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Steve Wynn Called Me A Moron

By JohnH on Friday, 13th August 2010 3:12pm
  » filed under Wynn Resorts  comments: 29


Encore Esplanade Carpet

Once upon a time, shortly after Steve Wynn had opened Encore Las Vegas, I ran into the esteemed developer walking down his newly christened Encore Esplanade. My heart rate quickened. There he was. The moment I had dreamt of for so long was walking right toward me. I had to find a way to stop him, talk to him, and finally "meet" Steve Wynn.

He kept getting closer and closer. If I was going to do this, if I was really going to stop one of Time's 100 in the middle of his own hotel, I was going to have to will all of my sheer chutzpah into existence. I pulled that sheer will out from no where and let out a, "Excuse me, Mr. Wynn, do you have a moment?"

"Sorry, I'm busy. I really can't." He was going to keep on walking.

Goddammit, I'm not going to let a "Sorry" stop me. "Sir, please. I was just wondering if you could listen to a few ideas I've had about the hotel."

"Fine, can you walk? You got time to talk, you got time to walk." Good god in heaven, it feels like that "young kid meets the master" scene in almost every one of my favorite films. It's "Bugsy" meets "Casino" meets "The Aviator."

In the back of my mind, I can tell that I'm clearly starting to tremble, but I push forward. You don't get many moments like these.

"It's about Tower Suites," I begin to say. "What if you built the lobby on the second/spa floor of the tower? If you think about it, you open up the possibility of having an even larger, more exclusive space, you'd have fantastic views out of those south-facing windows, and you bring forth the possibility of finally having an on-property staircase that replicates the elegance of that one you had at Bellagio all those years ago." In my mind, I'm quite sure that took only thirty seconds to say, but I've never felt the world rush by in such a fury.

"Wouldn't work." He doesn't even look at me. "You've got to worry about the space between the support columns and you just couldn't do it, besides it's moronic."

With that, my dream of impressing Steve Wynn with a moment of brilliance came to a swifter than expected end. I was crushed, but couldn't show it. I thanked him for his time, he thanked me for mine, we shook hands, and parted ways. Steve Wynn had called me a moron.

Fast forward to last evening. John Unwin took to Twitter with an innocuous statement, and I, chief peanut in the gallery, piped up. Sometimes it's nice not to be called a moron.

Tagged: wynn las vegas   encore   steve wynn   john unwin   cosmopolitan   


Comments & Discussion:

For what it's worth, I also thought the idea was brilliant. Nice work.

I met Steve Wynn at the Mirage about 10 years ago. He was standing in front of the Suite elevator bank, all by himself, eating an apple. I just stood there staring for about 3 minutes trying to figure out if it really was him. Why was he alone? Why was he standing there? Why was he...well everyone likes apples. I walked up and said " Excuse me, but are you...." and with that he gave me the most disgusted look I have ever seen on a person, then turned it in to a fake smile and said " Hi, I'm Steve Wynn" And stuck his hand out. I shook it, mumbled something about what a great hotel it was, and then I just walked away, not sure if I was happy or sad that I just bothered a billionaire.

Ah revenge, a dish best served cold, even when it's extra cold via a long-distance Twitter snark that's not really revenge at all but hey, you waited a long time and it's actually pretty sweet and funny.

We can all learn from the most interesting man in the world...

Its an interesting topic.

I've met famous people too (i.e. Robin Williams, Pet Shop Boys & Il Divo). Afterwards, I too felt that I didnt come across well to them.

I think the best thing to do is to put it behind you. The whole celebrity thing is a bit artificial.

Getting back to your point about putting the Towersuites lobby...on the second floor...

1.) Isnt the point of the Tower suites is the check in is very fast. You get out of the cab and you are immediately at the check in desk. If you put it on the spa level then people would have to take an elevator up to the second floor to check in.

2.) If you put a large staircase on the casino floor then everyone would go up the stair case to explore it. The tower suits lobby would be crowded. I agree that there should be more bellagio staircases in vegas but this would be the wrong place.

