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Chicago Tribune Weighs In On Wynn Las Vegas

By Chuckmonster on Sunday, 17th July 2005 11:52am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 0


They promised us the Eighth Wonder of the World. Literally. Steve Wynn himself, the hotel visionary who reinvented the Las Vegas Strip in the 1980s and 1990s, claimed his newest gambling parlor would be more impressive than the Egyptian pyramids—and not the ersatz one down the street, either. His Web site, without a trace of irony or evident humor, said the rooms took longer to complete than Michelangelo spent painting the Sistine Chapel. And even if he hadn't so bloviated, he spent $2.7 billion on it. That's a price tag so staggering—$1 billion more than the budget for whatever goes on the former World Trade Center site—that it comes attached to a risky promise: Wynn Las Vegas, the most expensive casino ever and the world's second-most expensive hotel, will deliver a mind-blowing, eye-popping, holy-wow. With all that out there, then, it's no surprise the first guests expected to be utterly transformed simply by walking in the door. It's also no shock that, when the $100 million production show "Le Reve" and the swanky $25-cover-charge nightclub La Bete both floundered and required ongoing overhauling, critics would pounce.

My expectations were more modest. Two months after that grand opening, my partner and I shoved our way through the awkward maze of ornate flora, dragging our suitcase on the colorfully tiled mosaic floors to the lobby to check in, looking only for a comfortable, elegant and well-run hotel. Oh, and something different and better than all that existed in Vegas before it. That may not seem fair, but there's no way to judge a new Vegas resort on its own merits; it always must be placed in context of its competition.

Thus, here's the bottom line: Wynn, who left the casino business in 2000 when his Mirage Resorts Inc. was bought out, has created in his big comeback a nice but overpriced and highly pretentious property that discourages ordinary people from visiting. Worse, though, it fails to shift the epicenter of this tourist mecca in a way it would seem $2.7 billion would.

[ There's more... follow the link below - Ed ]



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