Tag Archives: Steve Wynn

Steve Wynn’s Fling is Kaput

Billionaire Las Vegas and Macau hotel and casino mogul Steve Wynn, 68, and his British girlfriend, Andrea Hissom, right, 46, have split, according to multiple sources. 

Their parting comes a little more than a year after their romance, which bloomed on the French Riviera, became public. 

Wynn and former wife Elaine were divorced Jan. 5, and she received a settlement that Steve Wynn, who became a billionaire in 2004, confirmed was one of the largest in U.S. history. 

There was a recent spat, and Hissom, the mother of two teenage sons, has apparently returned to London, sources said. 

Wynn and Hissom lived in a luxiorious villa on the Wynn Las Vegas property, a long walk from the villa occupied by Elaine Wynn. 

In a recent interview that appeared in Sunday’s South China Morning Post, Steve Wynn acknowledged that the two women have not met. “Elaine does not want to meet Andrea,” he told the newspaper and saying he and Elaine had split a year before he met Hissom. 

During the interview, it was clear he was still smitten with Hissom.  “I get to go to bed at night with this lady who is sweet and perfect,” he says. “She’s 46 but looks 18. She is genetically lucky. I grew up with Elaine.” 

Elaine told the newspaper, “I am mourning the loss of the dream as much as the man, but I do not feel like a victim in any way.”

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Lady Antebellum & Miranda Lambert Weekend in Las Vegas

In the fickle music biz, careers many times breeze in and out like the capricious winds. 

Last year the Nashville trio Lady Antebellum, right, – “Lady A” to their fans – didn’t win the one category they were nominated in last year (for Top Vocal Group), but this year it’s a whole new story. They’re the favored front-runner, with seven nominations for Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. 

Lady Antebellum’s free performance drew a huge crowd to Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas last night.  Some said the show drew upwards to 20,000 people. If so, that would make it the largest non-New Year’s Eve gathering ever on Glitter Gulch and the biggest in the four-year tradition of ACM-related concerts. 

Nominated for seven awards, the group attended last Wednesday’s “American Idol” show and did a post-show taping of their hit “Need You Now.” Their performance will be part of the “Idol Gives Back” show next week. 

Lady Antebellum announced on Friday that their latest, “American Honey,” was the band’s third consecutive No. 1.  Lady Antebellum’s current single, “Need You Now,” is No. 4 on Billboard’s overall Hot 100 song chart, sandwiched between Train and Lady Gaga. 

Miranda Lambert, right, a six-time nominee for Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards show, though, will prove tough competition.  She heads an ACM-filled lineup of free concerts tonight at the Fremont Street Experience. Lambert performs from 10:45 to midnight on the Third Street stage. Kicking off the evening from 7-7:30 p.m. at the First Street stage will be Joey + Rory, the Top Vocal Duo nominee. Gloriana, the Top New Vocal Group nominee, plays from 7:45-8:25 p.m., also at the First Street stage. The Randy Rogers Band, nominated for Top Vocal Group, performs from 8:40-9:25 p.m. on the Third Street stage. Luke Bryan, winner of the Top New Solo vocalist award, precedes Lambert, from 9:40-10:30 p.m., performing on the First Street stage. 

If you’re lucky enough to catch Lambert and others tonigt performing live in Las Vegas, it’s a good deal.  The ceremonies at the MGM Grand Garden are a pricey ticket if you don’t have friends at a record label, topping out at $450 for something you can watch free at home. (The 5 p.m. festivities air on CBS, live on the East Coast and tape-delayed on Las Vegas KLAS-TV, Channel 8, at 8 p.m.) 

Most of the ACM stars will stick around Monday in Las Vegas for “Brooks & Dunn — The Last Rodeo,” an all-star tribute concert that will be taped at the MGM for a separate CBS show airing next month. Tickets are $108 to $208 for the 7:30 p.m. show in which the likes of Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney and George Strait will salute the venerable duo of Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn before they hang it up. 

The ACM Awards ride country music’s ever-growing popularity; what once was a niche genre is getting harder to distinguish from any remaining notions of a separate pop world. 

Last year’s ACM broadcast drew 14.8 million total viewers, a 26 percent gain from the year before. “It’s a happy problem,” says Barry Adelman, a producer and writer for the broadcast. “We’re not trying to fix something that’s dipping, we’re trying to keep something that’s going up, going up even higher.” 

And lest we forget…Garth Brooks isn’t performing at Wynn Las Vegas this weekend. But Steve Wynn did buy him that private jet and the pilot surely knows the route by now. And who would want to leave that guy out of a weekend like this one?

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$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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Las Vegas Sweeps Nightclub & Bar Awards

The Oscar’s are reserved for the Hollywood film elite. But the nightclub and bar industry has their own brand of national awards annually in Las Vegas. 

This year, Steve Wynn’s XS nightclub at the Encore in Las Vegas was the big winner that swept all seven nightclub categories at last week’s 2010 Nightclub & Bar Awards at the industry convention at the Las Vegas Convention Center. 

XS won Mega-Club of the Year and New Club of the Year honors.  Tao, at the Venetian, won Nightclub of the Year. 

Much-decorated DJ Paul Oakenfold, who joined Rain nightclub at the Palms Hotel & Casino last year, won Resident DJ of the Year honors. The Palms also won Single Promotion of the Year for Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas also took home the Ongoing Promotion of the Year. 

Finally, Blush Boutique Lounge, located inside Wynn Las Vegas, gave Wynn properties three awards including the prestigious win for Lounge of the Year.

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Steve Wynn, Light Group Plan Las Vegas Nightclubs

Steve Wynn is apparently ready to counter the opening of ARIA’s new nightclubs in the $8.5 billion CityCenter project with some nightlife of his own, according to a report in the New York Post.

