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September 23, 2014

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Wynn Las Vegas gets $99 million upgrade after 5 years

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Leila Navidi

The newly designed salon suite at Wynn Las Vegas Wednesday, February 23, 2011.

Wynn's Redesigned Rooms

The newly designed hallways at Wynn Las Vegas Wednesday, February 23, 2011. Launch slideshow »
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Steve Wynn

Map of Wynn Las Vegas

Wynn Las Vegas

3131 S. Las Vegas Blvd. , Las Vegas

While some of his Las Vegas Strip neighbors are tattered from several years of use, Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn barely waits for a thread to be out of place at his hotels before calling for a complete remodel.

It’s a practice the casino mogul has followed since the beginning of his career, first at the Golden Nugget and now at Wynn Las Vegas, where his company is spending $99 million on renovating the resort’s 2,700 hotel rooms and suites. The resort hasn't even reached its sixth anniversary.

The renovations are complete in Wynn Las Vegas’ Resort Tower and are 60 percent complete in the hotel’s AAA Five Diamond-rated Tower Suites. The room remodel is expected to be finished in the second quarter of this year.

Crews completed the room renovations beginning at the top of the 45-floor Wynn Las Vegas and working toward the bottom, leaving a buffer of eight floors between the work and hotel guests to avoid disturbances.

At the helm of the project is Wynn Design and Development Executive Vice President Roger Thomas, who has worked for the casino owner for 30 years. Thomas is the design guru responsible for the European style of the Bellagio and the high-end Encore -- and most recently the Wynn and Encore resorts in Macau.

“We like to stay ahead of the game. We have a lot of repeat guests and getting them into a different room is a way of honoring them, I think,” Thomas said. “Some of the things you use in a resort have a life, and although we replace those things, there comes a time when carpet and drapery should be replaced even though they don’t need to be.”

Wynn Las Vegas’ previous rooms and suites had differed styles and colors, some in dark browns and others in reds, but the renovation has given the accommodations a cohesive style throughout the hotel, Thomas said.

He stripped the rooms of their dark wall coverings and carpeting, then replaced them with neutral tones. The rooms have a more sleek, modern feel, but still reflect Wynn’s signature style.

The designer recycled some of the existing pieces, such as the dressers and bedside tables, by having a refinishing company touch up the pieces. New shades were added to lamps that could be salvaged and the bathroom floors and counters were resurfaced.

As for the rest of the pieces, Thomas said they will be making appearances in three- and four-star resorts around the country.

The rooms are full of white vinyl furnishings, a frequent request from Wynn himself. (Thomas said he’s been outfitting Wynn’s aircraft with the fabric for years.)

Bringing pops of color to the rooms are reprints of Warhol, Picasso and Van Gough, a reflection of Wynn’s extensive art collection and Thomas’ art history degree.

“I made a decision from the very beginning that we were not going to use hotel art,” Thomas said.

And, of course, almost everything in the rooms is custom-made for the Wynn. From the carpeting to the drapery to the light fixtures, Thomas designs and creates most of the furnishings and textiles exclusively for the resort, unlike most hotels, which buy goods from hotel supply companies.

“I want our guests to have a wonderful experience here, but if they want more of it, they are just going to have to come back because it doesn’t exist anywhere else,” Thomas said. “That has to be a selling point.”

But guests can take home the same kind of mattress that's in their Wynn room, and they often do. The Wynn home store — where guests can buy items from the resort, such as sheets, towels and spa products — sells several mattresses each day because, according to Thomas, “what better place to try out a new mattress than a hotel?”

Similar to in-room technology at other high-end Strip hotels, the resort has rolled out a central remote system, allowing guests to control the room’s functions with a touch of a few buttons. Thomas designed the fonts, backlighting and faceplates for the control panels, as well.

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Wynn Design and Development Executive Vice President Roger Thomas leads a tour of the newly designed executive suite at Wynn Las Vegas Wednesday, February 23, 2011.

Unlike the Control4 system that CityCenter hotels feature, which required the hotel to be prewired, Wynn Las Vegas’ system uses radio frequency technology, so the system could be installed years after the building’s construction.

The new system is available for guests in more than 20 languages, including Mandarin for Wynn Resorts’ growing Asian customer base.

The in-room technology is part of the increased connectivity that guests are looking for more often, even when compared to five years ago when Wynn Las Vegas first opened, Thomas said. They want Wi-Fi (which is part of Wynn’s $20-per-night resort fee) and outlets near the bed and sofas, not just at the desk, he said.

Thomas said guests also want their rooms to have a residential feel, but not to the extreme of condo-hotels, like Vdara and the Cosmopolitan.

“I’ve always wanted our rooms to feel like your pied-à-terre in Las Vegas, but I want to make sure it doesn’t feel too much like your own home. I want it to feel like a great home — an elegant and wonderful experience,” Thomas said. “But our rooms are so cohesive and such a controlled environment that few homes ever get to look this organized.”

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  1. His last marriage got the same upgrade, so did the Nevada Treasury.

  2. sevenhills, are you saying the Wynn organization is bad pay or slow pay?

    It's one thing to make allegations, it's another to back them up with facts.

  3. Maybe I can get him to sell me an "old" couch and chair or something so I can give a 5 star feel to my one (or 2?) star house! Good to see Mr. Wynn investing in the upgrades and keeping some workers in jobs. Those 3 and 4 star resorts around the country will get a nice upgrade too.
    Good job Steve!

  4. Considering the dollar amounts of restoration for such short period of use, along with some of his previous frivolous spending ideas, I suggest that Mr. Wynn's perceptions of what will bring success to his ventures must be wearing thin with investors. Has Mr. Wynn ever given thought to the future of his enterprise when China restricts access to gambling and how can one discount such possibility?