Keynote Conversation: Steve Wynn and Roger Thomas with HD’s Michael Adams
Today Steve Wynn and Roger Thomas, two hospitality legends who literally changed the face of Las Vegas, delivered the keynote address to a standing room only crowd at HD Expo 2017. The pair joined a memorable conversation with Hospitality Design magazine’s editorial director, Michael Adams, and shared stories of their decades-long collaboration. With the team’s world famous projects, including the Bellagio, Wynn Las Vegas and Encore, Wynn and Thomas set the new standards of luxury and opulence in their hotels and resorts. Both shared insights into their method, their theory of what makes hotels memorable to guests and a few hints into future hospitality plans.
The two retold the story of how they got their start in the hotel development business, and how insisting on thinking like a guest, not like a designer, initially set them apart from the other hotel properties that reigned in the 50’s.
The conversation was authentically nostalgic with Wynn and Thomas reminiscing and the audience getting a rare glimpse behind the hospitality design curtain of the Las Vegas strip. Perhaps even more captivating, however, was the clarity with which the speakers unveiled their design approach. Wynn began to speak about sunshine, water and plants – how they resonate with the soul, whether we as humans are aware of it or not. He then connected these natural elements to the organic elements of every one of their properties, allowing every hotel to speak to the soul of each guest.
“We design to create emotion. How it makes you feel; that’s what we’re after,” explained Wynn.
According to the partners, The Wynn Resorts is a successful business and brand because they’re driven by a culture centered on the pursuit of a core idea. And they’ve surrounded themselves with an incredible design team whose creative juices are all flowing in the same direction.
“That’s why we’re doing one more hotel together,” said Wynn at the end of the session. “Because maybe, just maybe, if we do one more we may get it right.”