Wynn is planning to spend $100 million to build a new nightclub, called Surrender, and a new Encore Beach featuring three pools, 30 private bungalows and a gaming pavilion.  

Wynn’s Encore resort, which opened in December 2008, has been enjoying the great success of its XS club, which extends into the pool area and features two levels of private bungalows.

Not to be outdone, The Light Group, which has established itself as one of the premier nightclub operators in Las Vegas, is also getting ready to open the 25,000-square-foot Haze club at ARIA. It will also open the Liquid pool venue in the spring.

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Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas Planning Series of Beyonce Concerts?

It is rumored in media circles that Steve Wynn is presently exploring the possibilities of arranging a string of concerts by popular American Rhythm and Blues (R&B) singer and song writer Beyonce Knowles.  It is further speculated from sources that the agreement amount with Beyonce will be in the tune of $750,000. The number of concerts and durations are not yet decided. 

Wynn Resorts spokesperson Jennifer Dunne reportedly said that the deal is yet to be finalized and contract has not been signed. The association between Beyonce and Wynn Casino started few months back when this year during July 30 and Aug. 2 the singer visited the casino for recording a DVD for her concert. It is said that during her shoots both Wynn and its sister resort Encore saw a huge fan following and increase in number of guests. Soon after this the singer has been spotted too often in the casino.

It is said that Beyonce will be following the footsteps of famous Canadian singer Céline Dion who signed a contract with Caesars Palace casino of Las Vegas few years back. In this she performed in 717 concerts within 5 years and earned a reported $400 million. 

The casino also experienced a huge surge in its popularity and earning during the concerts. It has been observed that fans from faraway places come to watch their favorite singers perform in Las Vegas casinos.

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Steve & Elaine Wynn Plan Amicable- & Most Expensive Divorce in History

Steve and Elaine Wynn, in a joint statement released yesterday, after eight months of hammering out some of the details, the couple announced they have reached “an amicable settlement” agreement in the split of their estimated $2 billion gambling empire– giving it the distinction of one of  the most expensive divorces on record. 

According to the statement, the terms and conditions of the settlement are confidential.   

Their divorce is expected to be finalized the first part of 2010. 

It also appears to be business as usual after the divorce is final.  Elaine Wynn will continue her role as director and board member of Wynn Resorts, Ltd., emphasizing community outreach and charitable contribution projects, working together with ex-hubby Steve Wynn.   

Their divorce papers were filed March 5 and sealed the same day, keeping secret such details as who filed. 

There has been speculation that the divorce settlement could eclipse the $1.7 billion worth of assets media mogul Rupert Murdoch agreed to give wife Anna in their 1999 divorce. That deal included her receiving a reported $110 million in cash. 

The Wynns were married in 1963, divorced in 1986, and re-married again in 1991— all the while acquiring their current financial fortune. 

The Wynns split after the hotel developer’s romance with a British divorcee, Andrea Hissom, went public this year. They met in 2008 on the Riviera, where he has a luxury yacht. 

Steve Wynn, who turns 68 Jan. 27, and Hissom were seen yesterday at the “Regis & Kelly Live” TV taping at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. 

The Wynns are now living in separate villas at Wynn Las Vegas on the Strip. 

In his divorce complaint, Wynn said that because of the couple’s wealth of community property, neither party should be awarded alimony or other financial support. 

But under Nevada law, community property is supposed to be split in half, which means each is entitled to half of the couple’s lucrative Wynn Resorts stock. Exactly how the stock is being divided, however, remains to be seen. 

Steve and Elaine Wynn reportedly each own more than 24 million shares in Wynn Resorts. Wynn Resort stocks have been hovering between $60 and $70 a share. 

Nevada gaming regulators have been watching the divorce proceedings because Elaine Wynn may have to come forward for licensing if she ends up owning 10 percent of Wynn Resorts stock. It depends on how her ownership share is structured.

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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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Steve Wynn’s Jihad against Garth Brooks’ Ticket Scalpers

Hours after Wynn Las Vegas sold out of tickets for Garth Brooks’ first 20 shows, Steve Wynn instituted an unusual anti-scalping procedure that has the angst of fans and ticket brokers alike. His resort not only demanded the name of every concertgoer for every ticket purchased but said tickets could be picked up only on the day of the show and photo IDs would be checked at the door. 

Although this is within his legal rights, Wynn promised that anyone who purchased a resold ticket would be denied access to Garth Brooks’ shows. He said he was going after “scalpers” — lumping black marketeers in with legitimate ticket brokers who have been legally — and profitably — reselling tickets to Strip shows for more than two decades. 

For time immemorial, ticket brokers in Las Vegas and elsewhere have used the “scalping” practice, prefering to say they are reselling on the secondary ticket market, which has become an integral part of Las Vegas’ entertainment scene. The practice allows fans to nab tickets at the last minute or to sold-out shows and sporting events, frequently at prices far above face value. It also helps venues fill their seats on less-than-full nights — including shows at Wynn Las Vegas. 

Ticket reselling is an integral part of Capitalism- something Steve Wynn believes in above all else, but apparently not when it comes to ticket reselling. 

But Wynn lured Brooks out of retirement to perform at the 1,500-seat Encore Theater on the promise that he’d keep ticket prices low — $125 a seat, which comes to $143 apiece after taxes and fees. After tickets sold out last Saturday, they were being resold for hundreds of dollars — some were advertised online for more than $1,000 apiece. 

That triggered Wynn’s decision to retroactively crack down on scalpers invoking a seldom-used Clark County ordinance that makes it a misdemeanor to sell tickets for more than face value without permission from the venue. Wynn claims he helped write the ordinance in the ’90s to thwart scalping of Siegfried & Roy tickets. County officials say the law dates to 1987 and may even be older.

So fans such as Napier learned they’d have to provide the names of concertgoers — effectively shutting out resellers. 

