Steve Wynn Portrait
|Born||Stephen Alan Weinberg
January 27, 1942
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Pennsylvania|
|Occupation||CEO of Wynn Resorts Limited|
|Net worth||$2.5 billion (2012)|
Stephen Alan "Steve" Wynn (born January 27, 1942) is an American business magnate. He played a pivotal role in the 1990s resurgence and expansion of the Las Vegas Strip. His companies refurbished or built what are now widely recognized resorts in Las Vegas, including the Golden Nugget, The Mirage, Treasure Island, Bellagio, Wynn, and Encore.
Now, as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Wynn Resorts, Limited, Wynn has developed Wynn Las Vegas, which opened on April 28, 2005; Wynn Macau, which opened in September 2006; Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, which opened December 22, 2008; and Encore at Wynn Macau, which opened on April 21, 2010.
As of March 2012, Wynn is the 491st richest man in the world with a net worth of $2.5 billion.
Wynn was born Stephen Alan Weinberg in New Haven, Connecticut. His father, Michael, who ran a string of bingo parlors in eastern United States, changed the family's last name in 1946 from "Weinberg" to "Wynn" when Steve was six months old "to avoid anti-Jewish discrimination". Wynn was raised in Utica, New York, and graduated from The Manlius School, a private boys' school east of Syracuse, New York, in 1959. Steve Wynn studied cultural anthropology and English literature at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity.
In 1963, his father died of complications from open heart surgery in Minneapolis, leaving $350,000 of gaming debts, shortly before Wynn graduated from Penn with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature.
Frontier, and the Golden Nugget
Wynn took over running the family's bingo operation in Maryland. His success allowed him to invest in a small stake for the Frontier Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, where he and his wife Elaine moved in 1967. Between 1968 and 1972 he also owned and operated a wine and liquor importing company. He managed to parlay his profits from a land deal in 1971 (the deal involved Howard Hughes and Caesars Palace) into a controlling interest in the landmark downtown casino, the Golden Nugget Las Vegas (he also owned Golden Nugget Atlantic City in Atlantic City, New Jersey). Wynn renovated, revamped and expanded the Golden Nugget from a gambling hall to a resort hotel and casino with enormous success, in the process attracting a new upscale clientele to downtown Las Vegas.
The Mirage, Treasure Island and Bellagio
Wynn had previously acquired interests in various existing casinos. His first major Strip casino was The Mirage, which opened in November 1989. The hotel, with its erupting volcano and South Seas theme, ignited a $12 billion building boom on the Strip.
The Mirage was the first project in which he was involved in the design and construction of a casino. The $630 million cost to build the facility was financed largely with junk bonds issued by Michael Milken. The property was considered a high-risk venture by the standards then prevailing in Las Vegas because of its high cost and emphasis on luxury. However, it became enormously lucrative and made Wynn a major part of Las Vegas history.
In 1991, Golden Nugget, Incorporated was renamed Mirage Resorts, Incorporated.
Wynn's next project was Treasure Island Hotel and Casino, which opened in October 1993 at a cost of $450 million. At the front corner of the resort, the Battle of Buccaneer Bay was acted out on a full-sized pirate ship. Inside the Four-Diamond property is a casino resort with a romantic tropical theme. The Cirque du Soleil show at the Treasure Island was the first permanent Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas.
In October 1998, Wynn opened the even more opulent Bellagio, a $1.6 billion resort considered among the world’s most spectacular hotels. The architect was Jon Jerde of The Jerde Partnerships. When built, Bellagio was the most expensive hotel in the world. Today, visitors line the street in front of the hotel to watch the “Fountains of Bellagio”—shooting fountains choreographed to music that “dance” on the hotel’s 8.5 acre man-made lake. The Bellagio is credited with starting a new spree of luxurious developments in Las Vegas. Among these developments include The Venetian, Mandalay Bay, and Paris Las Vegas.
In 1999, Wynn brought Mirage Resorts’ style to Biloxi, Mississippi, where he oversaw development of the 1,835-room Beau Rivage. Blending Mediterranean beauty with Southern hospitality, the resort was part of a building boom that established Biloxi as a regional tourism center along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Beau Rivage was originally the name he wanted to give to the Bellagio but after Wynn vacationed in Italy, he decided Bellagio, after the Italian region of Bellagio, was the better name for the hotel.
