By Steve Beauregard
The Wynn Las Vegas is the beautiful, smooth, dark brown curving hotel on the North end of the Strip, next door to the Palazzo.
From the start, the resort’s design and architecture won rave reviews. A reviewer from the Los Angeles Times calls it “slim and graceful, wrapped in skin-tight bronze.”
The multi-billion dollar property, (the construction costs come out to about one million dollars per room), opened in 2005 as the world’s most expensive hotel. It’s set on 217 acres, including a strip-front entrance complete with soaring mountains of rock, waterfalls, and pine trees.
This marks a contrast to all of the other casinos built by casino mogul Steve Wynn, all of which he used jaw-dropping spectacles that were visible from the sidewalk, as a means to draw in curious tourists.
These included the volcano outside the Mirage, the pirate show at Treasure Island, and perhaps the new symbol of Las Vegas and must-take-photograph: the world-famous Bellagio fountains.
The only sort of notable gimmick visible from the sidewalk outside the Wynn is the resort’s enormous sign. I say “gimmicky” because a portion of the sign moves up and down, revealing more advertisements for the pleasures that await you inside. The casino sign, is not designed to be a jaw-dropping feature, but I always can’t seem to look away from it. Plus it’s so damn quiet, for being a huge metal billboard that drops ten feet per second. The sign’s designer says the moving sign weighs about as much as an 18-wheeler.
While the mountain out in front of the Wynn is 140 feet tall, and is dotted with pine trees reaching 60 feet in height, the main attraction inside the resort grounds is the tree-lined three acre lake, called the Lake of Dreams. The lake plays host to a nightly visually-stunning spectacle featuring light, smoke and music – all set against a soothing waterfall backdrop.
The interior of the casino is peaceful and tranquil, (at least until you get to the winning drunks at the rowdy casino floor’s blackjack tables), with typical Steve Wynn inspired features, like pretty colors, classy design, and a conservatory with a skylight. I remember the first time I walked into the Wynn, being amazed how light and bright it was. Having real live actual sunlight reaching a casino floor is a refreshing change to the typical Las Vegas casino layout. Calling it an indoor garden area does not do the place justice. There are varieties of gorgeous flowers in seemingly every hue known to man, lush plants and even real trees. This garden welcome helps give the Wynn a scent unlike any casino environment you’ve experienced – especially if you’re used to the smell at Circus Circus.
The opulence continues, with painted, uniquely designed ceilings, and colorful tile flooring. There’s also a lot of red carpeting, which may be due to the fact that in Asian cultures, red is considered lucky.
Colorful parasols of various lengths and sizes dot the ceilings throughout the resort, giving the expensive resort a whimsical feeling. Parasols are sort of like umbrellas, only it sounds much more elegant to say, “The ceiling decor will include designer parasols,” rather than saying, “We’re going throw up some umbrellas.”
Speaking of parasols, near the Parasol Up bar, curving escalators transport you down to the lakefront, all the while providing you with magnificent views of the lake and waterfall centerpiece. For more details on the bars and nightclubs at the Wynn, go here: http://gamboool.com/wynn-bars-and-nightclubs
The Wynn is a 5 Star resort of course, and has 2,716 rooms spread throughout its 63 floors. It has won the AAA Five Diamond award for five consecutive years and has been the recipient of the Mobil 5 Star award an unprecedented three times.
From the beginning, Steve Wynn shot for the stars on this project – aiming for high-rollers and luring them in with top-notch dining options f restaurants, a world-renowned collection of rare artwork, uber-luxurious accommodations, and on the gaming side, a focus on the baccarat tables that many of the “whales” favor.
This bronze beauty is fun luxury and a definite must-see when hitting the strip. I love the gardens, the lake, poker room, lush vegetation and opulence of the place, while my wife loves dreaming inside the luxurious shops.
On to the casino, which boasts 111,000 square feet of exciting gaming action, with many of the limits higher than I can afford. Even on weekend nights I couldn’t find a bj table under $25 per hand minimum. I’m not saying they don’t exist, I just couldn’t find one.
Over 1,900 slot machines, all of which are coinless, as has been the trend for awhile now. (I still miss the genuine CLINK CLINK sound of coins falling into the metal tray, but I’m a dinosaur).
The race and sports book has 195 seats and around forty TVs. It’s not especially large, nor noteworthy, other than the fact it’s unique in being one of the first casinos to take unusual bets. Rather than just the traditional football, baseball and other sports betting, the Wynn has taken bets on things like the winner of the World Series of Poker Main Event. More recently, they’ve accepted bets on who would win those stupid, cheesy reality shows, such as “The Voice” and the “X-Factor.”
On to Texas hold’em. I love the Wynn Poker Room. Twenty-six tables. Beautiful cocktail waitress in short, sexy, elegant skirts. An electronic tracking system, plush décor, generous per hour comps, a convenient location and even railbirds sometimes. What else could you ask for?
Each October, the resort hosts the Wynn Fall Classic. This month-long tournament has tournaments starting at $300, and going upwards to the end of October, where the poker fest ends with a $1,500 event. The Wynn poker room’s standard, regular daily tournaments throughout the year have a $125 entry fee.
While neither the biggest, nor hottest poker room on the strip, it is somewhat famous for playing host to one of the highest stakes poker games of all time. Dallas banking billionaire Andy Beal took on a group of Las Vegas poker professionals in a series of uber-high stakes one-on-one matches. These were chronicled in the book, “The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King,” which reports that much of the high-stakes action, (we’re talking million dollar pots), took place in the back area of the Wynn Poker Room.
Those not with the means to bring hundreds of thousands of dollars to the poker room can bring $160, which represents 20 big-blinds – enough for a little cushion to whether the ups and downs of a $4/$8 limit Texas Hold-em game. There’s also No-limit hold’em action that starts at $1/$3 and goes up from there.
The poker room’s number is (702) 770-7654.
Table games inside the main casino include the standard blackjack, craps and roulette, along with some of the usual suspects: Pai Gow Poker, Let-It-Ride, Caribbean Stud, and War. As for blackjack: they offer a six deck game, double deck, and a even single deck game, (for you card-counters out there), albeit one that only pays 6:5 on blackjack.
The player’s card at the Wynn is called the Red Card. The phone number for the guest services for Red Card holders is (866) 770-7551. The hotels address and website are as follows:
Las Vegas, NV. 89109
Phone: (702) 770-7000
Because the Wynn is attempting to corner the high stakes gambler market, they offer a selection of high stakes, private baccarat games. Their Baccarat Salon opened in 2011, and is said to be the most opulent in town, but I wouldn’t know in that they wouldn’t allow someone with my bankroll within 400 feet of the place. They betting minimums to get into the Baccarat Salon aren’t posted, but it’s sort of a thing where, “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.”
I have seen photos of it however, and the unique features of the Wynn’s Baccarat Salon include spacious windows with views of the pool below, gorgeous floor-to-ceiling curtains, crystal chandeliers, and a private marble hallway that allows you to stroll with your winnings from the Salon back to your plush, and undoubtedly comped Tower suite – enabling you to avoid the measly $1,000 a hand gamblers on the regular casino floor, and other rift-raft.
Although it’s called the “Baccarat Salon,” there are also high-stakes blackjack tables in the room.
I’ll never see the Baccarat Salon, but I’ll see plenty of the Wynn for years to come. It’s one of those places where you get to see how the other half lives, while not making you feel like poor white trash. So check Steve Wynn’s baby, gamble a little, eat, perhaps take in the Lake of Dreams show (it’s free), and try to not to let your jaw hit the floor.