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Roger Thomas Drops Encore Casino Bombshell

By MikeE on Wednesday, 14th April 2010 5:11am
  » filed under Awesome!  comments: 21


In what blew over everyone's head, Mr. AD100 himself, Roger Thomas, gave a free, unpublicized lecture on "Unlimited Luxury" yesterday for the Las Vegas chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Roger Thomas and "unlimited luxury"? Had I known beforehand, I would have put life on hold and day-tripped to Vegas knowing that he'd give us the goods on fascinating money-is-no-object Wynn design. Fortunately, my good friend and VT reader JohnD was in attendance, and shared the juicy details. Thomas did not disappoint.

First off, we begin with Encore Macau. Only a week away from opening, few details have been said about Wynn's latest creation, but if red was "killed" (Steve Wynn's words) with Encore here in Vegas, yellow will be the equivalent for Macau. No, not the small-penis-Ford-Mustang type yellow you might be thinking of, but imperial yellow - that kind of deep, rich yellow with a golden hue so common in the silk robes of Chinese royalty. Thomas also said that he intends to bring an Italian flare back to Asia, sighting Marco Polo specifically. What he means exactly will be revealed in only seven short days, but nevertheless, we're definitely excited to see how this will be executed.

Back home, Thomas shared some surprising details about Encore Las Vegas. We've always wondered what the new Beach Club would do to the west end of the tower. After all, Tower Suites, Sinatra, and high limit baccarat players won't appreciate the inevitable *oontz**oontz**oontz*.

Now, as most of you know, I'm completely fascinated with casino design. Wynn Las Vegas is a formidable design in perfect harmony, Aria is a respectable copy of it, and Encore takes Wynn's principles to even more intimate levels.

But that's all about to change.

Love the Eastside Lounge? Hurry and get your drinks in because it's not long for this world - they're moving the high limit baccarat salon there. What will take the place of the current salon is uncertain, but with those gorgeous light fixtures, beautiful mohair coverings, and private rooms to die for, we sure hope it changes its focus - perhaps to a lounge with live music? - before anything that would require tearing down such striking (and mind-bogglingly expensive) fixtures and furnishings.

I'm torn. While I can't say I'm not excited by the idea of a high limit room complete with anti-reflective glass looking right over the pool, there was something comforting about taking the elevator down Tower Suites with cash in hand, walking less than 50 feet, and letting it ride on banker. That will not longer be the case, unfortunately. Then again, with Eastside's small patios that extend onto the pool, there's the potential for some truly incredible private spaces.

Still in disbelief? So am I. Just remember that you read it here first.

Tagged: encore   roger thomas   eastside lounge   wynn   


Comments & Discussion:


While I personally find the area around Sinatra to be underwhelming (even as a guest of the Tower Suites on several occasions) I never thought they'd eliminate Eastside.

On the other hand, this could be a move to further reduce what has become a riotous area thanks to XS. Eastside and it's outward facing bars has become a traffic corridor of epic proporitions thanks to the club, and at times it's been a rowdy mess, and host to an occasional catfight and barf or two. (Both of which I've had the pleasure of witnessing.)

In going next week I'll def. have to bounce over and have a drink in the lounge and get some pictures. If its time is short that's going to be a horrible thing. But then again, line of sight from the Beach Club to Baccarat is reminiscent of Bellagio and Wynn no? Water feature runs linearly to it in all three occasions if this comes to pass.

Interesting, this doesn't surprise me all that much, they are obvioulsy going to take that out, to so people can access the new night club without having to enter the beach club directly. Unless, they are just stealing floorspace to make the club bigger, since that room backs up to the new club? That's another possibility. Maybe you'll still have to access the club through the beach club, but the club will use space from both the new addition, and spill into that old space as well. I guess we'll know very shortly. I know this is easy to say coming from a non drinker, but I always thought Encore had a few too many bars for its size. Its half the size of Wynn, and has twice as many bars.

Brian, i think you've got your bars mixed up. I've added a visual aid.

I'm heartbroken. Maybe they want to keep the baccarat by the sky casino?

Such furrowed brows over changes to Encore. I wish I lived in your world fellas. Which one of you is Louis Winthorpe III and who's Mortimer and Randolph Duke?

Interesting. I got a tip regarding Eastside last week but didn't give it much credence due to the leaker being an anonymous gmail account with no history. Makes me wonder if the other stuff this guy said will come to pass.

I'll certainly miss Eastside, one of my fave places to grab a drink with friends down in the lounge.

I want to know which one of you is Clarence Beeks. I'm looking for a tip on frozen concentrated orange juice.