3.) I kind of like where the salon is now. You can have a pedicure and look out the window. If they put the tower suits lobby up there then they would have to move the salon.

John, I have to say I'm sorry, that kind of sucks on that encounter with Steve Wynn. I'd have been pretty pissed at a blow off of that magnitude, lacks a lot of class. Although the reprieve with Unwin is rather nice.

My only celebrity encounter was in the Diamond checkin line for Harrahs. As I stood there waiting for the line to move, I notice off to my right standing in a corner trying to look unnoticed, Vince Neil, from Motley Crue. It was the one year anniversary of his tatoo parlor and he was putting on a solo show at Carnaval court that night and it appeared his manager was checking him in for a room for the evening. (bet he wishes he would of for the Hilton club grand opening). Anyway, it was my first celebrity encounter, I'd call myself an average fan of the Crue, I'll listen to their stuff, but it's not making any of my top preferences. Anyway, I had noticed the concert announced as I poured over stuff leading up to the trip but everything I found had no time posted. Knowing I needed to say something to him, but not wanting to look like a complete tool or gain him unwanted attention in the rather crowded check in area. I looked over at him, nodded and asked what time the show was tonight. He paused for a minute, thought about it and replied 8:30. I think I saw a feeling of relief come over him that he wasn't going to be bothered for autographs or be recognized as his manager was just finishing up. At least that's what I tell myself. Anyway, I thought I'd share, thanks for sharing your story.

Turns out he invented douchebags too! He really is a visionary!!

Can't say I'm surprised. Success goes to most people's heads.

In the end, you're still the winner. You have full use of your eyes after all.

I hate apples.

Technically, he didn't call you a moron. He just said that your idea was moronic.

Don't take it personal. Steve may have been having a bad day. He must get bombarded with stupid ideas all the time.

@jucifers - You're right, and there is a difference.

You had an opinion and obviously so did Steve. He gave his as promptly as you did yours by giving it uninvited and impromptu. As a polished professional, here's what I would have expected his response to be, "I'm not sure that would work, for many reasons, but will take it into advisement. I appreciate your input. How can I contact you if I have further questions on your idea?" This would be a mostly empty statement, but would appear to show more interest and attention. What I gathered from your story was that Steve didn't even 'listen' to you.

Hey, let's put the lobby on the 23rd floor so anyone checking in hasn't the faintest idea where to go.

Nah, another moronic idea.

See: Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas.

did you ask him the same day he poked a hole in his picasso?

Had a similar experience to Antman73. I took my Mom to Bellagio for her 90th birthday in late December 1999. When we stepped off the Suite Elevators, Steve Wynn was leaning against the table at the back wall, watching everyone entering and exiting all the elevator banks. Imo, he leads by walking around, and he could get a pretty good snapshot of the types of clientele staying at Bellagio by watching both the regular and suite elevators. In those days, you didn't see guests lugging in their own coolers to their rooms. A different time. That trip was something my Mom talked about for the rest of her life.

Now, on to John H's intriguing suggestion to Steve Wynn. Since I'm one of the unfortunates who has not been to Wynn since Encore opened, I'm having trouble visualizing it, and the property map doesn't help me understand. Suite Regisgtration, on the north side of Encore, looks quite small on the property map. JohnH, how exactly would you reconfigure it to permit access to a second floor registration, and where would your proposed Grand Staircase be? The Grand Staircase added elegance to Bellagio, and I still remember how it stopped me in my tracks when I saw it opening day. Not that I attended the gala where the Symphony played while positioned on the staircase. I was in the crush of people when the doors opened.

MGM's demolition of the staircase was a tragedy, and I agree with JohnH, that a similar show-stopper at Encore would be great. So, it's not a moronic idea. Steve Wynn, you're outvoted!

I didnt mind that the Encore suite lobby is small.

Who here has stayed at Wynn Tower suits and Encore Tower suits? Which one was a better experience.

JohnH, if it makes you feel any better, I suspect Steverino considers a lot of people and ideas moronic. most of us rippers probably fall into that category. He probably just thinks JohnD is a dick.

^^ Most "Trippers." I'm definitely a moron.

