is a morgue.

I gave it six months to prove itself but I'm ready to say that Encore is Steve's Mistake. And it's almost entirely to do with blueprints, not marketing. A guy known for great buildings drew a bad plan. That happens sometimes.

This is crazy talk. Everyone I know, that has been to Encore, and stayed there, loves it. I don't know anyone who likes, Wynn better than Encore. So to say that Encore is plagued by "bad blueprints" is just ridiculous. The basic problem is, there are too many rooms, and not enough customers in town. I don't think Encore's problem is that people just don't like it.

I completely disagree that Encore is a 'bad plan' in terms of its design and setup.

Without a doubt it is my personal favorite place to stay and play, hands down.

I have to agree with Hunter. The retail corridor/theatre configuration absolutely kills any sort of natural traffic flow into the property. However, there are a few issues that the resort has to overcome in overall design, as well. We all heard Steve saying that the Wynn tower has always benefitted from the inquisitive, enticing nature of a convex curve. Encore has no such inviting feature to those tourists making their natural north-south progression along the Strip. Furthermore, it has always appeared that street-side, pedestrian entrances act as the largest hooks with which a resort can attract customers. Bellagio and WLV benefit from such hooks in their shopping avenues, but a resort like PHo is undone by the very fact that there is no natural and distinct--How many people have had difficulty choosing the mall entrance over the actual casino entrance into the property?--entrance point. Encore, sadly, falls into the latter category. It's really pretty confusing if you're trying to figure out how to get into the place if you're just walking along the street. Your best options are to either walk up to the west Casino Porte-Cochere or the walk around half of the property's exterior to the Resort Porte-Cochere. One simply does not have any ease of entrance into the property without working one's way through the sister property first. More to the point, any customer walking from the south, if they don't choose the WLV entrance path, has to navigate the tricky and maybe dangerous situation of the WLV self park. Now Wynn may have no desire or need to have to pull in customers from that carnival midway, but he did show a crystal clear ability to do so with his two previous resorts. To not have done so with Encore is sort of a shame.

The question becomes, then, what does the company have to do to improve that traffic flow and help the resort? Does he take Chuckmoster's advice, and simply refer to it as Wynn part deux? Does it just wait out the current economic storm until such a time as Echelon is up and running and Fontainebleau--or whatever it will be referred to as by its new set of probably banking owners--is as well?

Has anyone considered, though, that the resort may not have been designed to hook people into the resort, in any way shape or form? The resort is clearly designed with the individual hotel guest in mind, and we have already documented the ways in which it is street-tourist averse. Maybe we really do have our first semi-private, guest-only resort. Sure it in no way clearly states that guests are the only patrons allowed in the resort, but oh so subtle design attributes are working in coordination to keep this place rather quiet, private, and geared in a greater way toward the people staying in the tower. That may be pure speculation on my behalf, but it could very well be a viable answer to the Encore question.

I think Encore is excellent. We stayed there in January and loved it. During our stay we never once thought it was out of the way or badly connected to Wynn. The Encore, Wynn, Palazzo, Venetian, Treasure Island and Fashion Show Mall 4 corners at the north end of the strip is a great place to stay and play, and is our personal favorite area in Vegas. I think to Ma and Pa Kettle from Poplar Bluff visiting Vegas on a church trip once a decade it is all overwhelming and maybe even confusing, but Encore and Wynn are not marketed towards them at all and will always be more appealing to those who visit Vegas 6 times a year hoping for a little luxury and style. Let's just hope they get the hot water working right before our next visit in September!!

I'm talking about access, guys.

It's a bad plan to hinge on people walking through an apparent theatre hallway when they don't have plans to go to a show. Especially if that theatre hallway requires the Complete Grand Circle Tour of Wynn if you're going to get to it from the Wynn Esplanade.

Just trying to get to the casino more or less requires going through another casino? When has that happened before? I mean, I know I can walk along the sidewalk to Encore, done it a dozen times or more, but the average tourist doesn't. And besides, Wynn's parking garage entry/exit is a little crossing-unfriendly, compared to Bellagio and Paris and other car throughways. A timed crosslight there would be appreciated.

I think they just didn't want to part with the old-ish Wynn parking garage and they paid a price for it. They also seemed to expect almost everyone to arrive in a taxi or limo and completely underestimated streetside foot traffic. I realize they were sort of counting on Echelon and Plaza for some foot traffic but that was scrapped ages ago. People staying on the south strip might get in a cab and say "take me to Encore" but the people in the hot territory around them won't. If you're staying at Palazzo, or TI, or Mirage, or Venetian, and you want to go to Encore you'll hoof it. And if you're like most tourists you wind up getting steered into Wynn and losing the desire to continue through, either because you just arrived at Wynn or because you got lost and thought surely you weren't being directed over to where the theatres are.

