Steve Wynn Eyes Miami Beach Convention Center for Gambling Resort

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Las Vegas casino king Steve Wynn was recently in Miami dining at Joe’s Stone Crab and eyeing the Miami Beach Convention Center as a potential spot for a new gambling resort.

Las Vegas kingpin Steve Wynn, who was raised on Miami Beach, is said to have strong feelings for the area. When asked if he thought the convention center should be knocked down, he said it should simply be expanded.

“I think Miami Beach is the best destination resort city in America,” he said.

While Wynn looks to Miami Beach for potential opportunities, Genting Group is still planning to have 700,000 square feet of meeting space for its projects in Miami, adding to the competitive pressure on the convention center, which only has 627,000 square feet of space.

Some people have been pushing to have the convention center upgraded for years and many were upset that the Florida Marlins jumped ahead to snag taxpayer support for their new ballpark. It’s possible that with Wynn’s exorbitant financial backing, and in light of the tight government finances, supporters of the convention center may have a second opportunity for renovating the South Beach location.

Due to its location in the heart of Miami Beach, the convention center has plenty of restrictions limiting potential expansion plans. For instance, The New World Center and the Holocaust Memorial are nearby and significantly limited the convention center site.

In contrast, Genting has had an easier time with space due to their downtown bay front location. Genting was able to assemble more than 28 acres in downtown Miami, including the current Miami Herald headquarters and Omni Center. Another potential issue for the convention center expansion: traffic and parking, which is a common problem already plaguing the beaches. However, the convention center’s proximity to Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road could prove to be great marketing power for Wynn.

And as if Wynn didn’t have enough to consider with regards to this possible casino, an immediate problem he could face is getting the support of the Miami Beach residents – in the past they have voted against the idea.

Source: Biz Journals

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