Vegas Sun/ - LAS VEGAS - The landmark $6.4 billion sale
of Mirage Resorts Inc. to MGM Grand Inc. in June 2000 was a
"mixed blessing" that gave Las Vegas casino entrepreneur
Steve Wynn an opportunity to build another megaresort, Le Reve,
says Wynn's wife, Elaine.
March 19th to more than 300 business people at an annual luncheon
of the Southern Nevada chapter of the Better Business Bureau,
Elaine Wynn said it "would not have made good business
sense to create another property that would compete with (Wynn's)
if we had still owned
was a great deal of concern when we first built Mirage
that we'll be in direct competition with ourselves. But Steve
thought there was still room because the market was still growing,"
said Elaine Wynn, who's on the board of directors of Wynn Resorts.
"Le Reve will offer a unique opportunity to do one more
final 'badaboom' in Las Vegas."
she described as a $2.6 billion resort and one of the largest
single building projects in the nation to date, Le Reve - French
for "The Dream" - a 45-story, 514-foot glass tower
at the northeast corner of Sands Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard,
is expected to break away from the conventional themed casino
concept and set new trends in casino design.
property opens in April 2005, it will have 2,701 rooms and suites,
an 111,000-square-foot casino, 18 restaurants including six
fine-dining restaurants, the Strip's only 18-hole golf course,
a gallery displaying Wynn's art collection of works by Van Gogh,
Picasso, Cezanne and Matisse, and the Strip's first full-service
Ferrari and Maserati dealership.
also will have a new water-based entertainment production by
Franco Dragone, who developed Bellagio's
production of "O" and Treasure
Island's "Mystere" shows. A 2,080-seat showroom
is planned and entertainment production costs have been listed
as a $24 million expense in
The resort, which is expected to employ about
8,000 people, would also include 78,200 square feet of retail
shopping space with brand-name, high-end boutiques, plus a 130,000-square-foot
she and Steve were able to determine what mistakes could be
avoided and improvements made in the design of Le Reve because
they're using the same design group responsible for building
Mirage and Bellagio.
Some of the design challenges she identified
include creating an intimate environment in a large-scale project
and striking a balance between the classic luxury that appealed
to the older, well-heeled customers and hip decor favored by
people in their 20s and 30s.
will achieve a more "intimate" feel than the typical
megaresort by shrinking distances between the property's various
features. In another break with convention, some of the outdoor
attractions won't be visible from the Strip sidewalk, requiring
customers to enter the resort in order to experience them,
want to be able to control the total experience of our guests
and let them benefit from all the special attractions of the
hotel. The volcano eruptions outside The
Mirage, the Bellagio
fountain are all extensions of signs and best viewed from outside.
Le Reve is being constructed
on the site of the former legendary Desert Inn. (Seen here in
2001 shortly before it was torn down to make way for the
we want to be able to view wonderful things from the inside,"
she said. "Las
Vegas (casinos) are also themed (to the point) of ad nauseam.
It's time for us to go in a whole different direction,"
challenge is making Le Reve user-friendly, she said. "One
of the things that struck us (in most casino designs) was how
far apart everything was (in terms of access,)" she said.
"If people are traversing long spaces ... you can condense
that (space) by building up."
expected changes to the tax environment brought on by the proposed
gross receipts taxes, Wynn maintains that Nevada's tax policies
are still pro-business because Nevada residents are still exempt
from personal income taxes.
what worries us about doing business here? Transportation issues,
the situation with the airlines, the cost of gasoline and terrorism,"
she said. "That's why we hired (former Metro sheriff) Jerry
Keller as our security chief at Le Reve because we're living
in a new age and Keller's background deals with protection of
property and staff."
Sylvia Campbell, president and chief executive of the Southern
Nevada chapter of the Better Business Bureau, said the number
of general complaints filed with the bureau jumped to 7,000
in 2002 from 4,500 in 2001.
said this number is expected to rise to 8,000 this year because
of growing consumer awareness of investment scams, the ease
of online filing as well as an increase in the number of investment
and charity-related scams in the wake of the economic downturn.
who said the bureau has about 3,200 members in Las Vegas and
has been gaining between 50 and 125 new business members each
month over the past three years, identified surging incidents
of identity theft and pyramid schemes as some of the bureau's