Wynning Odds

“People would then ask, ‘Could the inside of this place be as fanciful as the outside?’” he says. “That simple question was the same idea behind the pirate ship at Treasure Island and the fountains at the Bellagio.”

He never changed his philosophy until Wynn Las Vegas—and there he switched 180 degrees. Instead of themed hotels and showmanship, Wynn Las Vegas thrives on being non-Vegas with its sleek sexiness, hush-hush exclusivity, high-end retail boutiques, and country club coziness (there is a golf course at the hotel, after all).

“Las Vegas Boulevard may be a nice address, but it can be ugly; it can be tasteless; it can be harsh,” Wynn says. “I knew I had to change at Wynn. My audience was no longer the people on the street; it was the people in the hotel. Let them walk down to the country club for a change of pace and get away from the gamblers. I deliberately put the slots away from the restaurants, so when people sit down to dinner, they are not overwhelmed with overstimulation. People like different stimulations, and we respect that. This place acknowledges the diversity of your interests. You can come to my hotel and take an hour to look at great paintings and be quiet.”

Indeed, the many great art scattered throughout his resorts is another distinctive trademark of the Wynn Empire. The man who can see both the big picture and the meticulous details is notoriously known for his extensive art collection—with his largest inventories in Picasso and Matisse. Hanging in his apartment are two Picasso paintings from the famous 1932 series, which displayed at a Paris art show that year side by side. “Now 80 years later, here they are side by side in Las Vegas, Nev.,” gushes Wynn, who on the spot of the Haute Living interview, decides he’s going to Art Basel Miami Beach this year.