County OKs Wynn licenses - Saturday 12th of March 2005

More than half of the 9,000 or so people hired to work at the soon-to-open Wynn Las Vegas megaresort have worked for Steve Wynn in years past, the casino boss told county commissioners during a licensing hearing Tuesday.

Before receiving unanimous approval for multiple gaming and liquor licenses at the resort, Wynn said workers were "willing to work for less vacation time" for a chance to join the Wynn Las Vegas staff.

After several minutes of telling commissioners about the design and oncept for his resort, Wynn called his employees "the ultimate asset." p>"It's not the building, not the fountains or the mountains or the volcanoes or the multimillion-dollars worth of stuff," Wynn said. "Anybody can get stuff. If we've got the hearts and minds of our staff believing that we're home we will prevail, no matter how imperfect my design may be."

About 99,000 people applied to work at Wynn Las Vegas in less than 60 days, an "incredible experience in recruitment," he said.

Wynn, who appeared before commissioners with a few of his top executives, said his resort is designed to be "intimate" and will feature enclosed areas that customers can discover for themselves.

Other Strip properties "present what they have quite directly," he said.

"The restaurants surround the casinos. The attractions are right there. There's no subtlety to the presentation."

Wynn Las Vegas will feature "design spaces" between casinos, restaurants and shopping areas "where people can reset their clocks and prepare for a new experience and go find out something that they didn't know was there -- that they couldn't see right away."

The 6 million-square-foot resort is about the same size as Bellagio, Wynn's last project. "I think people are going to feel like it's a fraction of the size of the other hotels we have built," he said.

Before taking a vote, Commissioners Myrna Williams and Yvonne Atkinson-Gates praised Wynn for his latest venture.

It is in my view one of the most magnificent buildings I've ever seen. I'm thrilled that it's there," Williams said.

Commissioner Rory Reid, whose law firm does work for a partner of Wynn's, abstained from the vote but not before congratulating Wynn.

The commission voted 5 to 0, with Commissioner Chip Maxfield absent.

The resort was awarded a number of licenses including licenses for 21 bars, 33 portable bars, three beer service locations, outside liquor service and gaming licenses. The licenses are contingent upon the resort's casino license approval by the Nevada Gaming Commission. The state agency is expected to approve the resort Thursday based on a previous recommendation by the Gaming Control Board.

The resort still needs to pass building, fire and health inspections before its April 28 opening date and is expected to meet that deadline, said Derek Dubasik, assistant Manager of operations for the county's business license department.

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