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Steve Wynn On Encore Macau & Wynn Cotai

Wynn Cotai

Wynn Resorts released its quarterly earnings last week and with it came another fine episode of everyones favorite program - "The Steve Wynn Quarterly Radio Hour". Freshly back from the Wynn Macau Ltd. investor roadshow, Stevezi seemed to be quite hot for Macau, waxing poetic about Encore Macau (opening in April) and revealing a morsel or two about the status of Wynn Cotai.

Take it away Steverino...

Encore in Macau is completely budgeted and under control and we will finish it. We've opened some parts of it in the last few days. We will finish opening it in April. Everything is paid out of cash flow. We are completely confident of the cost of Encore and it's a little under our budget. And it is the most pretty and beautiful thing that weve ever built. It's 412 suites and villas. It has casino space, both general casino and VIP casino space. It was the first building that we had the luxury of building in Macau, where we could take advantage of our experience the past three years, what we have learned about our customers. And we took our time to do it until after we did learn about our clientele and the building was specifically designed to meet the - what we considered to be the real, real sensitivities of the people who come to Macau who spend the real money.

And so I say it's the prettiest thing we've ever done and that may be very nice for a design magazine. It certainly is another demonstration of the wonderful gifts that Roger Thomas has, our Chief of Design. But more importantly, in 100 cunning ways, it is a place that will ingratiate itself to the customers that matter most to us. It has two or three new restaurants and retail space and it has a spa that is completely unique, as far as Im concerned, anywhere.

I'm sure Steve has seen more than 100 cunning stunts in his lifetime. *rimshot*. Seriously, Wynn Macau honcho Ian Coughlin mentioned during the call that the Encore expansion "couldn't come fast enough" and that the addition of more VIP room inventory and services will increase their mass market share as well as VIP.

When asked about Cotai, Mr. Wynn had this to say:

We are working on the project in Cotai and I said on the road show and I want to repeat it on this phone call -- that until we are finished and that we've made the changes and we are satisfied with the end project, we won't discuss it or show it, first of all because it's best not to show something until you feel they've finished the job of designing it and secondly, wed like to give our competitors the least amount of time to learn about it.

So one can deduce that - officially - Wynn Cotai is nearing the completion of design phase and that details about the project will not be announced until after Encore Macau has opened, in due course. As some may recall, Steve Wynn promised a Wynn Cotai announcement at the tail end of 2007:

I'm buying 54 acres on the Cotai Strip. I won't reveal my plans for that yet. I'll make an announcement before Christmas.

Looks like we're gonna leave the lights up till at least June. Again.

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Comments & Discussion:

What I thought was telling is the language about him learning what the "real money" in Macau likes. The way I read that is, "Hi I'm Steve Wynn, and I am the new Stanley Ho, not the mass-market guy Macau hoped would turn the city into a resort destination". Wynn sounds resigned to go after the junket market, and forgo growing the general market. Granted this could be a reaction the visa situation (assuming that is not illusory proposition in its self), but to fold that thought into the design of his places makes it sound like more a long term decision.

And if you ask me, such a decision is fatal mid-to-long term. The real winner in Macau will be the one who is able to encourage mid-to-upper class guy from Hunnan or Quingdao to come down (not the least to say the better off consumers in the Asia Tiger economies in the region), and turn them into profit centers. Chasing the junket market (what Wynn seems to be insinuating) is a mugs game. It is capricious, and really a zero-sum situation.

Which makes me wonder more about Sheldon's house of cards on Singapore's marina. Singapore already has a good tourism reputation in the region, and that includes mainland China. The more Macau's casinos goes after the junkets, forgets the more typical player, and forgoes tourism development, makes me wonder if Singapore might have been the wise bet all along.

Meanwhile, there is something going on Wynn Cotai, as I mentioned in my past reports. Consider these same observations I made on two trips separated months apart: 1. Backhoe moving dirt 2. Huge power transformer akin to the other construction sites 3. Trailers for office space and living facilities. 4. Uniformed security guards shooing away gweilo with cameras.

That all said the sometimes cavernously empty Veneitian, the smallish COD casino space (compared to the development), and Wynns comments make me wonder how big the initial Wynn Cotai development will be, and if it would be worth going to for us schmos.

What is the big curved building in the background? is it COD? Looks Huge!

Not curved its two COD towers hitting at right angles (the are not connected, although it appears so in the picture). The one facing is the property is the Hyatt tower, while the other is the condo tower (or was supposed to be, I do not know how sales went on that thing).

Hey Chuck hope your well....is anything happening in Macau worth reporting?

Is an interview with Dr Ho on the cards?

Im not heading back there until the Sheratons built. Things arent going to pick up significantly until 2011.

Is COD getting the traffic they need? Can anyone recommend Restaurants at COD?

LVS is Cashed up and starting on lots 5 & 6 (Again)

Wynn HK IPO a success and fingers crossed should announce the Wynn Cotai Project soon?

I still think if you want to interview Stanley you will need a Ouija board.
It is very quiet about him and Lawrence seems to be the family spokesman now.
The Oceanus is really taking shape now and looks like the Beijing Water Cube. At night time it's a glowing mass of bubbles.

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