Tag Archives: Encore

$67 Million Memorial Day Weekend Party in Las Vegas

Lavish spending and, hopefully, getting a great return on the investment, is the whole idea behind the replacement of the porte cochere at Wynn’s Encore with Encore Beach Resort and Surrender nightclub in Las Vegas, including new outdoor seating for Switch restaurant as well. 

The changes, funded by Wynn Resorts Ltd., all kickoff starting on Memorial Day weekend.

The beach club features a 60,000-square-foot pool with 40-foot tall palm trees and three tiered pools.  Bungalows and cabanas are part of the chic design experience, along with a restaurant and poolside gaming tables.

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Hey, Steve Wynn, can you spare a dime?

As most everyone, casino mogul Steve Wynn has gone through some cash woes this year, what with his impending divorce and bad stock performance.  But things are apparently looking up for Stevie… 

Last week Wynn Resorts, Ltd. announced it will pay its shareholders a $4-per-share dividend on Dec. 3, which will earn Steve Wynn, the casino operator’s founder and largest shareholder, a payment of at least $88.6 million- that’s M-I-L-L-I-O-N. 

Yep, the company’s board of directors authorized the special one-time $4 payment for shareholders of record as of Nov. 19.

According to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Wynn, the chairman and chief executive officer, holds more than 22.15 million of the company’s 123.11 million outstanding shares. 

The company, which operates Wynn Las Vegas, Encore, Wynn Macau, is building the $650 million Encore at Wynn Macau, and announced it was starting a regular cash dividend program next year.  It expects to pay 20 cents per share dividend in the first quarter. 

The one-time $4 payment will reportedly cost Wynn Resorts more than $492 million. 

The rich get richer.

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Las Vegas Billionaires Cry in their Dom Pérignon

The annual Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans for 2009 was released this week.  With deep sadness and regret Las Vegas Backstage Access reports that most Las Vegas gaming luminaries have taken multibillion-dollar net worth shellackings. billionaires

Most blamed their financial woes largely on the stock market’s collapse in 2008 and early 2009. 

Las Vegas Sands Corp. founder, chairman and chief executive officer Sheldon Adelson, 76, was the highest-ranking Nevada resident on the list, coming in at No. 26 with a net worth of $9 billion. 

But even that is chump change in comparison to Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates who tops the Forbes list with a net worth of $50 billion, followed by financier Warren Buffett, who comes in at No. 2 with $40 billion. 

By comparison, Adelson began 2008 as the third-richest person, but Forbes refigured its list later in the year and Adelson fell to 15th with a net worth of $15 billion. In March, when Forbes released its top billionaire list, Adelson was listed with a net worth of $3.4 billion. 

Las Vegas Sands avoided filing bankruptcy nearly a year ago when Adelson invested $1 billion of his own money into the company to make a debt payment. 

Kirk Kerkorian, the 92-year-old Los Angeles billionaire who owns about 43 percent of MGM Mirage, took the largest tumble of all gaming executives on the list, falling from 27th in 2008 with $11.2 billion, to 97th in 2009 with a net worth of $3 billion. 

MGM Mirage’s declining stock since the end of 2007 reduced the value of Kerkorian’s holdings in the company from $11 billion down to $1.5 billion. Other Kerkorian investments in the oil and automotive industries also suffered throughout the year. 

Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman Steve Wynn fell from 118th with $3.4 billion to 141st with $2.3 billion. “Tough year for the king of Las Vegas,” Forbes reported. 

The biggest Las Vegas challenge, according to the magazine, was opening the $2.3 billion Encore last December in the middle of the recession.  

Meanwhile, Wynn cashed out more than $100 million in shares of Wynn Resorts that will be used as part of his upcoming divorce settlement with his wife, Elaine. 

Other Las Vegas gaming industry executives making the list included former Stratosphere owner Carl Icahn, who recently became majority shareholder of Tropicana Entertainment. Icahn was 22nd with $10.5 billion in net worth. 

New York billionaire Donald Trump, who owns the Trump International Las Vegas and 30 percent of the company that controls three Atlantic City casinos, was 158th on the list with $2 billion in net worth. 

Other Las Vegans include Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin, No. 193 with $1.85 billion, and Silverton owner Ed Roski Jr., No. 236 with $1.5 billion, rounded out the list of gaming executives. 

Hilton Hotels scion Barron Hilton, who earned $800 million when the company was sold to Blackstone in 2007 and $300 million from the sale of Harrah’s Entertainment in 2008, is tied with Wynn for 141st on the list with $2.3 billion. 

Curiously, Las Vegas partier and socialite extraordinaire Paris Hilton, and even her pet monkey were left off the list. 

The only other Nevadan listed on the Forbes 400 is Henderson resident Nancy Walton Laurie, daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. She was listed in 118th place with $2.6 billion. 

Three members of Mars family, whose family’s company owns the Las Vegas-based Ethel M Chocolate family, tied for 19th place on the list, each with $11 million in net worth. 

