Steve Wynn Takes on Washington, Vegas & EBITDA
Steve Wynn says Americans are afraid. He’s just angry.
“Washington is unpredictable these days,” declares the CEO of Wynn Resorts . “No one has any idea what’s next…the uncertainty of the business climate in America is frightening, frightening to everybody, and it’s delaying the recovery.” (Catch more Steve Wynn's views in the videos below and on CNBC throughout the day).
Wynn spoke to CNBC in Las Vegas from the new Encore Beach Club opening for the Memorial Day weekend. He created the $69 million pool club and bar area after tearing down a brand new $13 million entrance to the Encore which looked out on Las Vegas Boulevard.
Turns out the view wasn’t good. Across the street are a slew of half finished developments which stalled in the downturn. Wynn didn’t want his guests to see that. “There were going to be 10,000 rooms across the street and they all went bust.” So he changed the whole front of the resort to close it off and create a sensual adults-only escape.
Pool clubs like the one he’s built are the hottest new trend in Vegas. “This generation…they have a different attitude,” Wynn says. “Instead of sitting and watching something, they want to be a part of it…they’re very hedonistic and sensual.”
As we spoke, scantily clad waitresses in barely-there orange bikinis prepared for one last practice run-through. “They’ll make north of a hundred grand apiece,” annually he says. The jobs pay well, and the tips are great. But wearing those bikinis isn’t easy. “If one of those girls gains two pounds, it goes from being really adorable to not so adorable.” (One other note: he lectures them about wearing hats and sunblock.)
Wynn is passionate about the prospects for the beach club.
He’s even more passionate about where this country is headed.
Wynn speaks of “wild, uncontrolled spending,” and “unbelievable, unsustainable debt”. As he plans to split his company headquarters between Las Vegas and Macau, with a bigger emphasis on Macau because of its tremendous profitability, he has no qualms about dealing with the Chinese government.
“Macau has been steady. The shocking, unexpected government is the one in Washington.”
He’s concerned about the prospect of inflation, of FHA repeating the mistakes of Fannie and Freddie, and the cost to business from the new healthcare law. “We’re on our way to Greece, in the hands of a confused, foolish government,” Wynn says. “It’s got to stop. It’s got to stop.”
Catch more of Jane Wells' reports on Steve Wynn's views on CNBC throughout the day.