This means more construction is coming. They have already reduced the size of the Encore hi-limit area and this would be a good candidate to move to the Eastside lounge area. The Eastside is a much smaller area than the baccarat room. I don't see why they can't also keep the Wynn baccarat room.

I wonder what impact this will have on Sinatra and when they expect these changes to be done? With the beach club opening in 6 weeks I would expect some of them to be done soon.

I was planning on eating at Sinatra in a few months when I am there and wonder if they will still have the outdoor area.

I'm pretty sure that Mr. Thomas was referring to the Eastside Lounge becoming the new high-limit area for Encore, and not re-purposing the high-limit area at Wynn Las Vegas.

It seems reasonable to guess that these nightclub modifications and projects are a part of business strategy. Encore, from the looks of it, doesn't bring in the kind of play that Wynn Las Vegas attracts. So... they make their high-limit area a little smaller and beef up their nightlife operations.

Yep, this makes sense to me... XS has probably been one of the biggest breakout hits at Encore, so they're following the $$$$ in retooling Encore as a "nightlife destination". In my past few visits there, I've noticed a younger, hipper clientele at Encore. And since many of them are more interested in beach clubs and VIP bottle service than baccarat and regular casino bars, this is what we'll soon be seeing there.

You have no excuse, Mike. I posted a heads-up on Thomas' lecture downown about a month ago.

I don't have an opinion inthese changes, but I agree with BrianFey (gasp!) that Encore's layout wasn't perfect and that there were too many bars. The west and south walls of the box, so to speak, each had TWO bars even though the casino was so small. Unless 95% of your customers are buzzed, that's too much boozin' for too little a space.

It's not the number of bars but rather their layout that is problematic. Both the Switch and Hi-limit bars are in the hallway. Sinatra's bar is too small. The cafe bar ends up being a coffee stand during much of the day. The south bar is redundant with Society and is often closed. All of the bars were an over-reaction because they screwed up by not having enough when Wynn opened. I would say this is one area of casino design that Steve has not yet mastered.

Parched, I would disagree. I think Bellagio has arguably the perfect balance of belly-ups, lounges, and nightlife spots. Part of that is probably because most of ELV's bars are distinctly separate from one another, where most of Bellagio's are integrated with each other. For example, Allegro/Carmel, Fontana, and Baccarat all follow the hybrid method (lounge surrounded by belly-up) where only Eastside at Encore has followed that method. Each of the other bars are all either distinctly lounges or belly-ups. In the end, what could be considered an attempt at creating unique lounge experiences falls prey to a redundancy that the hybrid model somehow avoids.

For the life of me, though, I've never understood why Steve lost that sense of balance that he perfected at Bellagio and decided to reinvent the lounge/bar wheel when it came to WLV/ELV.

I think John D is correct. I just can't see moving the Baccarat from it's location at Wynn with the easy privacy access to the Tower Suites. And Encore's High Limit in general needs rejuvenation after all the construction diversions. Encore's Tower Suites are nicer but the Wynn Tower Suite set up is far superior. Better to improve Encore than degrade Wynn?

Yes, just to clear up any confusion, Wynn's baccarat salon isn't going anywhere. Encore's salon will be moved to Eastside lounge. We should have the image updated shortly.

Does moving the baccarat salon to the Eastside Lounge area mean that a lot of new walls will go up, and the casino will lose its views of the pool and all that natural light? A shame if so.

And also, does this mean that people at the pool get to look in at salon-stakes baccarat? Or will the view be obscured by one way glass or some strategically placed bush?

It seems like a lot of compromise and headache just to get rid of the *oontz*oontz* factor. Couldn't they just soundproof the walls? But then, Wynn does love to tinker. Think of how many permutations the B-Bar on the Wynn side went through. I personally really love the Eastside Lounge. I reserved one of the patios for a party in March and it couldn't have been better. Pity to lose it.

I like the idea of strategically placed bush.

I think the little pond with vases between Eastside's glass and the pool obscures the views from the pool just enough. It'll be interesting to see how they achieve the requisite high limit room intimidation factor without blocking the views for the rest of the casino. I'm guessing more tassels and curtains, no bush :-).

I'll be living at Encore for five nights next week. See if I can suss anything out. RogThom is semi used to me bothering him now when i see him. I can tell he just wants to go on his way but I cant help myself.

I have sooooo many questions.

Let me know when you're in town, Hunter. We'll get pancakes or something.

Speaking of strategically placed bush, I'm curious what will become of the Swarovski crystal cocks that grace the entrance of the current baccarat salon.

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