Now, a brief moment of silence for all the Las Vegas  billionaires who have lived gold-gilded lives and lost but a smidgeon of their fortunes– and for the majority masses who can’t even count to a billion, or even write it.

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Las Vegas Nightclubs Gone Too Wild?

Even in wild, anything goes Las Vegas, apparently, there are limits on what can and can’t be done in nightclubs.

In July, gaming regulators slapped the Planet Hollywood casino with a $500,000 fine for its Prive nightclub’s bad behavior, including “topless and lewd activity” and dumping club-goers in the casino “in various states of consciousness.”

The same month, the Rio closed its Sapphire topless pool, managed by a local gentleman’s club, after authorities arrested 10 people on suspicion of prostitution and drug crimes. Over Labor Day weekend, eight more arrests on similar charges were made at the Hard Rock Hotel’s pool club party, Rehab.

It’s all part of a crackdown by Las Vegas authorities on what they see as clubs gone wild.

“The quarrel is not, ‘You guys are offering entertainment that’s going to offend Middle America.’ We all want to keep Middle America coming to us to have fun. But we have rules,” said Randall Sayre of the Nevada Gaming Control Board. During the heyday of the “What happens here, stays here” tourism campaign, the must-have accessory for any Las Vegas Strip casino was a pulsating nightclub that lured Hollywood starlets and drunken tourists willing to pay for a few hours of shimmer.

That has sometimes proved to be an ill-fated mix. Though the clubs are reliable moneymakers and publicity machines, some have vexed officials with their fraternity-style antics — including stripping contests, fistfights, and alleged drug use and sexual assaults.

In the last decade, smoky lounges on the Strip gave way to three-story mega-clubs and booze-drenched pool parties. Out on the cutting edge of trendy are clubs such as the bronze-walled XS, the centerpiece of casino magnate Steve Wynn’s resort Encore.

Most of the clubs, which pull in tens of millions of dollars from high-volume sales of alcohol and special seating, successfully keep thousands of tourists under control. But the venues, jostling for the same young crowd, have a penchant for envelope-pushing — and the casinos, Sayre said, have mostly kept their hands off the cash machines.

In the last two years, Clark County has warned clubs about a wet-boxer-shorts contest and women shedding shirts at events named “Lose the Tan Lines” and “Boobs or Bust.” Some clubs launched stripping contests; others tried to sneak around no-nudity ordinances by slathering women in body paint.

Many nightlife problems are far graver, however, which could prove problematic for casinos in the long run. Gaming regulators can hold them responsible for most anything that unfolds on their properties.

In 2006, the state Gaming Control Board told casinos it was concerned about reports of violent, excessively drunk and underage club-goers. In the last year, authorities have noticed an uptick in prostitution and narcotics crimes at Strip hot spots, said Officer Bill Cassell of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

But it was “Prive-gate” that truly rattled the town’s after-dark scene and it appears no end is in sight for the enforcement and creation of new clubbing rules to govern Las Vegas partygoers.

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What’s Up with Steve Wynn and Encore in Las Vegas?

There is much controversy swirling around a supposed new nightclub and beach at Encore in Las Vegas, the newest signature resort in the Wynn collection, which opened  on December 22, 2008. 

Many are saying the nightclub has been named Switch Beach and the club’s monicker will be Wet Kiss.  

Plus, as Steve Wynn and his wife Elaine are going through the steps of their costly divorce, recently selling stock to plan for the eventuality as reported by Las Vegas Backstage Access, Steve now has reportedly purchased another luxury yacht.

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Garth Brooks Las Vegas Show Rumors Persist

As previously reported by Las Vegas Backstage Access, country singer Garth Brooks appears to be still actively looking for a Las Vegas gig, ostensibly with Steve Wynn’s Encore Theater, after previously retiring and walking away from his iconic rise to stardom in October 2000, saying he wanted to spend more time with his three daughters. GarthBrooks

Despite trying to ink a Las Vegas show deal, people from both camps remain stauch that there is no deal in the works. 

Some close to the action are going so far as to say Brooks has already signed a 16-week headliner detail to appear at the Encore Theater, starting in October.

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Caesars Palace in Las Vegas Opens Gigantic New Meeting Space

Bad economy be darn.  Caesars Palace opened 110,000 square feet of new convention and meeting spaces on July 13, despite an economic downturn that has Las Vegas convention attendance dropping double digits, equating to 2,441 fewer meetings held this year than last. 

The convention area was part of a $1 billion expansion project of Caesars Palace that boosts the property’s total meeting space to 320,000 square feet. 

Harrah’s Entertainment in January announced it was postponing construction of the planned 660-room Octavius Tower, but would work to continue the convention area. 

The new space is the largest in Las Vegas for Harrah’s Entertainment.  The company’s other properties range in size form 160,000 square feet at the Rio, where the World Series of Poker (WSOP) is held annually, to 25,000 square feet at the Flamingo in Las Vegas. 

Caesars Palace officials expect the new space will permit it better to compete with similarly sized high-end space at the Bellagio, Encore, and Wynn Las Vegas.

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