Yep. A new joint.
Yep, that’s what they are called. Well, according to Frank Sinatra. (“We’ll do it at the ‘joint downtown….”) This reference was regarding the Golden Nugget Las Vegas, which is in Downtown Las Vegas. In many regards, Steve Wynn’s control and eventual expansion and renovation of the Golden Nugget Las Vegas was his first major foray into the management of a major casino property.
Last week I was talking to “Joe P.” He’s a bellman at the Borgata Atlantic City, and we were reminiscing about Atlantic City and the topic of the Golden Nugget Atlantic City came up. This gentleman had “opened” Borgata in July of 2003. He came over from the Golden Nugget, which by that time was the Atlantic City Hilton (later to become ACH followed by The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel).
I would say you can definitely consider the ‘Jersey joint’ (Golden Nugget Atlantic City) the first major casino development by Steve Wynn. Construction of the New Jersey property began in 1980 and it would be the sixth casino in Atlantic City after the legalization of casino gaming in the state. These were much different times. The only place one could gamble in 1980 in the United States was Nevada or New Jersey. A different time, and much different era of casino gaming in the United States. It was also a very profitable time, and Golden Nugget Atlantic City would go on to become a very successful gaming operation.
Wynn Weighs In On Atlantic City
Steve Wynn had vision, and that vision was not Atlantic City. In a rather prolific WSJ interview with Peter Robinson, Wynn said the local Atlantic City government was “corrupt and stupid.”
“And I kept saying to governors of New Jersey: ‘You must take control of the central planning of this community if it’s to save itself. Right now you’re the monopoly on the East Coast; that will end someday. And the infrastructure of this city has to be so big, that it’s like Las Vegas. Las Vegas is surviving in spite of everything because the infrastructure here is so big. The menu for guests is so great. Atlantic City can’t just be a local crap game. It’s gotta be a destination city.’
“But for that, the government had to take over – the New Jersey state government, not the local Atlantic City government, which was pathetic. Well they wouldn’t. And they didn’t. And I came at one point of the view that Atlantic City was never going to take advantage of its opportunity and would eventually face obsolescence, which I’m afraid is true today.”
Steve Wynn would go on to recapture the imagination of the gaming and resort world and go on to re-invent, or perhaps even invent, the Las Vegas that we know today. How far we have come.
But, let’s not focus on Las Vegas, or even Atlantic City, let’s focus on the the new ‘joint’.
Introducing Wynn Palace Cotai
“Each of the 1,706 guest rooms, suites and villas in Wynn Palace’s signature bronze tower is artistically designed with luxe appointments including spacious bathrooms.”
“An homage to the golden years, the Ferris Wheel is also an astonishing feat of ingenuity, with more than 103,000 flowers and weighing over five metric tons.”
“In vibrant shades of red, orange and white, its décor is a reinvention of Chinoiserie design, an homage to the genius and inventiveness of Imperial China.”
I am about to board BA31 (British Airways) from London to Hong Kong (LHR-HKG), where I will continue the story. With any luck, some live coverage and photos from the “historic” opening that is just one day away. Wynn Palace Cotai. Wow.
The Story Continues
Chasing Macau | Part 2 | Opening Night – And What A Joint It Is – Wynn Palace Cotai
Chasing Macau | Part 3 | Initial Impression Executive Suite – Wynn Palace Cotai
More Wynn Palace:
Cotai Macau (Macao) | Wynn Palace: A Primer
Wynn Palace Update | Most Importantly: The Rooms
Wynn Palace Puts Off Her Debutante Ball…Again.
Wynn Palace Update | More Delays But Eyecandy To Tide You Over