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Wynn, Steve


WYNN, STEVE (Stephen Alan ; 1942– ), U.S. casino developer. Wynn was born in New Haven, Conn., and raised in Utica, n.y. His father, Michael Weinberg, ran a string of bingo parlors in the eastern United States and died shortly before Wynn graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1963. Wynn took over the family's bingo operation in Maryland and did well enough to accumulate the money to buy a small stake in the Frontier Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. In the early 1970s, Wynn was part of a land deal with two titans of the Las Vegas casino industry, Howard Hughes and Caesars Palace, and they won a controlling interest in the Golden Nugget. Wynn renovated, revamped, and expanded the Golden Nugget, whose annual profit soared from a little over $1 million to over $12 million. Wynn built another Golden Nugget in Atlantic City, n.j., in 1984. In 1984 Wynn was estimated to be worth $100 million. In 1986 he bought a large piece of land next to Caesar's Palace. He then sold the Atlantic City Nugget for $440 million and used much of the money to build the Mirage, a 3,000-room hotel and casino, in 1989. The Mirage set a new standard for size and lavishness. It featured an indoor forest and an outdoor "volcano," and with high-quality room appointments the Mirage was a great success. The Mirage was financed largely with junk bonds issued by Michael *Milken and it proved to be enormously successful, further enhancing Wynn's image in Las Vegas. Wynn expanded further on his concept of the luxury casino with the Bellagio, which had an artificial lake, an indoor conservatory, and an art gallery in which Wynn displayed museum-quality artworks, and branches of high-end boutiques and restaurants located in Paris, San Francisco, and New York. Mirage Resorts was sold to mgm Grand in 2000 to form mgm Mirage. With the money he made on the deal, Wynn built a new resort, the Wynn Las Vegas, which opened in 2005. According to Forbes magazine, Wynn became a billionaire in 2004, when his net worth was estimated at $1.3 billion. Wynn's art collection, on display to the public at Wynn Las Vegas, includes paintings by Picasso, Vermeer, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Warhol, and Matisse.

[Stewart Kampel (2nd ed.)]

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