Wynn Las Vegas to Wynn Macau to present and Encore
Mirage Resorts was sold to MGM Grand Inc. for $6.6 billion ($21 a share) in June 2000 to form MGM Mirage. Five weeks before the deal was closed (April 27, 2000) Wynn purchased the Desert Inn for $270 million. He closed the Inn in only 18 weeks, and with the money he made on that deal, and with his ability to secure ever-greater financing, Wynn took Wynn Resorts Limited public in 2002. Wynn became a billionaire in 2004, when his net worth doubled to $1.3 billion. On April 28, 2005 he opened his most expensive resort to that date, the Wynn Las Vegas, on the site of the former Desert Inn.
Wynn successfully bid for one of three gaming concessions that were opened for tender in Macau, a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, which has a long history of gaming and is the largest gaming market in the world, having surpassed Las Vegas in 2006. This property, known as Wynn Macau, opened on September 5, 2006.
In the summer of 2008, hiring began for Encore Las Vegas, the newest in Wynn's collection of resorts (the tower of Encore is modeled after the Wynn Las Vegas tower, and in fact, they share the same "property" though they are separate hotels). Wynn hired 3500 employees for this property. Encore opened on December 22, 2008.
Wynn Encore Macau opened on April 21, 2010.
Recently he spent a record price for a painting by J. M. W. Turner, $35.8 million for the Giudecca, La Donna Della Salute and San Giorgio and spent $33.2 million on a Rembrandt, the auction record for the artist.
Many of the collection's pieces were on display at the Bellagio. The collection was on display at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno while the Wynn Las Vegas was being constructed and was installed in the resort shortly before it was opened. The Wynn Las Vegas gallery, which had charged an entrance fee, closed shortly after the start of 2006. The artwork from the former gallery is now scattered around the resort. Although the artwork is owned personally by Wynn, Wynn Resorts pays an annual lease of $1. As part of the lease agreement, insurance and security are the responsibility of the company.
The centerpiece of the collection is Le Rêve, the Picasso portrait that was the working name of the resort project. Wynn purchased the painting in 1997 for $48.4 million at the Christie's auction of the Ganz-collection on November 11, 1997. In 2006 he reportedly was to sell it to Steven A. Cohen for $139 million, which would at that time have been the highest price paid for any piece of art. However, he put his elbow through the canvas while showing it to his guests, including the screenwriter Nora Ephron and her husband Nick Pileggi, the broadcaster Barbara Walters, the art dealer Serge Sorokko and his wife, the model Tatiana Sorokko, the New York socialite Louise Grunwald and the lawyer David Boies and his wife, Mary.
This canceled the sale, and after a $90,000 repair, the painting was estimated to be worth $85 million. Wynn sued his insurance company over the $54 million difference with the virtual selling price, possibly exceeding his own buying price. The case was settled out of court in April 2007.
Wynn married Elaine Farrell Pascal in 1963. They divorced in 1986, remarried in 1991, and divorced again in 2010. Elaine Wynn remains a director of the company's board. Wynn once said he bought the Desert Inn casino, the site of his Wynn Las Vegas, as a birthday gift for his wife. Steve Wynn currently resides in a private villa at Wynn Las Vegas, while Elaine Wynn resides in the couple's mansion inside Southern Highlands Golf Club.
They have two daughters, Kevyn and Gillian. Kevyn was kidnapped in 1993 and Wynn paid $1.45 million in ransom for her safe return. The kidnappers were apprehended when one attempted to buy a Ferrari in Newport Beach, California, with cash. Kevyn was found unharmed several hours later. Kevyn and Gillian Wynn are mothers who engage in charity work. 
Steve Wynn also suffers from the degenerative eye disease retinitis pigmentosa which he was diagnosed with in 1971.  (RP) cripples night vision and reduces visual ability in the periphery until the sufferer essentially has "tunnel vision." Many people with RP eventually become legally blind.
In March 2010, Steve Wynn was pronounced legally blind.
In December 2010, Prince Albert II of Monaco bestowed Monegasque citizenship to Wynn. This was unusual since a prerequisite of Monegasque citizenship is to reside there for at least ten continuous years and contribute in some major way, and Wynn has never resided there. According to the Las Vegas Sun, Wynn was given the citizenship when he agreed to serve as outside director in the Monaco QD International Hotels and Resorts Management, which is a joint venture between the governments of Monaco and Qatar. The organization buys and manages hotels in Europe, the Middle East and North America.