Both Wynn and ticket brokers say they are trying to protect fans. 

The National Association of Ticket Brokers, which was founded in 1994 to set standards for the resale industry, fired back at Wynn’s new policy: “Fans hire brokers to help them find the tickets they want for the price they can pay or to resell tickets they can’t use. Wynn has no right to tell these fans ‘Hey, tough luck. Unless you bought them at our box office within two hours of going on sale then you can’t go to the show.’ ” 

Gary Adler, legal counsel for the brokers association, said he can’t imagine why anyone would want to prevent brokers from reselling tickets in Las Vegas. 

Adler said the secondary market’s customers run the gamut — from sports fans who don’t have season tickets but want to see a particular game, to music fans who want closer seats and are willing to pay the premium, to people who don’t have the luxury of making plans months in advance. 

Adler said 40 percent of tickets on the secondary market sell for less than face value. 

There have been instances where primary sellers such as Wynn have tried to shut out the secondary market, but Adler said it only drives up prices and forces street corner deals. Adler said Wynn’s policy to identify in advance every ticket holder by name is unprecedented. 

Las Vegas attorney Barry Levinson said the procedure is an example of Wynn trying to control what goes on inside his resort. 

“I think it’s an invasion of people’s privacy. I don’t want the resort to know who I’m going with and where I’m sitting,” Levinson said. “It could be a  misrepresentation issue or contractual dispute, depending on what it says on the back of the ticket.” 

Wynn’s policies have left such a sour taste in the mouths of brokers and buyers that the National Association of Ticket Brokers will no longer be hosting its annual convention at the Wynn. 

The resort’s Facebook page has been filled with complaints from buyers, including Napier, who is thinking twice about doing business with Wynn again.

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Garth Brooks Out of Retirement, Announces Las Vegas Residency

In a couple short hours from now country music king Garth Brooks will confirm in Las Vegas his new residency at Steve Wynn’s casino hotels, most notably the Encore Theatre at the Wynn. GarthBrooks2

The planned run of performances ends the black Stetson-wearing king’s self-imposed retirement that began back in late 2000 when the 47-year-old wanted more time with his three children. 

The announcement will be made at 1 p.m. PT today, Oct. 15, inside the Danny Gans Theatre in the Wynn with Steve Wynn by his side. 

We expect the run to start as a total of 16 weeks of concerts starting in 2010. Garth’s appearances will be keyed to major holidays, and he will most likely move into a Las Vegas home with his wife, country singer Trisha Yearwood, and his three children. 

Brooks has sold more than 128 million albums in the U.S., according to the Recording Industry Assn. of America, second only to the Beatles’ 170 million albums.  Brooks has outsold the Fab Four — more than 68 million, to the Beatles’ 58 million. 

During the 1990s he also was one of the most popular concert attractions in the world. Amusement Business magazine ranked his 1996 tour the biggest country music tour in history after he sold 1.8 million tickets that year. 

Interestingly, though, he plans not to tour or make records for another five years, leaving his retirement a quasi-so proposition in Las Vegas. 

The Las Vegas shows, which should sell out by this weekend, will be a tremendous tourism boost to Las Vegas.

UPDATE:  He will be performing at Wynn’s Encore Theatre in Las Vegas for five years, three nights each week (one show Friday, two on Saturday, and one show on Sunday) starting sometime in 2010.   Under the terms of his deal with Steve Wynn, each week after his show he will be flown in his jet provided by Steve Wynn back to his home in Oklahoma so he can spend time with his family.)

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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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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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Steve and Elaine Wynn Plan for Divorce, Sell $114 Million in Stock

Las Vegas casinos have been slammed hard by the recession, but Wynn Resorts shares have more than tripled from a March low. Now, Steve and Elaine Wynn have cashed in some of that jackpot with a whopping $114 million stock sale to raise cash ahead of their impending divorce. 

The couple sold two million shares of the company’s common stock on Aug. 14 at an average price of $57 per share. Steve Wynn is Wynn Resorts’ chairman and chief executive officer and Elaine Wynn is a director of the company. The Wynns, who now hold 46.7 million shares directly and through an interest in Aruze USA, have cut their stake in the company to 37.9% from 39.6% with the sale. 

The divorce would be the couple’s second. They divorced in 1986, but never separated and remarried in 1991. 

Wynn Resorts operates Wynn Las Vegas and Encore hotels and casinos on the Las Vegas strip and another resort and casino in Macau. All properties suffered when the recession hit and corporations and individuals curtailed luxury spending. 

The company’s stock price traded for as little as $14.50 in early March, but that was an inflection point. Wynn Resorts closed at $54.85 recently. 

For the year-to-date, Wynn Resorts shares are up 30%. Competitors Las Vegas Sands and MGM Mirage haven’t fared as well, gaining 18% and falling 39%, respectively. 

In July, Wynn Resorts surprised Wall Street by reporting a second-quarter profit, aided by aggressive cost cutting. 

Lon Juricic, president of StreetInsider.com, says the divorce situation means investors shouldn’t read too much into the sale.

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Dine Way, Way Up in the Las Vegas Sky- No Walls!

Las Vegas always loves hosting the unique, out of the ordinary experiences – even crazy stuff – for our visitors and Las Vegans like.  Now Las Vegas fun doesn’t have to stop before dinner, but can continue all the way through it- way, way up in the sky! DinnerInTheSky

An unforgettable dining experience is being offered by Dinner in the Sky at 2800 West Sahara Ave. in Las Vegas, where 22 dinner guests dine suspended over 160-180 feet in the Las Vegas air!  The guests sit comfortably at a Sky Table, dining on fine food prepared by Sky Chefs while enjoying spectacular views of the Las Vegas valley and skyline. 

