Wynn Las Vegas: How One of the Main Gambling Venues on the Strip Was Built

Wynn Las Vegas: How One of the Main Gambling Venues on the Strip Was Built

The Wynn Las Vegas Casino Hotel, or just Wynn, is located in Las Vegas on the famous Strip Boulevard. This is the name of its owner, Steve Wynn, who is a billionaire and a well-known figure in the gambling industry. For him, this project has become a real pride. In this article, we will tell you how Steve came up with the idea of building this complex, what makes the casino hotel popular, and what it offers to customers.

Facts About the Owner of Wynn Las Vegas

Steve Wynn is a billionaire and one of the famous businessmen of the American gambling industry. His acquaintance with gambling and the city that comes to mind first when mentioning a casino happened in childhood. The Winn family lived in Las Vegas for some time, and his father worked in one of the gaming parlors. After this, he opened his own, but already in Utica.

Steve received a bachelor’s degree in art from the University of Pennsylvania, after which he entered the master’s program at Yale University, but didn’t have time to finish his studies as the death of his father and a “problematic” inheritance forced him to return home.

Young Wynn inherited several gambling parlors and debts in the amount of $350,000. Gradually, Steve managed to establish the work of casinos and repay the debt; after that, he became a gambling entrepreneur. In 1967, due to the purchase of a stake in the legendary Frontier Hotel, the young man returned to the world of Las Vegas and firmly decided to become an owner of a casino.

Complex Full NameWynn Las Vegas
Opening DateApril 28, 2005
LocationLas Vegas, Nevada, USA
Owner CompanyWynn Resorts Limited
ArchitectJohn Jerde

Here are some other interesting facts from the businessman’s biography:

  • After buying a stake in the Golden Nugget Casino, Wynn became the youngest casino owner in Las Vegas.
  • Steve was the initiator of elite casinos, which differed from traditional gambling establishments in their size.
  • Before the Wynn complex was built, the businessman built the popular Bellagio, Treasure Island, and Mirage resorts together with investors.
  • In 2006, Steve opened a luxury Wynn Macau complex; 10 years later, he built the Wynn Palace complex in the same gambling zone.

After a series of scandals and fines a few years ago, the billionaire completely left the gambling business and took up philanthropic activities.

The Building of Wynn Las Vegas

It may seem surprising, but the construction of one of the most popular complexes on the Strip was preceded by financial problems that Wynn experienced in Mississippi: in 1999, the businessman opened the Beau Rivage casino hotel there, which became unprofitable as a result. Steve needed to get the company’s finances in order, so the complex was sold to MGM Grand for $6.6 billion, and Wynn himself got half a billion.

Old photo of the Desert Inn
Desert Inn Casino Hotel, 1968

In 2000, the businessman spent part of the proceeds on the purchase of the Desert Inn hotel and several buildings in the neighborhood. This was necessary in order to obtain a sufficiently large site for future development.

The Desert Inn complex was demolished, and the Wynn Las Vegas construction began on the vacated site. It lasted four years and required $2.7 billion in initial investment.

The grand opening of the new complex took place in 2005, on the very day of the owner’s wife’s birthday. The work was carried out by the general contractor Marnell Corrao Associates, and the casino hotel project was created by architect John Jerde, who had previously been involved in the design of the Bellagio casino. In 2009, Wynn casino was upgraded.

In 2006, construction began on Encore, the second hotel complex with 2,054 rooms. The cost of the project amounted to $1.74 billion.

Wynn and Encore in one shot
View of the Wynn and Encore buildings

The initial plan for Encore was to serve as an extension of the Wynn resort, however, the building turned into a separate complex.

What Wynn Las Vegas Offers to Guests

The complex occupies 870,000 square meters and includes:

  • Casino
  • 45-storey hotel
  • Golf club
  • Restaurants

In addition to the architectural ensemble, customers can enjoy natural attractions. There is a large waterfall behind an artificial mountain, and streams of water rush into the Lake of Dreams with an area of 12,000 square meters. Picturesque water objects are surrounded by flowers and greenery.

Artificial waterfall and lake
Waterfall and lake at Wynn Las Vegas

There are many amenities for the guests of the complex: from spa centers and swimming pools to conference rooms. The hotel rooms have everything you need for a comfortable stay: modern appliances, personal hygiene products, high-speed Internet connection, reliable safes, “Smart Home” system, etc.

Wynn Casino offers its customers a huge selection of gambling titles: poker, blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and craps. The casino halls have 26 poker tables and 1,800 slot machines in total.

Various shows are regularly held on the territory of the complex, including a light and musical performance on the lake. Shopping fans can head to Wynn Plaza, a 6,500 square meter mall that houses popular retailers like Rimowa, Loewe, Celine, and Omega SA.

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Interesting Facts About the Complex

For a long time of Wynn’s work, metamorphoses constantly took place on the territory of the hotel-casino: some objects were replaced by others, contracts were concluded, and renovations took place. However, it is worth highlighting the most interesting:

  • Until 2006, a small art gallery functioned on the territory of the complex, which featured works by Picasso, Vermeer, and Rembrandt. The gallery has been closed to make room for new retailers, however, some of the paintings can still be seen throughout the resort.
  • The hotel has a height of 45 floors, but the top floor is marked as the sixtieth floor, because the numbers which many players consider unlucky were deliberately omitted from the numbering.
  • Initially, Wynn wanted to name the casino hotel Le Rêve. However, it was decided to name the resort after the owner just before the opening. At the same time, the original name didn’t disappear without a trace: the first show on the territory of the complex, staged by Frank Dragone, was called Le Rêve. This performance featuring acrobats and divers was held in a giant pool, and at least $40 million was spent on the creation of the show. As the years went on, the show underwent a number of changes and was closed in 2020 because of the pandemic.
  • Until 2015, the only Ferrari-Maserati dealership in Nevada worked on the territory of the Wynn complex: they offered to purchase new and used cars, as well as use rental services. The demand among customers was great, so the entrance to the sales center became paid over time.
  • Wing Lei, the first Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant, was opened in Wynn. In general, the resort boasted 18 restaurants at the time of opening, including the popular buffet.

Wynn also owns the only golf course on the Strip, which has undergone numerous renovations, temporary closures, and even became the subject of litigation.

Wynn golf course in 2008
The golf course existed in the 1950s at the Desert Inn, but it has changed significantly after Wynn purchased the site

In 2011, the resort became the first place in the city to accept bets on non-sporting events. A major redevelopment of the Wynn betting shop in 2017 created a huge video wall with a 160-degree viewing angle and a resolution of 21 million pixels.

Publication Author
Donald Peterson
Author of articles
Donald Peterson is an avid gambler from Edmonton, Alberta, who also writes about his experience with casinos. He’s been in the business for over 10 years, following the ever-changing industry landscape. His articles are aimed at helping beginners with choosing casinos, suitable games, and strategies.
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