Steve Wynn Continues To Raise The Bar in Las Vegas with Wynn and Encore Properties

From his humble beginnings running his family’s Bingo Parlor business, it was clear early on Steve Wynn was a visionary with big dreams! A small stake in the Frontier, then controlling interest in Golden Nugget, eventually led him to open the $630 million Mirage  in 1989. Siegfried and Roy were the most famous entertainment in the world at the time and put on retainer with the hotel for an unprecedented fee and the strip got it’s first volcano!

Next came Treasure Island at a mere $450 million. A live pirate show and the Mystere Cirque du Soleil show  was the first permanent Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas.

Wynn had bigger  dreams however. He was just getting warmed up. Next up $1.6 billion luxury casino resort Bellagio. Inspired by the Lake Como resort of Bellagio in Italy, Bellagio is famed for its elegance. 8 acres. An artificial lake, synchronized dancing fountains,  indoor conservatory, a museum-quality art gallery and branches of high-end boutiques and restaurants from Paris, San Francisco, and New York City. Oh yeah, and a 2,000 square foot  Dale Chihuly ceiling in the lobby!

Mirage was sold for $6.6 billion to MGM. With the money he made on that deal, and with his ability to secure ever-greater financing, Steve Wynn took Wynn Resorts Limited public in 2002. (stock was available for a mere $29 last summer. Currently it is trading for about $90).

 In 2005 Wynn opened the $2.7 billion flagship property Wynn Las Vegas. It was the largest privately-funded construction project in the nation. This compares with the budget for reconstruction with the World Trade Center site which at that time was projected to be $1.7 billion.

 215 acres. 2700+ rooms. I thought he was done. But he wasn’t quite done. Wynn had plans for a second building, Encore. At $2.3 billion, he added another 2,000+ rooms.

The entire Wynn resort complex has a total of 4,750 rooms. At first glance people think the Encore is just an expansion of the flagship Wynn Las Vegas.

But this LUXURIOUS recent addition  sets a distinctive stage with its 2,034 suites,all with floor-to-ceiling windows.

The Resort Suites offers style with a comfortable, residential feel: A range from 700 to 745 square feet with floor-to-ceiling windows, Wynn signature beds with European linens (all the bedding is available for purchase , including the bed, which was quite heavenly!), 42” or 46” flat-panel televisions featuring on-demand movies, State-of-the-art office equipment, one touch climate controls, a fully stocked mini bar and in-room safes. Bathrooms include 19’ flat-screen television, dual sinks, sitting areas with lighted vanity mirrors, separate shower and soaking tub, and Signature Wynn Resorts robes and slippers.The hotel tower features two sections: standard Resort tower as well as the smaller, more upscale Tower Suites. Tower Suites can range from 1,400 square feet up to 3 bedroom apartments.




The beautiful vision Wynn brings to Las Vegas is done with the help of  a  gay man. Roger Thomas, Wynn’s gay executive vice president of design,  and the designer responsible for the Bellagio, the Wynn, and the Encore hotel, recently spoke to the Advocate . In the article,  he reflects on a life with business partner Steve Wynn, his retirement and how his aesthetic transformed the face of Las Vegas forever. 

As any good designer will tell, it’s all about the details. Roger is often  caught moving various art objects to the precise spaces on tables where he wants them. “Most of the housekeeping crew, I’ve trained them and gone over it, and we’ve done photographs, but it’s very difficult,” he says, exasperated. “So I walk through the hotel all the time rearranging accessories.”

Thomas didn’t need to school the Wynns on gay sensitivity. The Wynn’s are friends with the likes of David Geffen and Sandy Gallin. But after Steve Wynn asked his executives to donate to the reelection of George W. Bush in 2004, Thomas leveraged the favor by urging Wynn to provide domestic-partner benefits for the company’s employees. (Wynn Resorts received 100 Percent on Human Rights Campaigns Corporate Equality Index ).

Wynn and Thomas seem to have a comfortable gay-straight patter. Thomas will mock his boss when they disagree by saying, “I know you feel that way because you’re straight. You can’t help it. You were born that way, and nobody’s perfect.” For Wynn’s part, on a pre-opening tour of Encore, the mogul pointed out female nude figures ensconced in gold along the walls of the nightclub XS. When asked whose idea that was, Wynn cracked, “Roger Thomas, if ya can believe that!” 


The two stunning properties are connected by a 27,000-square-foot shopping esplanade  that showcases an eclectic best-of-the-best. Rock & Republic, Hermès, Chanel… Roger Thomas, spent three years perusing shops, markets, and auctions in Paris, Florence, Venice, New York, and Hong Kong to create Encore’s one-of-a-kind environments: The five-foot-tall pairs of white wall sconces at the north and west entrances were originally made for a 1928 Cap d’Antibes hotel; the casino’s crimson chandeliers are fashioned from mouth-blown Venetian Rubino glass; the baccarat pavilion’s playing-card still lifes date to 1930s France. Check out the Wynn-Encore Home Store .

Wynn is never quite finished with a project and always tweaking and tinkering with his properties.  Construction began on the Encore Beach Club last fall. The EBC  and Surrender Nightclub, located in the former Encore porte-cochere, opened last week.  The project, which also includes outdoor seating for Switch restaurant, cost an estimated $67 million.

The 60,000-square-foot Encore Beach Club will be a 21-and-over pool complex. The pool will feature 26 cabanas, eight two-story, 350-square-foot bungalows, a restaurant and poolside blackjack and craps.

Connected to the Encore Beach Club will be Surrender Nightclub. The 5,000 square-foot Nightclub will open to the outdoors as the weather permits. DJ Steve Aoki will be the resident DJ at Surrender. The Encore Beach Club will be open Monday through Thursday from noon to 7 p.m. and Friday through Saturday beginning at 10 A.M.

5 star dining , shopping, spa, entertainment, accommodations – you name it –  Wynn has won it.

Wynn Las Vegas and Encore continue to set the bar for luxury and excellence in Las Vegas. Wynn and Encore collectively have more Forbes Five Star awards than any other casino resort in the world.

The resort has earned AAA five diamond, Mobil five-star, Forbes five-star, and Michelin five-star ratings and is considered to be one of the finest hotels in the world. Wynn Las Vegas and its sister property Encore Las Vegas collectively hold more Forbes five-star awards than any other resort and casino in the world. Wynn Las Vegas also made Forbes Award history by earning five-star ratings in every category – Hotel, Restaurant, and Spa – for two consecutive years.

Is Steve Wynn done?   I doubt it! 
I am sure he  still has a few more
surprises up his sleeve!

Visit the Encore and Wynn for your next LGBT Las Vegas getaway!

Wynn Las Vegas and Encore offer  LGBT guests a dedicated concierge  and resort host to make sure every aspect of their stay is as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Among the services offered are dining reservations, assistance with show tickets and nightclub arrangements, golf tee-times, spa and salon appointments, limo transportation, sightseeing tours and shopping services. Their  hospitality professionals will  also offer suggestions for gay and gay-friendly bars, entertainment and nightlife throughout town and can provide current newspapers and periodicals published expressly for the LGBT community.

The Encore will even help you celebrate your commitment ceremony  with them. 

Best of Gay Las Vegas  


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