Wynn Resorts announces major Las Vegas expansion project

Wynn Resorts

A massing model showing the general layout of a new project by Wynn Resorts that would include a 38-acre lagoon, 1,000-room hotel tower, small casino, restaurants, nightlife and meeting space.

Steve Wynn intends to transform the golf course behind his Las Vegas resorts into an expansive new development that includes a 38-acre lagoon attraction accompanied by a 1,000-room hotel tower, a small casino, restaurants, nightlife and meeting space.

Wynn, chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts Ltd., revealed the plans during a presentation to investors in Las Vegas on Wednesday. Tentatively titled Wynn Paradise Park, the development would be built on 130 acres that are currently home to the golf course just east of Wynn Las Vegas and Encore.

The project does not appear to have a firm price tag yet, but Wynn indicated that it could cost as much as $1.6 billion. It still needs approval from his company’s board of directors.

As described by Wynn, Paradise Park will function largely as an entertainment attraction centering on the lagoon, which will have a white sand beach, boardwalk and an island in the middle. Guests could water ski, paddle board and parasail during the day, and at night they could see a fireworks show that Wynn described as “just like Disney.”

Click to enlarge photo

Steve Wynn, chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, gives a keynote address during the annual Electronics For Imaging (EFI) users conference at Wynn Las Vegas Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016.

Customers would pay admission to enter the attraction, Wynn said.

Aside from the aquatic options, the park will also come with an additional 260,000 square feet of meeting space with waterfront views, comfortable hotel rooms with “a separate bedroom, living room and balcony,” and “a variety of restaurants,” according to a statement from Wynn Resorts.

“This really does reinvent Las Vegas,” Wynn told investors. “And I’m not a guy that does developer-speak very often — I let our projects talk for themselves.”

Announcement of the project comes as Wynn Resorts also moves forward with plans for a large luxury retail complex, Wynn Plaza, on its property near Las Vegas Boulevard. The development will include more than 75,500 square feet of luxury retail space, and it’s expected to debut in fall 2017.

The fact that neither the plaza nor the park project are focused on gambling appears to reflect Wynn’s mindset about Las Vegas. In his comments to investors on Wednesday, the casino mogul stressed the importance of the nongambling business that now brings in more revenue than the gambling operations.

“The people are gonna be here,” Wynn said. “I don’t give a damn if they put a nickel in a slot machine. I want them to pay my admission, I want them to stay in my rooms — I want them to drink my booze and eat our food.”

Wynn Resorts is also building a big resort in Macau, the $4.1 billion Wynn Palace slated to open later this year. The company has plans to build a resort near Boston as well.

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