Twenty-two Formula One race car style seats with five-point harnesses are affixed to the perimeter of a 17-foot-by-30-foot platform. Diners take their seats and a “Sky Chef” and three “Sky Waiters,” who assist in the final food preparation and serving of dishes such as “Sky-High Chicken” or “Over-the-Top Filet,” stand in the middle of the platform. 

Chefs prepare and serve the food in the air. Diners have no floor beneath them, though they do have foot rests. Diners can also turn their seats 180 degrees. 

The five-star dining experience happens by the use of a 250-ton, hydraulic, telescoping crane that reaches up to 183 feet into the air, smooth as riding on an elevator. The platform and seats weigh seven tons, are held by eight cables and need a really strong wind to make it scarier than exhilarating– the entire apparatus is rated to be safe in winds up to 35 mph. 

Dinner in the Sky, open from 3 p.m to midnight six nights a week, costs from $200 to $500 per person. It is costlier if, for instance, diners wanted to take their “flight” — term for going for a sky-high dinner — during sunset. 

Each dinner guest is always treated to extra special VIP treatment.  They offer pick up and drop off at your hotel, a red carpet reception, complimentary photography and access to the Sky Lounge, a fun and festive place to party down or just relax before and after your flight. 

The lofty dining idea was first conceived in Belgium, but now has spread to Canada, China, and more than a dozen other countries around the world.  

Las Vegas was the first and still is – for now – the only place in the U.S. to experience the unique dining experience.

Now the high-hanging gastronomical business wants to expand and open a new Las Vegas location smack dab on the Las Vegas Strip in the burned-out remains of the Trump building sales office across the street from the Wynn properties, just north of Fashion Show Mall.  

Obviously, his neighbor, casino mogul Steve Wynn is not at all hep into the idea, thinking it will draw people away from his current Wynn and Encore Las Vegas establishments. 

Terry Murphy, who spoke on behalf of Wynn Resorts at the July 21 Planning Commission meeting, said “this is just not acceptable in terms of what the Wynn is asking for in their neighborhood.” Wynn Resorts complained that Dinner in the Sky is a “carnival-like attraction.” 

The owner of Dinner in the Sky chuckled at the “carnival” characterization. 

This Wednesday, August 19 the Clark County Commission will review the proposal. 

The owner says that if he can move to the Strip, he expects the number of Dinner in the Sky employees to increase from 15 now to about 80 by the end of the year.

He also says Steve Wynn will be pleasantly surprised once he sees it up and running. 

“We’ll have patrons who will pay $200 to $500 per person, and those are the kind of people you’d think he would want to visit his hotel across the street,” he said.

For more information or reservations, please call 702.257.7303 or 1-877-4SKYDINE or visit http://www.dinnerintheskylv.com/

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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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Michael Jackson’s Ties to Las Vegas

Although Michael Jackson never performed a ticketed show in Las Vegas during his adult career, he had a high profile in the city and was a frequent visitor and sometimes resident in the recent years. MichaelJacksondeath

A teenage Jackson and his brother performed on the Las Vegas Strip as the Jackson 5, starting in April 1974 at the original MGM Grand (now Bally’s).  They performed several times that year. 

The King of Pop was also a guest for long stretches in the poolside villas of The Mirage during the ‘90s, when his friend Steve Wynn was the hotel chairman. 

The closest Jackson came to a ticketed performance in Las Vegas was in February 1994, when “The Jackson Family Honors” was taped in front of a live audience at the MGM Grand Garden arena for an NBC special.   The crowd screamed and cheered so much when Jackson came onstage that it took several minutes for him to be able to continue with his presentation, with his longtime friend and confidante Elizabeth Taylor finally quieting the crowd. 

Jackson started turning up more frequently in Las Vegas beginning in 2002.  He received the key to Las Vegas from Mayor Oscar Goodman in October 2003, and lived in Las Vegas with his children during a six-month stretch in 2007.  

On and off during the past decade he lived in Las Vegas in a Spanish Trails mansion owned by the Prince of Brunei, a home on West Palomino Lane (near Wasden Elementary School), and a rented house just west of Decatur Boulevard near Sahara Avenue. 

It is not immediately known how recently he lived in Las Vegas, but CNN reported he relocated from the Las Vegas to Los Angeles in May. 

During the filming of a controversial British documentary that aired in 2003, journalist Martin Bashir followed Jackson on shopping sprees around Las Vegas. 

Jackson created a media circus on November 20, 2003, when he returned to Las Vegas from Santa Barbara, California after posting his $3 million bail following charges of child molestation.  A slow-speed car chase ensued in the evening as local and national media followed from the air and ground Jackson’s Lincoln Navigator as it wandered the streets of Las Vegas and Henderson. 

Jackson stayed during that period at Green Valley Ranch and the Ritz-Carlton at Lake Las Vegas before moving back to California to await his trial.   After being exonerated in June 2005, he left the United States for 18 months, spending time between Dubai and Ireland, before flying to Las Vegas on Christmas Eve 2006 with his children. 

He ended his stay in Las Vegas in June 2007, leaving a Summerlin rental home in filthy shambles, with piles of junk left on the curb in his wake. 

During his stay in Las Vegas, Jackson and his children were often spotted at local shows and attractions, fueling reports that Jackson three years ago was pursuing a Celine Dion-type residency on the Strip.  Eventually, Steve Wynn, chairman of Wynn Resorts, had to issue an official denial of any plans to host Jackson in June 2005. 

In December 2008, Jackson was bailed out of the $24.5 million he owned on Neverland Ranch in California when Colony Capital, owned by billionaire Tom Barrack, bought the loan that also owns the Las Vegas Hilton.  That fueled speculation that Jackson would perform in La s Vegas to pay off the debt. 

