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October 31, 2014

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Wynn: Encore will take hit despite ‘position of strength’

The financial whirlwind swirling down Wall Street and the Las Vegas Strip won't affect Wynn Resorts nearly as much as his big competitors, Steve Wynn said this morning.

Wynn said that the financial crisis obviously would have a negative impact on his company's plans to open Encore in December.

Business at Encore and at Wynn Las Vegas will likely be slower than he had once hoped -- before Wall Street investment banks began failing and shares began tanking -- but Wynn said his company has the financial wherewithal to withstand the crisis without sacrificing customer service or slashing prices to attract guests.

"Our brand is too important, and this place will be here forever," Wynn said. "We don't drop the price and we don't drop the quality of service -- I don't bounce around like a pinball. And we don't need to. Our revenues may take a hit, but we're in a position of strength, with plenty of cash. We're a battleship steaming into the harbor."

The financial upheaval has had at least one unexpected benefit for his company, he said, as layoffs and uncertainty have prompted many excellent workers to seek employment at Encore and Wynn Las Vegas.

Wynn said the company still plans to open Encore on Dec. 22, provided that the resort receives its temporary certificates of occupancy from Clark County in mid-November.

Until the TCOs are issued, Encore is only accepting reservations for Jan. 4 and beyond. If and when the TCOs are issued the property will then begin accepting reservations beginning Dec. 22.

Wynn expects to open up a couple of hundred rooms per day, gradually ramping up operations during the slow days around Christmas and building toward the big revenue days that follow for New Year's, Super Bowl weekend and Chinese New Year.

Wynn says he believes guests will be blown away by the Encore interior design.

"It's the prettiest thing we've done," he said. "It's quite stunning and it is very gratifying. The place feels like a boutique."

The entire east wall of the casino is floor-to-ceiling glass, which will be draped in the morning. The Strip-front west side is dominated by a giant atrium, and Wynn said the natural light bathing the interior of the casino is spectacular.

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