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Rumor Mill: Wynn Sniffing New Frontier/Plaza Site?

By JohnH on Thursday, 15th July 2010 3:16pm
  » filed under Wynn Resorts  comments: 15


Steve Wynn is a man surrounded by rumors. There's always the "Steve Wynn Buys Bellagio" bit, the "Steve Wynn Buys Back Mirage Resorts Empire" variation, and the occasional oddball "Steve Wynn Buys (Insert Name of Hotel Here)" piece that pops up here and there on certain deluxe Vegas blogs.

However, there is one rumor that just won't go away: Steve Wynn Buys the Plaza/New Frontier Site. In fact, at the height of the Vegas development craze, the rumor had reached such a fever pitch that our own April Fool's joke about a potential New Frontier sale was picked up by the Las Vegas Business Press (Smooch! Smooch! Love ya, McKee!).

Well, thanks to a tip from VT reader detroit1051 and the fact that Steve Wynn just purchased a $23 million penthouse at the original Plaza Hotel in New York, it looks like we can once again stir that rumor pot.

Hey, it may just be coincidence that Stevzie bought a new bachelor pad from the owner's of his Las Vegas neighbors, but that's a pretty big coincidence. Consider, if you will, this scenario: El-Ad wants out of Vegas and Steve wants the New Frontier site. What better way to work on negotiating the right price and facilitating a sale than to seal the deal with a $23 million good-will gesture?

Yes, we know that Steve said there would be no Wynn Resorts development in the US for the foreseeable future and that such a statement might translate into no new major property purchases, but if there's one thing we know about Steve Wynn, it's that he makes cunning linguis land deals like no other. Buying the last real wide open space on the Strip in the midst of an economic downturn and cementing said deal by greasing the palms of his potential suitors would not be out of the ordinary for the man that turned the proverbial lemons of the Mirage Resorts sale into the lemonade that is Wynn Las Vegas Resort and Country Club.

So we have to ask, is Steve Wynn about to buy the New Frontier site... again... but this time for real?

Tagged: wynn   plaza las vegas   new frontier   el-ad   rumor mill   


Comments & Discussion:

Anyone else think that would be a fantastic spot for an ultraexclusive small property in the Wynn portfolio. Tower Suites turned into their own hotel brand?

I\'ve been saying for a while now, that he\'d love to own that property. And as a Wynn fan and shareholder, I too would love to see them develop that property. But a property is only worth so much money. And to build a profitable property, one can only spend so much per acre on land to keep the total development cost in check. I\'d be very surprised to see Wynn offer any more than $10 million per acre, that would value that land at about $300-$350 million dollars. Since Elan paid $1.2 Billion, I would be hard pressed to see them take such a beating, and come to any such type of agreement.

What I could see is this, a partnership of sorts. Elan donates the property and probably some equity. Wynn Resorts designs, builds (manages construction) and operates the place essentially making Elan a silent, and inactive partner. They could split the profits, it would help Wynncore, Elan could get something out of the deal, crazier things have happened.

^^ wynnplaz

Dunno if this fuels the flame or puts it out, but a couple of weeks ago John Katsilometes in the LV Sun talked about Wynn using the Plaza site for a temporary arena to play host to a Mayweather/Pacquiao fight:


And his recent funk about City Center and the glut of rooms? A smokescreen?

Elan is so screwed here. Times sure are crazy when Phil Ruffin looks like the smartest man in Las Vegas.

Is this the rumored Plaza purchase?


This is much more likely a jesture to get the site for the boxing match.

Hindsight is 20/20 here, as at the time Elad bought the New Frontier from Phil Ruffin, who would have thought the economy was going to tank and Vegas would be among the hardest hit cities in the US? Look at all of the various casino and condo projects that were being announced and touted 4 and 5 years ago.

Then again, at the time Elad bought the property, people thought that they overpaid for it. They probably could have paid less than what they did, but one has to wonder if they did so in order to not spark a bidding war on the property. It's a risky move, akin to go into a strip club and throwing your wallet at the first stripper you see.

Elad will have to take a bath if they sell the land, as they overpaid for it and the current market doesn't make things any better. Wynn Resorts is a good possibility, but what could they build there? Stevie Wynn has already publicly lambasted MGM for CityCenter adding rooms to a down market. Perhaps The Steve and The Donald could potentially team up and build something there? Or perhaps Wynn Resorts buys the land to build a convention center and sports arena complex?

The New Frontier site was previously touted as a potential venue when the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was original being discussed. Some think that if Wynn gets to host the fight that it could be held at the Thomas & Mack and not at a temporary venue across the street from the Wynn.

I have to say I think you guys are missing the obvious picture. Think back a little ways. To times when Vegas was not a ghost town of steel dreams and the economy was up.

Wynn's planned demo of the golf course in order to build a lake, convention center and boutique hotel towers. Now with the possible land next door he does not have to remove the beautiful golf course and can still build what he wanted to. Just now on a bigger scale perhaps.

I'll be the first to call it. I present to you...... OVATION by WYNN

I think a wrench will be thrown into the whole scenario when Max Baer swoops in and starts bidding against Steve.



better link:


i just noticed it was created in april 2001, not 2010. must be dyslexic. still, interesting i guess.

It would be great to see Wynn buy the Plaza site. It should be noted that Wynn is bothered by the "nothingness" of a site across the street from Wynncore to the point that he offered to pay half the price of the removal of the New Frontier sign and the placement of plants and trees for the grand opening of Encore. Seeing Wynn buying that piece of prime real estate and developing it into a great resort is nothing of a surprise.

While Wynn did recently bash CityCenter overcrowding an already overcrowded market, I still could see him turning it into a very niche luxury resort, sort of like a typical 4 seasons. Still, I think I actually believe Steve this time, and doubt this property will be more hotel rooms. Things I could see

1) Sports/Events Arena
2) Convention Center
3) IF he did turn it into a small niche resort, there would need to be a HUGE hook to set it apart from others of its type. I.E, Tower suites on roids. With one of the following

Best Pool in Vegas
Best headlining show in vegas (Wynn could easily attract a 5 star performer
Best Club in Vegas
Best (or probably just most expensive) restaurant in vegas.

Those probably seem extreme, but in order to make yet ANOTHER pricey resort succeed in an already flooded market, it would need serious draws to keep it profitable.

To hell with all of it, rebuild a wet-n-wild.

I would bet that Wynn does do something with the property since it is a blank hole across the street from his two hotels. I was in town before the Encore opening and the old New Frontier sign was almost down when I got to town and completely gone two days later while workers wers stapling grass to the ground across the street so that Encore would have a nice lawn. The site isnt good for another hotel but I could see a sports stadium there or a convention center right on the strip instead of behind it like the Sands site.

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