Sunday, July 02, 2006

Vegas Hotel Reviews: Wynn

Wynn waterfall

Looming out of the desert is the newest addition to the Strip, the bronze obelisk that is the Wynn. Built by Stephen Wynn, who is responsible for the Mirage, Bellagio, Treasure Island, and more, this was to be his crowning achievement: he sold all of his other hotels to MGM Grand, and plowed sumptuous funds into this representation of all he is.

Before I go on, let me point out a few things. Wynn is the reason the Vegas Strip is what it is today. As much as Bugsy Siegel, the city of Las Vegas would not be the destination, and now living destination it is without his efforts. His work in the 80's to redefine Vegas as a vacation paradise, and the subsequent hotels that turned the strip to an atrtraction unto itself, are one of the many reasons people still love Vegas, while treating Atlantic City as a place to be forgotten. He has also suffered from a condition that has been progressively leaving him blind, never to see the crowning achievement of his work.

Having established my respect and empathy for this great man, I have to say the Wynn is a confusing overindulgence of concepts that have been so better done by his other hotels. It is uber-luxurious, but with very little to distinguish it from the standard-bearer, Bellagio. It offers a signature free show, a "multimedia" event in the Grand Lake that is best described by Amy's comment upon viewing: a bad acid trip. It's set so far back from the actual Strip, it's practicaly another county.

Wynn Waterfall 2Typical expressions of the Wynn falling short:
- They feature a show, "from the man who brought you O and Mystere," as the droning announcements insist, that looks like Cirque Du Soleil, invokes the imagery of Cirque Du Soleil, but is not Cirque Du Soleil.
- The hotel is roughly built around a tropical island, complete with these waterfalls. However, none of them are visible from the actual hotel, and are only able to be viewed from the back deck of a ice cream/sandwich shop in the shopping promenade, or as you walk in from crossing Las Vegas Boulevard from a mall. What the heck?

The hotel is unique in that it is HUGE, and the rooms do look luxurious. Plus, it's one of the only resorts in Vegas with it's own golf course, so maybe they are going for less Strip, and more luxury. But the bottom line on the Wynn is that the incredibly talented Mr. Wynn's physical condition now matches his final business attempt: out of vision. Perhaps I am the wrong audience for it, and if so, I heartily apologize to Mr. Wynn; I just have been spoiled by his past successes.

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