There’s a new bidder getting in line for the renovation plans for the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, New York. While many heavy hitters have been considered for the project that will turn the long-defunct racetrack into a Vegas-like casino, the new kid on the block has turned some serious heads. Steve Wynn, the force behind such Vegas luxury hotspots as Wynn and Encore, which were profiled in the July/August edition of Haute Living Los Angeles, has stepped up to the plate and wants to take a swing at transforming the 1950s dilapidated structure into New York’s hottest new “racino.” Other contenders who are sure to give Wynn a run for his money include SL Green and MGM Mirage, along with five other active bidders. However, Wynn claims to be the most financially secure mogul of the bunch, with enough available cash to guarantee his $300 million up-front bid.
Unlike his over-the-top luxury casinos in Las Vegas, Wynn hopes to transform the Aqueduct into a 350,000-square-foot facility that does not scream opulence, but instead complements the working-class neighborhood in Queens with an understated beauty. The projected costs of his New York racino visions remain undisclosed, but he is hoping to recoup it all with forecasted revenues totaling approximately $500 million in the inaugural year, a figure that outshines the state’s objective of bringing in $1 million per day. Wynn wouldn’t see a large portion of the kitty, though, as the state will claim 70 percent of revenues.