Kenny Wynn sat with the Presley people at this past weekend’s Black and White Ball honoring Priscilla during the Nevada Ballet Theatre’s “Woman of the Year” party at the Aria. So how did Steve Wynn’s younger brother end up rubbing shoulders with those real and honorary members of the “Memphis Mafia?”
“I’ve always been a big Presley fan,” he explained.
Kenny had an insider’s view of the Presley empire back in the 1970s when “The King” was selling out hundreds of performances at the Las Vegas Hilton. Wynn was in charge of the sale of Presley memorabilia and even traveled with Presley on tour. He was a pallbearer when Presley’s manager Col. Tom Parker died.
Kenny eventually moved into the Wynn casino business where he was head of the company’s design center, but lost interest in the Presley era and several years ago became part of the Robert Sillerman-led group that planned to build a Presley-themed resort on 18 acres opposite CityCenter between the MGM Grand and Planet Hollywood.
Priscilla cheered his becoming part of the planning group, saying, “You’ll bring a fan’s perspective to the project.”
Wynn says the timing was bad as the nose-diving economy shut the door on opportunities for borrowing. It’s probably also true that Sillerman could not have picked a worse time to try and borrow money from anyone for a Las Vegas casino.
Wynn has been making his design and construction expertise available to projects outside Las Vegas during the last year or so and is associated with an Apache project near Lawton, Okla., and two others in the Southwest. Many Indian projects, he adds, have had difficulty accessing financing, thanks in large part to the surprising difficulties at the Pequot tribe’s giant Foxwoods project in Connecticut.