The Wall Street Journal reported the possible tribute show at the Hilton similar to Cirque du Soleil’s Beatles show “Love” at The Mirage in Las Vegas.   Although talks and dinner meetings ensued with potential promoters, his “This is It” tour ended up planned in London. 

He was rumored to be a possible headliner at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. AEG Live, which books the Colosseum, said only that Jackson’s performance in London there would be judged for viability before discussing plans to bring him to Las Vegas. 

About a year and a half ago, Jackson resided and recorded at the Studio at the Palms Casino & Hotel in Las Vegas for two months, with Akon and RedOne producing.  Some of the material appeared on the 25th anniversary of his “Thriller” album, released last year.  It is not known how much more his work recorded there remains unreleased or the future of it.

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Death of Las Vegas Entertainer Danny Gans Remains a Mystery

Still no answer is forthcoming on the reasons for the death of Las Vegas iconic entertainer Danny Gans, who died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 52 in his Henderson, Nevada home on May 1. 

Although “all the initial information is in,” says Clark County Cororner Michael Murphy, referring to toxicology reports submitted to medical examiners, “it’s not available for release, and we’re still poring over the information.” He added that they have “gathered what we believe is all the critical information, and we anticipate an answer within the next couple of weeks,” but said it could take longer. 

Murphy declined to speculate about possible findings.  Gans’ family members have said he was on medication to control high blood pressure, but otherwise had no health issues as far as they knew. 

According to Chip Lightman, Gans’ manager, the night before Gans died, the entertainer slept poorly. 

A memorial service for Gans was held May 21 at the Wynn Encore, where Gans had performed.  Those in attendance included his wife and his three children, Amy, Andrew and Emily, and Donny and Marie Osmond, Steve and Elaine Wynn, Clint Holmes, Rita Rudner, Criss Angel, Carrot Top, George Wallace, and former Nevada Governor Bob Miller.

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Steve Wynn Rumblings

It’s never a dull moment in Steve Wynn’s life.   Looking to replace Mirage headliner Danny Gans, who tragically died, supposedly Wynn has been talking to semi-retired country music sensation Garth Brooks to take the reins.  The Brooks camp is playing down the supposed rumblings, even denying the offer exists. 

But there have been rumblings as well that Wynn has had conversations with Las Vegas Hilton headliner Barry Manilow, whose contract expires at the end of this year. 

But one thing is for certain:  Sightings of Steve Wynn’s British girlfriend Andrea Hissom have ramped up this month at Wynn Las Vegas and Encore, amid rumors that she’s in the process of moving to Las Vegas after an amicableAndrea Hissom agreement was reached between Steve and Elaine Wynn, who are divorcing.

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Danny Gans Memorial Service Today in Las Vegas

The Danny Gans memorial service will be at 3 p.m. today, May 21, in the 1,600-seat Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas, the former showroom for the celebrity vocal impressionist.

Expected to attend are Steve and Elaine Wynn, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, entertainers Donny and Marie Osmond a throng of other celebrities, friends and guests. Originally announced as an invitation-only wake, the memorial will include some fans, firefighters and police who were offered complimentary tickets this week from showtickets4locals.com

Gans died in his home of unknown causes on May 1. He was 52.  His death is currently being investigated, perhaps for a couple more weeks.

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Bravo for Wynn Las Vegas Encore

Travel and Leisure Magazine named the Wynn Las Vegas Encore to its “It List:  45 Best New Hotels in 2009” in its June issue.  The “It List” is an annual list compiled by the magazine. Encore

Travel and Leisure editors said while there are touches of opulence and luxury around every corner, “we fell for the natural touches:  sunlight inside casino and a botanical backdrop of sculpted flower beds, laurel tree, and spotted palms that make the 2.3 million square feet of public space feel downright cozy.” 

The $2.3 billion Encore, Steve Wynn’s latest creation, opened last December in Las Vegas.  It has 2,034 rooms and suites, 72,000 square feet of gaming space, five restaurants and 11 high-end retail stores.

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Isle of Capri President Virginia McDowell Tapped as 2009 Gaming Executive of the Year

Isle of Capri President Virginia McDowell has been named Casino Journal magazine’s 2009 Gaming Executive of the Year.  

Running with distinguished company, past recipients include Steve Wynn, Boyd Gaming Corporation founder Bill Boyd and Harrah’s CEO Gary Loveman.

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Nevada Travel & Tourism Sales Blitz This Week

Some may still not feel promoting Nevada travel and tourism benefits is a good idea in our stagnating economy, especially following President Obama’s February comments about frivolous travel in Las Vegas by corporations that accepted federal bailout money.  

But don’t tell that to Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman or casino mogul Steve Wynn.  Both want to bend the ear – and more – of President Obama when he vists Las Vegas on May 26 and headlines a fundraiser for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.  (Las Vegas Backstage Access April 1 article.) 

Wynn wants Obama to specifically address Nevada tourism.  “The people that voted in the Democratic Party, for the main part, work in the tourism and travel industry as cooks and waiters and housekeeping,” Wynn said. “They are being hit very hard not only by the recession but by federal policy that has discouraged travel.” 

Providing added fuel to boost Nevada’s flailing tourism industry, six Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) staffers have taken to the road early today for a western sales “blitz” during National Travel and Tourism Week to promote special travel deals designed to boost Nevada visitor numbers, according to NCOT chairperson and Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian K. Krolicki. 

The sales team will visit travel agents, tour operators, AAA offices and other influential tourism industry representatives in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle. Several tourism industry partners from around the state will accompany the staff members from NCOT’s Sales and Industry Partners department. 

“There’s no better time for fun in Nevada than now, because of the special travel deals at hotels, golf courses, shops, spas and entertainment venues throughout the state. It’s a productive way for NCOT to observe this year’s National Travel and Tourism Week and a great way to attract more visitors in this current economy,” says Krolicki.   