As for the question of "what can be done," that's easily answered. They just have to suffer through it for a while until the rooms at Wynn are renovated, and then swap prices. Start selling Wynn for more than Encore because it's the one that has actual customer demand. Regardless of amenities or the marketing department's hopes and dreams, people see Wynn as The Better One and they need to strike on that as soon as they have a good excuse.

I think the difficult access was done on purpose. One of the issues I have with Bellagio is there is too much foot traffic passing through the casino. Perhaps Steve saw this and wanted to limit the through traffic.

Are there any high end hotels in other cities that would tolerate a nonstop stream of tourists walking through the property? Being high end brings with it a certain expectation of privacy and exclusivity. Personally, I appreciate the fact it is not as crowded with stripwalkers.

As long as it makes money I view this as a positive. Unfortunately, as soon as any northside properties open it will no longer be on the end and the traffic will increase. When FB eventually opens I think the crowds will come.

I do agree they have a problem with XS lines blocking access to Encore at night. They really need to work something out. Also, recall that Wynn went through a period where certain issues needed to be corrected (specifically, lack of bar seating in the casino). Over time, the crowds will come. We are barely into the second inning.

If next quarter's earnings are as bad as I suspect they might be (based on a couple personal visits to Encore and the numerous reports I've read, Encore is far too empty, far too often) I think we should expect a major shake-up. As nice as it is to have a posh casino more-or-less to yourself, it doesn't bode well for the folks who own the casino. Clearly something's not working the way Steve Wynn had hoped.

I like Chuckmonster's rebranding suggestion, but I think there's still much that needs to be improved, even after being open for eight months.

ParchedEarth, you ask "Are there any high end hotels in other cities that would tolerate a nonstop stream of tourists walking through the property?"

To that I answer, "are there casinos in other cities that would tolerate near invisibility?"

The thing is, Encore isn't really supposed to be any more quiet/secluded than any other place with a casino. The Four Seasons pulls it off because they DON'T have a casino. And if you want the privacy and exclusivity without the casino, there's always been Tower Suites at Wynn, which pulls of the "invisible boundaries" thing very well.

I can not think of any answer except that they messed up. If it was deliberate, they wouldn't have the XS line crowding up the room.

From the beginning I have always referred to Encore as Wynn 2.0. The very design lends itself as an extension of Wynn not a separate resort. It is sort of like THE hotel and Mandalay Bay. Just an extension of the main resort. If the object was to create a different brand and resort then Wynn should have designed a building that appeared different from the outside. Ballys and Paris are connected but from the outside they are definitely 2 separate resorts. Wynn and Encore look like 2 towers of the same resort so why not market it that way. Just my 2 cents

I think part of the problem with Encore is that there is no reason to think of Encore as a separate property - it\'s essentially another Wynn tower. There\'s no draw/reason for foot traffic to head there. There\'s no compelling reason for Wynn guests to visit it, aside from boredom with the Wynn property. The exterior doesn\'t really reflect a difference between Encore and Wynn; Encore looks like a mirror tower to Wynn, and there\'s nothing that truly indicates that Encore is a different property beyond us being told so. The \"Encore Theatre\" is really a part of Wynn.

So if you aren\'t giving any reason for people to visit the common areas, and you haven\'t done that much to create it separate property, how are you going to get people interested in staying there? I think I have to agree with Chuck - the solution is to make Encore an exclusive tower, and consider it a part of Wynn.

However, if they want to make Encore a separate resort, one thing they can do is give Encore their own unique chips. I know that it is more convenient to just use Wynn branded chips, but it only serves to subconsiously reinforce the idea that Encore is just an extension of Wynn, and not it\'s own property. From there, they are going to need to come up with a reason to go to Encore. Unfortunately I have no suggestions for this need.

(I really do wonder if Encore was Steve Wynn\'s Field of Dreams idea - if he builds it, people will come because it\'s a Steve Wynn property. If so, he\'s being proven wrong.)

Isn't Wynn and Encore part of a bigger complex that will be built along the golf course? If so, I think we should wait for the final plan before criticizing the design. The only problem is, after this recession it may take over a decade to see the whole project.

I think the problem is that nobody really can tell the difference between Encore and Wynn. Some people go to Encore, thinking that they are still at Wynn.

Yeah, seriously. Its sad that a hotel BUILT to suit a theme, is trying to detheme itself. I loved the artificial feeling of being in NY, hearing the "I wanna bee a part of itt...new york...neww york" Tune constantly on. Now, it seems just like another casino and hotel. Its like they removed what made them special. And not even providing misters/fans for an outdoor event? Niice.

On a side note, Next hotel I'll probably stay at will be TI, to see if Phil Ruffin has re-themed it like it looks like he may.

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