Wynn christening!

Apr 26, 2005 5:48 AM

Steve Wynn unveils the most expensive casino in the world on Thursday, but the feeling in Las Vegas is more like it’s Christmas morning and there’s a mysterious package waiting to be opened under the tree.

That’s a measure of the anticipation that has been generated surrounding the opening of the $2.7 billion Wynn Las Vegas resort on the site of the old Desert Inn.

Fronted by a tree-covered artificial mountain and artificial lake, Wynn Las Vegas is shrouded in mystery as details of the hotel and its amenities have been kept under wraps.

Nevertheless, the resort is expected to set the new standard for luxury with its ultra-deluxe rooms and upscale facilities.

While details of the resort’s interior have not been widely circulated and photographs have been banned, the hotel’s web site boasts that "Michelangelo took four years to complete the Sistine Chapel. Your room took five."

The 2,700 rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the Strip, the mountain and lake, or the resort’s 18-hole golf course on the east side of the hotel.

Wynn’s art collection still holds a prominent role in the resort’s bid to provide guests with a VIP experience. Visitors will find masterpieces dispersed throughout, as well as imported materials and accents.

The complex also sports 18 restaurants, some run by celebrity chefs, theaters, a spa and dozens of designer boutiques along with a Ferrari Maserati exotic car dealership.

A few of the designer restaurants include:

”¡ Alex: a bistro specializing in the French Riviera dishes created by award-winning chef Alessandro Stratt.

”¡ SW Steakhouse: Chef Eric Klein combines the classic American steakhouse with the flavors of Alsace, France to create a unique dining experience.

”¡ Daniel Boulud Brasserie: The bustling bistro features the country French cuisine of chefs Daniel Boulud and Philippe Rispoli.

”¡ Wing Lei: Chef Richard Chen imports the decadent ambiance of French-influenced Shanghai where diners can feast on Cantonese, Shanghai and Szechwan specialties.

”¡ Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare: James Beard award winner Paul Bartolotta orchestrates an eclectic blend of pasta, classic Italian dishes and fresh seafood flown in daily from European markets in this lively trattoria.

”¡ Okada: Modern Japanese sushi and authentic teppanyaki and robata cooking are the bill of fare of chef Takashi Yagashashi.

The resort’s shopping arcade will closely resemble an enclosed Rodeo Drive with designer boutiques such as Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, La Flirt, Louis Vuitton, Oscar De la Renta, Chanel, Cartier, Brioni and Judith Lieber.

Entertainment offerings include a multi-million dollar water-themed production staged by acclaimed director Franco Dragone and performed in a 2,000-seat theater-in-the-round, and the hit Broadway show, Avenue Q, a multiple Tony Award winner.

The resort’s casino will feature 137 table games and nearly 2,000 slots, along with a poker room, race and sports book, keno parlor and a private gaming salon.

While the hotel was in the planning stage, Wynn said his team looked around at other operations like the ornate Bellagio, but decided they simply had to "create something special that everyone must see."

Although Wynn is excited about his hotel’s complicated design with its asymmetrical roof and horizontal white lines, Wynn said the resort’s success will come down to service and employees that show a greater interest in making guests happy.

Speaking at a conference last week in Los Angeles, Wynn said the 9,500 employees have been told not to worry about money or failure. Such things are inevitable in a new operation and a new building. Their one charge, he said, is to not let guests leave unhappy, whether it takes reversing a charge or even returning a bet.

"Don’t worry about making mistakes and destroying money," Wynn said he told his employees. "The only thing that matters is that the people who come to this environment be happy and playful. It’s not about us, it’s about them."

Sounds like Santa Clause to me.