When Steve Wynn gave his first press conference in December about the possibility of building a hotel/casino in Everett, he downplayed the casino. He said over and over again that his hotel was a luxury destination first and that the staff makes sure that everyone who visits a Wynn resort leaves with a great experience.When one walks into the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas, you are struck by the beautiful flowers, open green spaces flooded by natural light, courteous staff and above all a welcoming atmosphere – a feast for all the senses.
For several Everett business leaders, this was their take home experience when they returned from the Wynn Resort recently.With a behind the scenes tour and candid meetings with various members of the hotel staff, each one walked away knowing that their experience was the product of hard work on the part of the staff and Steve Wynn.
This two-day tour of the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas gave a glimpse of what could be in Everett.
Going into the back halls of the Wynn resort is certainly an eye-opening experience. Many on the tour compared the workings of the Wynn Resort to running a small city. With more than 12,000 employees to manage not only the guests but also the staff’s needs – from meals to clothing – the hotel runs like a fine timepiece.
The tour started off with a welcoming luncheon where various facts by a Wynn Resorts official were put forth – such as the hotel rooms and restaurants account for more revenue than the casino. After the luncheon, a tour of several various hotel accommodations were provided by Brian Gullbrants, General Manager at The Wynn.
The hotel suites were over the top. For example, one suite had 6,000 square feet that featured a butler, a fully operational kitchen, three bedrooms, private billiards room and an infinity pool that overlooks a lush green space – all this is in the middle of a desert. A side note is that British royalty could have stayed in this type of suite.
Gullbrants pointed out that the Wynn/Encore resorts encompass more than 8 million square feet and everyone on the tour walked a good part of that distance.
A tour of the employee dining room could only be described as a great full service restaurant with a healthy focus. The food was freshly prepared and served in a professional manner as if in an upscale restaurant. There were color charts to show what food is best to eat and what food is to be limited. Gullbrants pointed out that the health insurance cost for the staff is mostly paid by the hotel and each employee on a yearly basis is rewarded for living a healthy lifestyle.
“Employees are our most valuable resource,” Gullbrants said Wynn always stresses to both employees and management.
Every employee whom we met stressed how proud they are to work for Steve Wynn. This comment was heard from people on and off the tour. Many employees have worked for Wynn for five or six years. Others have worked for Wynn for more than 30 years. All have the same reaction, Wynn is a great place to work. Troy Mitchum of the 61,000 sq. foot luxury spa told of his work experience at the Wynn.
“I started out in 1985 in the educational assistance program. Today, my mother, father, son, daughter and wife have all worked for Steve Wynn,” he said. “We know that you are our guests,” he added.
Mitchum’s story is not unique as there are testimonials in the employee lounge from staff that have had several family members working at the Wynn and loving it.
The flowers that greet guests in their rooms, in the public spaces or in the hotel’s restaurants come under the purview of Gary Cramer and his staff of 33 gardeners. As a side note, the 18-hole golf course has its own staff.
With more than 30,000 indoor and outdoor plants, Cramer noted how difficult it is to keep outdoor green space as temperatures in the desert range from 8 to 117 degrees. He has it easier with the 12,000 inside plants. “We use more than 50,000 orchids a year and spend more than $2 million for fresh cut flowers on a yearly basis,” he added.
“Wynn likes people in comfortable and a lush environment, this is his passion,” Cramer said.
The Wynn was first built more than eight years ago and the Encore more than four years ago. However, looking over the interior, the property is impeccable. The inside décor is flawless without being overly ostentatious. Many of the staff credit this high level of upkeep to Wynn himself, who walks the resorts making sure that everything is up to his specifications. No detail is too small for Steve Wynn. We were even told that Wynn selected the overhead music that one hears in the public spaces.
As the staff gets ready to exit the doors into the resort to start their shift, overhead is the famous Bob Fosse saying, “It’s showtime,” highlighted in two-foot type.
For Wynn Everett, “It’s showtime.”