Exporting our greatest ideas

Wynn, Adelson have applied the best of their Las Vegas creations to Macau properties

Kin Cheung / AP

Sheldon Adelson, chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corporation and his wife Miriam Adelson, attend the opening ceremony of the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel in Macau Tuesday, August 28, 2007.

Richard N. Velotta

Richard N. Velotta

Some of Las Vegas’ most successful casino entrepreneurs have parlayed their fortunes by developing great ideas, tweaking them over time, then exporting them.

Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson, for example, made his fortune by establishing a convention center, filling it with meetings and trade shows and building a hotel around it, making it irresistibly convenient for conventioneers to stay there.

Adelson first bought the Comdex trade show in the late ’70s, developed it into the world’s largest computer event and planted it in the Sands Expo Center. As the show grew, Adelson was able to build the Venetian and the Palazzo.

Over time, the Sands empire evolved, and Adelson took his winning formula to Macau and Singapore.

Now, Steve Wynn has taken a piece of his past and plans to expand it to a new resort in Macau, themed around magnificent floral arrangements, much like the Bellagio Conservatory.

It isn’t the first time Wynn has borrowed from the Bellagio, which he opened in 1998. He replicated the Bellagio’s fountain show at Wynn Macau but added colored lights and fireballs. While the all-white lights at the Bellagio are stylish and graceful, the colored fountains and flames add an exciting element to Wynn’s Macau show.

Wynn once said his biggest regret about the Bellagio is that the best seat for the fountain show is at the Eiffel Tower restaurant, owned by competitor Caesars Entertainment. He said he learned from that and incorporated a restaurant at Wynn Macau overlooking the lake.

Last month, Wynn showed off a piece of the vision for his new Cotai resort in Las Vegas, unveiling two massive floral displays, a hot air balloon and a carousel, in the Wynn atrium.

“We’re always trying to look for new things for the hotel,” Wynn said. “We love to have this place constantly changing. It makes it much more interesting for our guests.”

The carousel includes four horses on a rotating platform adorned with 100,000 flowers.

Wynn also is using the idea to help sell a proposed resort near Boston. He is in a competition to build a casino in Massachusetts and reportedly posted a photo of a Faberge egg floral display to promote that idea.

The floral displays in Las Vegas should build some anticipation for Wynn’s Macau project, which will include a series of displays on pedestals “like wedding cakes,” which Wynn compared to floats in Pasadena’s Rose Parade.

And once again, a Las Vegas idea will be exported abroad. I’m sure the home crowd would rather see that type of creativity stay here.

Tags: Opinion, Business