Big Hoss, Wynn might consider JohnD a big dick if he could actually see the comment. Maybe the reason Wynn wasn't looking straight at JohnH is that he can only see with his peripheral vision.

My only Celeb encounter was at the El Cortez. I was sitting at the bar drinking with DonnyMac and my wife and who did I see, is that a young Paul Newman, no.... it's CHUCKMONSTER!! OMG, it was absolutely amazing, we had some cocktails and it turns out for a celebrity he's a pretty laid back cat.

Can't wait till I get to see him again, I hear he goes to Vegas a fair bit.

Detroit: I've pondered how exactly I would pull off the conversion for many a year and what I've come up with is that the current space would be demolished and divided into two parts. The casino/registration desk area would be converted into the grand staircase that would snake its way into the second floor space. The valet/concierge/seating area would be turned into a small anteroom/arrival space that would contain a bell desk, seating area, and a set of elevators that would whisk guests up to the lobby; a concept quite similar to what they've created at Mandarin.

The question that hasn't been asked yet is that of the guest elevators. As my plan would permit, the elevators would still allow TS guests to travel directly to the casino floor and eschew the staircase. However, if they wanted, they could depart on the lobby (what is most easily described as the current spa level) level and could make their grand entrance into the casino from the staircase in much the same way that many people make that grand entrance into Alex.

The only problem with that elevator question, though, is that the current TS elevators don't have access to the spa level. This was something I was aware of from the very beginning and part of the reason why I wasn't super surprised that SAW was derisive toward the idea.

However, the point of my conversation with Steve wasn't to get him to think that tearing down a beautiful space that countless people were soon to enjoy for many a year was a feasible idea. The point wasn't to convince him to convert Encore's Tower Suites into something different and hopefully better.

Rather, the point was to the plant the seeds of an idea in his mind; an idea that would grow and come to define how he would he design the Tower Suites section in what would become of the golf course, or the Wynn Club at the Cotai development. See, starting from the beginning would be so much easier than having to tear down Encore's Tower Suites. He could build the staircase/second floor lobby concept into the design and could then open himself up to a whole set of casino design opportunities that had never really been envisioned in the Las Vegas or Macau markets before. You would then have the opportunity to create private garden atriums that would connect into the lobby/lounge/conversational space. You could build elevators that would carry your high rollers from that lobby directly into your baccarat salon, thus negating their need to have to walk, however shortly, through the public casino space--a concept, I must admit, that is a progression of the baccarat hallway at Wynn Tower Suites.

That was what I wanted to leave Steve with. Instead, I can't help but feel that I left him only with the concept of how easy it might be to demolish a beautiful space that you've spent millions of dollars to create and could replace it with something you feel is vastly superior. Good god, am I responsible for EBC?

Is it true he might eventually go blind? From the eye thing, that is?

I dont get it. Whats wrong with the Encore Tower Suites in their current form?

Is Wynn Tower suites much better than Encore's

Nothing is really wrong with Encore's Tower Suites lobby, it's just a smaller space than Wynn's. It is more colorful and it definitely as more texture. However, nothing inside of Encore's version makes me want to drop my pants and rub my balls on how awesome the design is. Wynn Tower Suites does.

Apollo, Wynn TS offers more in the convenience of a private pool and Tableau, but the fact that Encore TS has nearly 2/3 fewer rooms makes it a better service experience in my opinion.

That is true about Wynn Tower Suites having a pool.

Im going to Vegas again in March. Im trying to decide whether to do wynn or encore tower suits.

I wish there was some intelligence as to what the wynn room renovations will look like.

That's harsh, man. But you know, I don't get our fascination with famous people anyway. They're just people, no better and no worse (well, okay, maybe worse sometimes, but definitely not better) than the rest of us.

This story is 100 percent BS. Steve Wynn has been legally blind since 2000. Encore opened around 2009. Your story about him walking toward you and eventually engaging in a walk and talk is clearly fabriated. He always has someone escorting "guiding" him. Not to mention he obviously wouldn't be putting his hand out to shake yours since he wouldn't even be able to see your hand.

Nice try.

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