The team will visit AAA offices that advise consumers about travel destinations, tour operators that bring groups of customers to Nevada and receptive operators who help with arrangements in the state. At each stop they will distribute USB flash drives that contain the new NCOT Industry Partners Newsletter, Nevada Magazine’s Events and Shows publication, a listing called What’s New in Nevada and an introduction to the new Web site, NV.Mobi, which makes travel information accessible by mobile phones and devices, a consumer newsletter and special spring travel packages. They also will hand out the Visitor Guide and fliers with information about special events and attractions. 

The team will also visit six different tribes to exchange ideas and generate interest in attending American Indian events in Nevada throughout the year and meet with a Japanese credit card company in Los Angeles to promote special Nevada travel deals for the company’s cardholders. 

Nevada’s attractions and deals with tour operators and motorcoach companies will be promoted in Salt Lake City, a strong market for travel to Elko County and other points in eastern and southern Nevada including Las Vegas. 

“Tourism is a highly competitive industry, and we need to be aggressive and never let up in our sales and marketing efforts,” Krolicki said. “Nevada is a destination that allows consumers to maximize the value of their dollars, and we must do all we can to boost awareness, attract more business and maintain our place as a leading destination.” 

The sales blitz is NCOT’s second since December 2008, when economic challenges were escalating and the commission stepped up its already vigorous sales efforts. 

National Travel and Tourism Week on May 9-17 is an annual observance by the U.S. Travel Association in Washington, D.C., that focuses on the industry’s contribution to the U.S. economy, which is worth more than $700 billion.

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Danny Gans’ Private Las Vegas Funeral

Danny Gans’ family and friends gathered early and discretely this Tuesday for a small, private funeral at an undisclosed Palm cemetery in Southern Nevada. 

Gans, 52, was found dead at his home early last Friday. 

The cause of death did not show up in the autopsy, according to the Clark County coroner’s office.  Results from toxicology tests typically take weeks. 

Two pastor who have been associated with Gans and his family spoke at the funeral. 

The family has asked for donations to two of Gans’ favorite charities- the Junior Golf Academy and the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation – in lieu of flowers.  Information can be found at www.DannyGans.com 

A memorial service is being planned, possibly in Gans’ theater at Wynn’s Encore. 

CNN talk show host Larry King said that he will do two shows at Gans’ theater June 19-20, with his wife, Shawn King. 

Gans’ autobiography, “My Remarkable Journey,” which was completed just two days before his death, comes out May 19.

Comedian Whoopi Goldberg has been booked in the theater for later this month.

Please read prior Feb 28, May 1, and May 4, 2009 Las Vegas Backstage Access articles.

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Las Vegas Entertainment Icon Danny Gans Dies

The Danny Gans Theatre at the Encore will be silent tonight.  Long-time Las Vegas entertainer, dubbed The Man of Many Voices, Danny Gans has died at the age of 52, silently in his sleep last night. dannygans

Singer, actor and impressionist Danny Gans, named Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year for 11 years in a row, began his Las Vegas career in 1996 at the Stratosphere Hotel before moving to the Rio, the Mirage and, most recently, the Wynn Encore. 

Steve Wynn, chief executive of Wynn Resorts, called Gan’s death “a profoundly tragic event that leaves us all sad and speechless.” 

Danny Gans left behind his wife, Julie and their three children.

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Beyonce Heads for Las Vegas Glitter

Since Las Vegas first grew out of the desert dust, powerful female entertainers have always found a home in the main beyonceshowrooms of Las Vegas casinos and hotels.   In just the past year, Las Vegas marquis have invited tourists to spend an evening with Celine Dion, Cher, Bette Midler,Taylor Swift, Rita Rudner, and coming this July, appearing at the Encore Theatre, in Steve Wynn’s latest and greatest Wynn Las Vegas hotel – Beyonce.   

Beyonce Knowles began her “I am…Sasha Fierce” tour in Edmonton Canada in March 2009.  After several dates in Canada, the tour moved on to Europe in April with stops in Austria, France, Germany and Spain along the way and ending with a series of performances in England. 

On June 21 Knowles’ Sasha tour makes its way stateside to Madison Square Garden in New York and continues across the country until July 30 when her tour arrives for four nights in Las Vegas.  

The title of Beyonce’s current album is a play on the persona she created over the past few years.  One half of the tracks of “I am…” are personal stories and come from the singer’s soul.  The other half of the album, “….Sasha Fierce” is full of the spark and flame that has come from the stage persona of Sasha.  And Beyonce will be bringing her all-female band and this high octane combination to Las Vegas for their joint Encore Theater marquis moment in July. 

Mike Ross of the Edmonton Sun recently gave Beyonce’s performance at Rexall Place 4.5 out of 5 stars rating stating, “Beyonce can sing traditional R&B if she wants. She proved it late last night – wailing on the Etta James classic At Last, which she performed for the inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama.”

Tickets will go on sale through Ticketmaster on Saturday, April 25.  And – the good news – Beyonce is making first 2,000 seats available for $20 (plus applicable service charges).

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Wynn’s Lace Up Sparing Gloves

Steve Wynn and wife Elaine have selected their lawyers for their divorce battle.   In Elaine’s corner will be lawyer Don Schiller, who represented Juanita Jordan in her divorce from NBA icon Michael Jordan. 

In Steve’s corner will be attorney James Jimmerson, who handled Wayne Newton’s divorce and Mike Tyson’s bid to regain his boxing license.

With Forbes magazine announcing this week in its annual ranking of billionaires that Steve Wynn’s worth is pegged at $1.5 billion, down from $3.9 billion a year ago, the trial will assuredly provide the backdrop for one of the biggest divorce settlements in U.S. history. 

