Steve Wynn Juggling Vegas Paradise Park Expansion And New RNC Finance Gig

Written By Jessica Welman on February 2, 2017
Wynn Paradise Park RNC appointment

[toc]After a profitable quarter from the Wynn Palace in Macau, Steve Wynn is ready to pursue his Paradise Park on the Las Vegas Strip.

The resort mogul hopes to break ground before the end of the year.

What does Paradise Park entail?

The Paradise Park plans entail expanding the area surrounding existing casino resorts, Wynn and Encore. It is expected to cost $1.5 billion to develop.

Wynn Resorts expects the park to cover 130 acres behind the two properties. The park plans include a lake, a lagoon, sandy beaches, and a retail and entertainment component.

Expansive luxury resorts are becoming more common on the north end of the Strip.

The SLS Hotel and Casino currently operates where the Sahara was previously located.

Resorts World Casino got the green light to begin building its $4 billion Vegas casino in May of 2016. Construction is currently underway just on the other side of the street from the Wynn properties.

Why Wynn thinks now is the time to expand in Vegas

The Paradise Park project is less about taking advantage of the Vegas economy and more about putting profits from the new Wynn property in Macau to use.

Wynn Palace in Macau opened in August of 2016. The opening of the new property helped surge fourth quarter properties for the company by just over $350 million. The new Asian casino is responsible for the entirety of the profits.

On the company’s latest earnings call, Wynn spoke about the Palace’s fast start.

“We are a little ahead now with our hotel occupancy at the Palace,” said Wynn. “We are running in the (90 percent occupancy range.)”

Meanwhile the Las Vegas properties saw fourth-quarter revenue down two percent from 2015.

The Paradise Park project has been a dream of Wynn’s for a couple of years now. With Wynn Palace finding success so quickly, he feels now is the time to pursue it.

“We want to take our noncasino revenue to enormously high levels,” he explained. Rather than invest the money in another casino, the park intends to bring more of those entertainment attractions to the Wynn and Encore properties.

Will Wynn have time to spearhead a new project?

The fast track Wynn has in mind for the park might be in jeopardy thanks to Wynn’s new position with the Republican National Committee (RNC).

President Donald Trump recently asked Wynn personally to serve as the finance chair for the RNC. Wynn accepted the post, but only after the RNC agreed to modify the role to keep his travel as chair to a minimum.

Like Trump, Wynn has previously donated to both Democratic and Republican causes. As a close peer to fellow resort mogul President Trump, it is unsurprising Wynn donated over $800,000 to Republican campaigns last year.

Image credit: OLOS / Shutterstock, Inc.

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Jessica Welman

Jessica Welman is a longtime member of the poker media. She has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for A graduate of the University of Southern California and Indiana University, Welman is not only a writer but also a producer. She has been involved for livestreams for the WSOP and WPT and worked as a consultant on many other poker productions. She can be found on Twitter @jesswelman.

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