With a year and half left to go before the scheduled completion of
Wynn Resorts’ multi-billion-dollar Las Vegas hotel venture Le Reve,
everything seems to be on schedule. But the project has not been
Last month, Wynn Resorts, the company founded around Las Vegas
mogul Steve Wynn, announced that they would be changing the name of
Le Reve. The new name for the resort will be Wynn Las Vegas.
According to the company, the move is part of an effort to
create a “global brand name” to identify the company’s hotel and
casino properties. “Everyone knows intuitively what the name Wynn
stands for,” said Peter Arnell, of the Arnell Group, the firm
helping to create the brand image for the properties. “It provides
accountability for these exciting new ventures as well as ensures
the high standards of excellence known for Steve Wynn Resorts.”
Besides the Wynn Las Vegas name, Wynn Resorts announced that a
future casino in China would be called Wynn Macau. They also stated
that they had entered into an alliance with Societe des Bains de
Mer (SBM), the company that has exclusive rights to operate casinos
in the Principality of Monaco, a move that presumably suggests the
creation of a Wynn Monaco operation.
“With the expansion of business opportunities beyond Las Vegas,”
read the release, “the company felt it was important to consider
name identification and branding beyond a single property.”
The name change has its most significant impact on the Las Vegas
resort, however, as that project is already well under way.
The company still owns rights to the name Le Reve and it claims
that the name will be used in some context. “In addition to being
the name of the Picasso masterpiece that is the most significant
painting in the Wynn Collection, the name has served as a wonderful
creative influence in designing this hotel,” said Wynn in a press
release. “Le Reve means ‘the dream’ and that’s what this project
has been for me and everyone working on it.”
Groundbreaking for the hotel took place in October 2002 and the
project is scheduled for completion in March 2005. The Las Vegas
Review-Journal reported in April that Wynn said the project was
proceeding on schedule. “It’s working like a greased pig,” Wynn
said. “You can’t stop it.”
Since his company was bought out by the MGM Corp. in May 2000,
Wynn has been laying low, picking and choosing when he will speak
out and with whom while building Wynn Las Vegas at a projected cost
of about $2.5 billion.
Most of the known details about the project come from an SEC
filing last August. The filing states the resort, being built on
the former Desert Inn site, will have 2,700 guestrooms, a “casually
elegant” 111,500-square-foot casino, an 18-hole championship golf
course and 18 dining outlets. Of those eateries, six will be
fine-dining restaurants and one of those will feature cuisine by
New York celebrity chef Daniel Boulud.
The hotel will also take high-end resort shopping to new heights
with a Ferrari and Maserati dealership on site.
Despite Wynn’s lofty plans for the resort some critics and Wall
Street analysts wonder if the economy and Wynn’s influence have
diminished to the point that success of the project is in doubt.
Wynn’s initial public stock offering in June 2002 had to drop
prices three times before it raised the $450 million needed to get
the project rolling. Since then, the stock has suffered occasional
ups and downs but the $1-billion-plus loan package has been
Bill Thompson, a professor of public administration at the
University of Nevada Las Vegas, prefers to look at the bright side.
“I think it’s fantastic that someone is investing in Las Vegas
given the situation right now,” Thompson said.
“It’s a vote of confidence in Las Vegas, and I bet on Steve
Wynn. I bet he’s got it down right.”