Chicago-based Schiller won a $168 million settlement for Juanita, which was ranked by Forbes magazine as “the most expensive in entertainment history.”

But Steve Wynn, who filed for divorce from Elaine on March 5, now reportedly being in love with British divorcee and socialite Andrea Danenza Hissom, will probably give up more than that.  The split is thought not be an amicable one.

In comparison, like billionaire Rupert Murdoch coughed up $1.2 billion in assets to former wife, Anna.

This has lead some to believe that the Wynn’s will eventually settle by splitting up the two huge Las Vegas casino-hotels – Wynn Las Vegas and Encore -that they opened in the past five years, renaming them Steve’s and Elaine’s.

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Steve Wynn Calls it Quits

Las Vegas Backstage Access has been covering this story since the inception and has now confirmed that the Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn’s marriage is all but over- for the second time.  A divorce petition was filed in Clark County Court in Las Vegas on March 5. steveelainewynn

On the surface, everything appeared good.  The Wynn’s celebrated the gala opening in late December of his newest $2.3 billion, 2,034-room casino gem, Encore Las Vegas.   Then, in January, Harry Connick Jr. was in Las Vegas and partied hearty with Steve and Elaine Wynn, serenading them with such memorable Frank Sinatra songs as, “Luck Be A Lady,” and “Here’s to the Losers” during Wynn’s 67th birthday celebration in Las Vegas. 

But during these gala and festive times, details largely hidden from prying eyes, the founder, chairman, and CEO of Wynn Resorts marriage to his wife, Elaine, was already on the rocks- Steve was in the midst of separating from his wife, a former Miss Miami Beach in 1960, and significant contributor to Wynn’s enterprises.

Wynn’s roving eye attracted British socialite Andrea Danenza Hissom, a 40-something divorced mother of two teenage sons, who was married to London-based investment broker Robert Davis Hissom.  It was the best of times- and the worst to times. The lovebirds were spotted in the posh Swiss ski resort of St. Moritz and also enjoying the sun’s rays while rendezvousing on Wynn’s yacht on the Carribean island of St. Bart’s. 

Meanwhile, Elaine kept a stuff upper lip, denying divorce rumors at all turns. 

Steve Wynn married Elaine in 1963 and they divorced in 1986, but married again in 1991. They have two children.

Hardship and controversy is no stranger to the Wynn’s.  Steve and Elaine Wynn were also victims of a kidnapping – one of their daughters was taken for ransom in 1993. She was returned after the Wynn’s paid $1.45 million to the kidnappers.  The culprits were later caught when they tried to buy a Ferrari with the moola. 

Wynn’s fortune was estimated at around $3.9 billion before our economy tanked.

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Illusionists Siegfried & Roy – & Career-Ending White Bengal Tiger -Take Final Las Vegas Curtain Call

Future performances from iconic Las Vegas illusionists Siegfried and Roy – and the white Bengal tiger that ended their prior careers – are, sadly, over.  siegfried

For their last hurrah the trio shared the stage on February 28 at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for their haunting final performance for the 13th annual “Power of Love” gala benefit for the Keep Memory Alive organization, proceeds going to the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. 

Hosted by Robin Leach, in the audience were Teri Hatcher, Leeza Gibbons, Hilary Duff, Danny DeVito and his wife, Rhea Perlman, comic actor (and former Riviera entertainment director) Steve Schirripa, Muhammed Ali, Kristin Davis, and Jane’s Addiction front man Perry Ferrell.

The gala began by feasting on mouth-watering cuisine from chef’s Todd English, Wolfgang Puck, David Robins, Martin Heierling, and Jean-Philippe Maury. 

Then the abbreviated charity show saw Roy Horn and Siegfried Fischbacher side by side with Montecore, the massive white tiger that brutally mauled Horn during a 2003 performance.

Horn re-emerged Saturday dressed in a Gothic-style black-and-white robe, his face covered with a skeletal mask. The dark stage was covered in smoke.  Horn limped slowly onstage, often steadying himself on Fischbacher’s shoulder.

The two slowly performed a signature illusion as Fischbacher, dressed in white robes and a mask, stood inside a cage, which was cloaked in drapes.  As Horn removed the curtain seconds later, Fischbacher appeared across stage, a hulking white Bengal tiger in his place- it was Montecore.

As the crowd took to its feet, the men removed their masks and Fischbacher was standing between Montecore and Horn. They waved and blew kisses at the audience, but said nothing.

An announcer left the crowd with this final thought: “Within all of us there is an illusive melody, which when heard and followed will lead you to the fulfillment of your fondest dreams.”

On October 3, 2003, Montecore sank its teeth deep into Horn’s neck, dragging him offstage in front of a horrified audience. The illusionist, now 64, was partially paralyzed, suffering a damaged neck artery and crushed windpipe. 

After 13 years and more than 5,000 performances, the “Siegfried & Roy” show at The Mirage immediately went dark, ending one of the most successful shows in Las Vegas history.

During Horn’s long rehabilitation, though, both men remained devoted to their exotic habitat on the Las Vegas Strip. The Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage hotel-casino houses lions, tigers and leopards. Fischbacher, 69, has called it Horn’s “reason to get up in the morning.”

The benefactor for the event, the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, will treat brain disorders like those Horn now suffers, is set to open later this year in a building designed by architect Frank Gehry.

An estimated $12 million was raised by the event for the Ruvo center, punctuated by  a $450,000 bid on a Rolls-Royce trimmed with the Keep Memory Alive logo, and a $5 million donation by Chuck Mathewson, CEO emeritus of IGT.   Steve and Elaine Wynn donated another $1 million.

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Danny Gans Performs at Wynn’s Encore Theatre

It was first Danny Gans, “The Man of 200 Voices,” performing at the Mirage in Las Vegas in 2000 with Steve Wynn as dannygans1his backer.  And now, not much has changed:  “Danny Gans, the Man of More Than 200 Voices,” is regularly entertaining at the Encore in 2009.  And Steve Wynn is once again watching him from the wings. 