On April 30, 2011, Wynn married Andrea Hissom in a ceremony at the Wynn Las Vegas.
Wynn has previously described himself as a Democrat, and has supported Nevada Senator Harry Reid. However, over the last few years, Wynn has been very critical of President Barack Obama, whom he originally supported and voted for in the 2008 Election. He has accused Obama of being a job killer rather than a job creator, and has stated that he has created friction between him and his employees with the use of class warfare tactics. He has also stated that Obama has been the biggest "wet blanket" to business in his lifetime.
In 2005, the Association of Travel Marketing Executives awarded Steve Wynn the ATLAS Lifetime Achievement Award for his innovation in building resorts in Las Vegas.
Wynn was also the recipient of an honorary doctorate degree at the University of Pennsylvania’s 250th Commencement Ceremony in recognition of his transformative vision of Las Vegas in 2006 and has since received honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Sierra Nevada College; The Culinary Institute of America; and Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.
Forbes Magazine named him a “Captain of Capitalism” in 2007.
In 2009, Wynn received the Manfred Steinfeld Humanitarian Award at the 22nd Annual Platinum Circle Awards.
In the wake of a legal battle over an attempt by Wynn-controlled Mirage to build a casino in Atlantic City, NJ, Donald Trump filed a lawsuit claiming (among other things) that Wynn reportedly flipped a private investigator and used him as a double agent to secretly record conversations with Trump. The investigator, Louis Rodriguez, a former Los Angeles Police Officer and investigator for the IRS, claimed he had a change of heart because he felt that his investigative efforts were being used "in an immoral and unethical manner to cause financial harm" to Wynn and Mirage and thus turned "whistleblower". This lawsuit was settled on February 23rd, 2000. The two casino entrepreneurs have had an ongoing public feud, going back well before this incident.
In 1991, Dennis Gomes, the president of Wynn's Golden Nugget abruptly left his position to join Donald Trump's Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ, receiving a $1 million bonus in lieu of equity. Wynn filed suit against Trump and Gomes for breach of contract, as Gomes was contracted to work at the Nugget until 1992; this suit was settled in 1994. During that legal dispute, also in 1991, Trump and Gomes filed a countersuit against Wynn alleging that the casino mogul used harsh language against Gomes, and that he also used the company's contractors and its jet for personal reasons; harassed female employees; ordered executives to obtain the phone numbers of cocktail waitresses; and referred to blacks, and employees in general, as "niggers." Wynn's camp denied those allegations, implying that they were attempt to switch the focus of the lawsuit from Gomes and Trump to Wynn. Wynn does admit, though, that he has "a temper."
Since 2008, Wynn has been embroiled in a legal battle with Girls Gone Wild producer Joe Francis: Wynn accused Francis of owing him money, while Francis claimed that Wynn had threatened to kill him. On February 22, 2012, Clark County, Nevada judge Mark Denton ruled Francis damaged the reputation of Wynn as a result of defamatory statements and awarded Wynn $7.5 million in damages. On September 10, 2012, a jury again found in favor of Wynn, awarding him $20 million, and an additional $20 million in punitive damages the next day. Francis says he intends to appeal.
In January 2012, Wynn's former business partner and one-time majority shareholder Kazuo Okada filed suit to gain access to company documents related to Wynn's pledge to donate $135 million to the University of Macau Development Foundation, at the time that he was seeking Chinese government approval to build another resort in Macau. Subsequently, Wynn forcibly bought back Okada's $2.7 billion in shares at a steep discount. Okada has since filed several suits over these events. During the course of these disputes, Okada accused Wynn of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by donating the $135 million to the University of Macau. Wynn struck back, claiming that Okada himself violated the FCPA by gifting hotel rooms and other expenses to Japanese gaming regulators. An independent analysis of the situation by an FCPA-focused law firm suggests that neither of these claims carry much weight or are likely to be taken seriously - the "transparency and openess" the gift by Wynn "run counter to any assumption that a bribe was being paid." Similarly, Okada's corporation is arguably not American, and thus not subject to FCPA rules. In a March, 2013 SEC filing, Wynn noted that while the Okada lawsuits could cut into Wynn's profits, beyond an "informal" SEC inquiry into the Macau donation, there was no formal investigation underway.
