/ By Orna Taub/
Forbes Travel Guide, regarded as the most prestigious and stringent hotel and resort rating institution, awarded the Tower Suites and spas at Wynn and Encore Las Vegas
and the hotels and spas at Wynn and Encore Macau a Five-Star rating, giving Wynn resorts a collective 40 stars, more than any independent hotel company in the world.
Wynn Resorts Ltd., is a Nevada based corporation that develops and operates high end hotels and casinos. The company was established on 25.10.2002 by Stephen A. Wynn, a Jewish American business tycoon, considered one of the central players in the restoration and extension of the Las Vegas Strip in 1990, and who was Chairman, President and CEO of Mirage Resorts Inc. and its predecessor from 1973-2000. The story behind Wynn Resorts is actually Steve Wynn’s story, the 503 richest man in the world, according to Forbes, 168 in the U.S., worth a total of $2.8 billion.
The Road to Riches:
Stephen Allen Weinberg was born in New Haven Connecticut on 27.1.42. He inherited his attraction for gambling and casinos from his father Michael, who ran a string of bingo parlors. It was also his father who changed their last name to Wynn when Steve was six months old, to avoid anti-Semitism. After his father died in 63, leaving a debt of $350, 000 behind him, Wynn began to run the family business in Maryland. He was so successful, that he began investing in casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. He later refurbished or built many of today’s famous and successful resorts, including Bellagio, Mirage, Treasure Island and the Golden Nugget.
After losing Mirage Resorts in a hostile takeover in 2000, Wynn decided on a comeback, turning for funding to Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada of Universal Entertainment Corporation, who had made a large part of his fortune from gambling machines for the notorious Pachinko clubs, and was therefore familiar with the growing Asian gambling industry. Together they created Wynn Resorts, with Okada as the major shareholder.
Their first enterprise, Wynn Las Vegas opened on 28.4.2005 on the Las Vegas Strip, and includes a 2716 luxury room and suite hotel and destination casino resort, with a spa, night club, 22 food and beverage outlets, an 18-hole golf course, and extensive meeting and retail spaces. On 22.10.2008, its extension, Encore Las Vegas was opened, adding a 2034 all-suite hotel, a casino, night club, spa, salon, 12 food and beverage outlets and additional meeting and retail facilities. Wynn and Encore’s spas are two of the four Las Vegas spas to be awarded Forbes five stars.
Wynn Macau is a destination casino resort, established on 5.9.2006, and features 600 deluxe hotel rooms and suites, a casino, 6 restaurants, a health club, pool and spa, lounges and meeting facilities, and extensive retail space. Encore Macau, 21.4.1010 added a luxury hotel with 414 suites and villas, along with restaurants and additional retail and gaming space. Wynn and Encore Macau are 2 out the 5 casino resorts in Macau, to be awarded Forbes 5 stars. Wynn hopes to open Wynn Cotai, an additional resort on the Cotai Strip in Macau in early 2014.
The honeymoon between Wynn and Okada ended officially and unpleasantly in 2011, a decade after its inception. Wynn Resorts considered opening a casino in the Philippines, but decided against it, due to their concern over the corruption in the country’s gaming industry. Okada decided to proceed with the venture on his own, leading to the break with Wynn. Both sides accused each other of corruption. Wynn accused Okada of bribing Philippine officials, and Okada questioned Wynn’s $135 million donation to the University of Macau. Okada resigned as chairman in 2011 and six months later was forced to sell his shares back at an almost 30% discount, after the accusations against him were confirmed.
Another win for Wynn!