Gans one-man Vegas show began at the Stratosphere in 1996, moved to the Rio in 1998 and then to the custom built Danny Gans Theatre at the Mirage in 2000.   He brings new material and an expanded repertoire to the Encore Theatre which is sure to earn him further recognition in the local entertainment industry.

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Steve Wynn’s Divorce Rumors Persist in Las Vegas

London’s Daily Mail is speculating that the Steve and Elaine Wynn’s split could become the most expensive divorce settlement in entertainment history. 

The “other woman” in the Steve Wynn tryst now has been identified as British socialite Andrea Danenza Hissom, a 40-something mother of two teenage sons, who was married to London-based investment broker Robert Davis Hissom, according to The New York Post’s Page Six column.  

Hissom’s father is financier Victor Danenza who fled to France in 1976 from New York after the FBI investigated his connection with fraudulent stock market deals.

Wynn and Hissom have reportedly been rendezvousing on Wynn’s yacht on the Carribean island of St. Bart’s.

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Wynn Resorts Slashes Worker Pay

Wynn Resorts Ltd. said it plans to save up to $100 million annually by cutting pay of all salaried workers in Las Vegas, eliminating retirement account contributions and bonuses for 2009, and reducing hours for hourly employees

Chief executive officer Steve Wynn said on Tuesday that the changes would affect employees of the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore casino-resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. Wynn says the goal of the cost reductions is to run the casinos more efficiently and protect the jobs of its employees.

The Las Vegas-based company opened the 2,034-room, $2.3 billion Encore in December. Wynn says the cuts in Las Vegas do not affect the company’s Macau casino in China.

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Tell Us…Please: Are the Rumors True, Steve (Wynn)?

After the recent Las Vegas gala opening for Steve Wynn’s newest flagship Encore property, the rumor mill has been stevewynn2working exhausting overtime hours.  If you haven’t heard the rumblings, the founder, chairman, and CEO of Wynn Resorts, Steve Wynn, has supposedly separated from his wife, Elaine, a former Miss Miami Beach in 1960 and significant contributor to Wynn’s enterprises. 

Neither have confirmed or denied the separation.  

Adding winds to the tempest, a Wynn Las Vegas villa is reportedly now being renovated to be the new home of Steve Wynn and his mystery British girlfriend, a divorcee in her late 40s with children.

Steve Wynn and his girlfriend were reportedly in St. Moritz, Switzerland, celebrating his 67th birthday last Tuesday. 

The Wynn’s were married in 1963 and divorced, but never separated, in 1986, when Steve risked everything by building The Mirage with help from then junk-bond trader Michael Milken.  They remarried five years later at the Waldorf-Astoria, site of their first wedding.

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Happy Birthday Mr. Las Vegas Casino Mogul … Happy Birthday Steve Wynn

One thing is certain:  Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn really craves his birthdays, making them a weeklongstevewynn extravaganza.  Saturday night during the gala Encore opening Harry Connick Jr. was the featured entertainer that joined a star-studded crowd in celebrating the 67th birthday for Steve Wynn.   The highlight of the evening’s performance was when Connick sang Frank Sinatra songs,  “Luck Be A Lady,” and “Here’s to the Losers.”   Steve Wynn loves anything to do with Frank Sinatra.

harryconnickjrEarlier on Thursday, Wynn called up Connick and they dined at Encore’s Sinatra restaurant.  Then on Friday Wynn called up Connick again and they hooked up for dinner with Donald Trump, Neil Diamond, and others. 

Wynn’s real birthday is Tuesday and the rumor is that Wynn plans to spend it in the posh Swiss ski resort of St. Moritz.

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Las Vegas Dunes After-Life Follows Implosion

The Dunes Hotel & Casino closed on January 26, 1993 and two months after Steve Wynn purchased it fordunes $75 million to build the $1.6 billion Bellagio.

But ever since the October 1993 implosion, former employees have been having annual reunions to stay in touch and reflect on the glory years of the famed Las Vegas resort- the site of the first topless stage show in Las Vegas.

This year’s 16th reunion will take place on January 21 at the New York City Bar & Grill, 6168 W. Spring Mountain Road in Las Vegas, from 5 p.m. until it shuts down.

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Wynn Opens ‘New Gilded Cage’ – Encore Las Vegas

encoreIf you missed the recent new casino opening hoopla, Steve Wynn has opened yet another of his gems- Encore Las Vegas – on December 22, 2008. Weighing in with a price tag of $2.3 billion, the glitzy 2,034-room Strip playground provides refreshing eye-candy from all the gloomy economic news on work stoppages for the partially started and planned Las Vegas casino and entertainment projects.

With any luck, perhaps Encore will serve as the cornerstone catalyst for a rejuvenated Las Vegas and a positive economic outlook in 2009.

Encore’s opening, combined with the good news of Phil Ruffin’s $775 million purchase of Treasure Island Casino & Hotel from MGM Mirage earlier this month – a great holiday present for their 3,200 Treasure Island employees. The former New Frontier owner’s purchase will help fund the planned finish of MGM Mirage’s $9.1 billion CityCenter next year, the largest private construction job in the U.S..

And, lest we forget, the Fountainebleau and the M Resort still are on track to debut in 2009, further helping to hopefully solidify our lethargic economy.

Recent local Las Vegas casino stimulus events could not have happened at a more needed time. Gaming revenue in Clark County, which includes downtown Las Vegas and the Strip, is reported down 8.5% for the 2008, to $8.3 billion. And visitor volume is down 3% over last year, though the city’s convention business is holding steady.

Any positive local stimulus would be welcomed with open arms.

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