In June 2012, Wynn's former wife, Elaine Wynn, filed a lawsuit to dissolve a shareholder agreement that restricts her from selling her shares in Wynn Resorts. Elaine Wynn owns 9.74 million shares of Wynn Resorts, reportedly worth over $1 billion. The shareholder agreement named in the claim says that Elaine Wynn must get written consent from Steve Wynn before selling shares.
- Steve Wynn profile – Forbes, Forbes.com. Retrieved March 2012.
- Monaco Citizenship
- "Steve Wynn Raising the stakes in Vegas". The Times (London). January 11, 2009. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
- The First 100 Persons Who Shaped Southern Nevada. 1st100.com.
- My Way Finance[dead link]
- Wiseman, Paul. (January 22, 2007) Macau leads Las Vegas in gambling –. Usatoday.com.
- "http://wn.com/Steve_Wynn_%28entrepreneur%29". wn.com. 2010. Retrieved June 22, 2011. "Wynn owns an extensive art collection including paintings by Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Julian Hatton..."
- Vogel, Carol (December 18, 2009). "Rembrandt Buyer Is Said to Be Stephen Wynn". The New York Times. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- "Lloyd's Sued on Payout for Hurt Picasso". New York Times. January 12, 2007. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
- Nora Ephron (October 16, 2006). "My Weekend in Vegas". The Huffington Post. Retrieved June 28, 2008.
- "Steve Wynn's Bad Dream". The Smoking Gun. January 11, 2007. Retrieved June 28, 2008.
- "Wynn Settles Suit Over Painting Cohen Coveted". FINalternatives. March 26, 2007. Retrieved June 28, 2008.
- Marc Spiegler (January 17, 2007). "Kasino-Milliardär Wynn fordert Schadenersatz für selbst zerstörten Picasso". artnet Magazin. Retrieved June 28, 2008.
- "Wynns Complete Divorce in Las Vegas". Dealbook. January 14, 2010. Retrieved July 8, 2012.
- [dead link]
- Is Steve and Elaine Wynn's Relationship Now Strictly Business?. HotelChatter (January 28, 2009).
- ''Las Vegas Review Journal'' report. Reviewjournal.com (November 20, 2004).
- Chris Smith. "Clash of the Titans". New Yorker.
- Katsilometes, John (November 4, 2010). "Steve Wynn: Viva Las Vegan". Las Vegas Weekly. Retrieved November 12, 2010.
- "The Rise of the Power Vegans". BusinessWeek. November 4, 2010.
- Schwartz, Ian. (July 18, 2011) Wynn Slams Obama On Business. RealClearPolitics.
- Personnel Announcement. Georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov (October 30, 2006).
- The All-America Executive Team Best CEOs, InstitutionalInvestor.com
- Barron's Staff, , Barron's, Mar. 26, 2011
- Chris Sieroty, , Las Vegas Review-Journal, Sept. 24, 2012
- George Anastasia (March 12, 2000). "Donald Trump Vs. Steve Wynn In A Real-life Spy Tale A Recent Battle Between The Casino Moguls Is Filled With Claims Of Money-laundering, Double Agents And High-level Secret Snooping". Philly.com.
- "Investigator Probed Casinos, Then Promoted Them (Obituary for Dennis Gomes)". Wall Street Journal. February 25, 2012.
- David Johnston (March 23, 1991). "Casino Rivals Trump And Wynn Take Trade-secret Battle To Court". Philadelphia Inquirer.
- PRISCILLA PAINTON, The Great Casino Salesman, Time, June 2001
- Ashley Powers, Feud between casino mogul and porn purveyor enters L.A. court, Los Angeles Times, September 7, 2012
- Wynn awarded $7.5 million in case against soft-porn king – News – ReviewJournal.com. Lvrj.com.
- Steve Wynn's $20-million award against Joe Francis likely to grow – latimes.com. Latimesblogs.latimes.com (September 11, 2012).
- Peter J. Henning (February 27, 2012). "War at Wynn Opens A Legal Can of Worms". New York Times.
- "Analysis: Wynn, Okada mud fight may not stick with officials". Reuters. February 24th, 2012.
- Linda Sandler (March 4, 2013). "Wynn Says Okada Fight Over Share Purchase May Cut Profit". Bloomberg News.
- Kerry Dolan, After Futile Efforts To Settle Out Of Court, Billionaire Elaine Wynn Sues So She Can Sell Her Wynn Resorts Shares, Forbes, June 19, 2012
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Steve Wynn|