Las Vegas Sun

October 1, 2014

gaming:

$2.3 billion Encore opens its doors

Hundreds pack gaming area on resort’s opening night

Image

Courtesy of Wynn Las Vegas

The spa treatment hall within Encore Las Vegas.

Updated Monday, Dec. 22, 2008 | 11:38 p.m.

A look inside Encore

A look inside Steve Wynn's new $2.3 billion Encore hotel and casino. Images were provided by Encore Las Vegas, which isn't allowing video to be shot inside the resort.

Encore Las Vegas

The Encore is shown to the left of the Wynn Las Vegas on the Strip. Launch slideshow »

Beyond the Sun

UPDATED STORY: Wynn reaches for the next level

The newest casino on the Las Vegas Strip is open for business. Steve Wynn opened the doors tonight of his latest luxury resort, Encore Las Vegas.

By the time the doors opened at 8 p.m., hundreds of people were waiting outside to enter the building in five different lines. The parking garage was full about 30 minutes later.

Nearly all slot machines were occupied and many restaurants and bars appeared full.

Encore is nearly a mirror image of the Wynn Las Vegas, from the brown glass exterior to the style and placement of the logo. Construction began on the $2.3 billion resort in 2006, only a year after the Wynn opened.

“We think of Encore as the flirty younger sister of Wynn,” senior vice president of design Jerry Beale said today.

Inside Encore, the new resort houses 2,034 suites -- 682 more than the Wynn. The Encore standard suites are 700 square feet, compared to 640 square feet at the Wynn. The larger suites at the new resort measure 5,800 square feet, 2,600 square feet larger than the flagship property’s large suites.

Wynn recently slashed room rates at both resorts, to $149 for a night at the Wynn and $179 at Encore, with a $50 dining certificate thrown in. Wynn said in a recent interview with the Sun that when the company trimmed its room rates, the resorts received more than 10,000 room reservations in a day.

The Mirage’s former resident comedian, Danny Gans, will take the stage as Encore’s headline performer in February 2009.

XS nightclub will head Encore’s nightlife and poolside party scene, a concept Wynn is banking on being the resort’s top attraction.

Wynn recruited Victor Drai, creator of Tryst in the Wynn, to recreate the luxurious nightlife vibe in Encore with XS. Wynn said that with Encore, he focused on a younger crowd and nightlife.

“It’s changed Las Vegas and it’s a sign in the change of tastes of the younger generation that want to be part of the show, not in the audience,” he said. “They want to be the actors.”

The casino has 72,000 square feet of gaming space. Wynn Las Vegas has an 111,000-square-foot casino floor, but Wynn said gaming has never been a top priority in his resorts.

“In my business gaming has never been the driver,” he said. “It’s maybe been the best cash register in the building until the clubs came along.”

Encore Las Vegas will feature five new restaurants, including a tribute restaurant to Frank Sinatra, called Sinatra, and seven bars, compared to the 22 food and beverage outlets the Wynn contains.

Encore Esplanade will feature 11 high-end retail stores, with brands like Hermes, and Rock and Republic. It also has a spa, a salon and an 18-hole, on-site golf course, which is adjacent to the Wynn.

Reporter Sarah Feldberg and photographer Justin M. Bowen contributed to this report.

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