Wynn vows to raise the bar in Macau

November 27, 2007 5:09 AM
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Steve Wynn helped Las Vegas shed its image as a sleazy gambling capital and make inroads as a family holiday destination, and his top-notch hotel restaurants have put Sin City on the culinary map.

Now the casino tycoon has his sights firmly trained on expanding his business in the former Portuguese colony of Macau as he looks to scale the next high point of what has been an already heady career.

The 65-year-old’s reputation was burnished further last week when the prestigious Michelin Guide announced its first Las Vegas edition, showering honors on Wynn’s restaurants across the city.

His $2.7 billion namesake on the Las Vegas Strip earned Michelin’s highest rating of five pavilions; three of the hotel’s restaurants earned stars in the respected gastronomic guide.

But while Wynn said he was excited by the success of his Las Vegas flagship, he hopes it will one day pale in comparison with the reputation of the resort he intends to build on Macau’s Cotai strip in the next decade.

The aim, Wynn told AFP, is to "create the most beautiful hotel ever built."

"We’re not going to be the biggest, we’re not going to have the most amount of square footage, we’re not going to have the most amount of rooms or the biggest casino or any of that jazz," Wynn said. "We’re just going to have the nicest place anybody has ever walked into."

That vague description of the unnamed, still-undesigned and unbudgeted property is a challenge to Wynn’s chief rival in Las Vegas and Macau, Las Vegas Sands Inc., which this summer opened the mammoth $1.8 billion Venetian Macau, reputed to be the world’s second-largest building and largest casino, on an area of reclaimed land on the Chinese Special Region.