Getting convention-goers to see the light was fundamental to Thomas’ plans. “We think it’s important not only to the guests as individuals but to that ‘team effort’ usually involved in a meeting or convention where you’re trying to get people feeling energetic, focused and giving their best efforts,” he says. “Being underground or closed in all the time is exhausting; none of us have our best efforts in a cave, but we do when we’re surrounded by sunlight.”
Powered by the Sun
Sunlight also powers the Wynn expansion’s 160-acre solar facility and on-site rooftop panels, an industry first for a gaming operator in Nevada. It’s a central feature of the resort’s amped-up commitment to sustainability, another experiential hallmark that runs counter to the town’s reputation for excess.
The property—which maintains the highest sustainable certification from the Green Building Initiative—has instituted single-use plastic-abatement solution efforts involving straws (which are biodegradable in 90 days) and water bottles, responsible and ethical food sourcing, robust recycling and zero-landfill waste management for convention clients. In the near future, several sustainability program tiers will be offered to groups, accommodating anything from green meeting basics to a zero carbon, zero waste option.
Sustainability is built into the architectural design, according to Thomas. “Using honest materials is a way that we reinforce a feeling of health. Having real marble rather than fake marble; having real fibers rather than a lot of plastic. We invest in making our furniture right the first time so that we're not replacing it and sending it to the landfill in three or four years. We're thinking about that healthiness of the environment all the time, but the healthiness is often what you don’t see, not what you do see.”
Form Meets Function
Among other efforts that you won’t see: the diligent staff working behind the scenes, and the humming technology that allows groups to flawlessly keep to their agendas. Beyond the standard amenities, like high-speed WiFi throughout, Thomas and his team made purposeful changes to typical technology.
“We moved the sound from being all in the ceiling to being in the walls as well. It’s at ear level so your auditory response is less straining, and it’s coming from places where normal conversation come from,” he says. “We hide all the tech stuff that usually gets exposed in places. I often use things like exterior light pole bases as opportunities for sound and light and Wi-Fi and security.”
Some improvements were based on the design team’s careful observations of in-house groups. For example, all chairs and common areas have easy access to USB ports, and the furniture was designed for laptop users, with tables at a more comfortable height for typing.
The goal, of course, is to create the perfect complement of business and beauty. Says Flatt, “Roger works really hard to make sure that everything inside feels just as good and blends with what you’re seeing outside. Everywhere you look, there’s not a space that doesn’t fill your eye with something special.”
More Reasons to Choose Wynn
Flatt expects the expansion to be a winning blue-chip supplement to a property that—between Wynn and nearby Encore Las Vegas—offers 4,748 spacious rooms, suites and villas; 192,000 square feet of casino space; 22 signature dining experiences; 11 bars; two award-winning spas, and 160,000 square feet of retail space. The addition of Wynn Plaza, which debuted in November 2018, brought more luxe fashion, wellness, contemporary art and casually elegant dining options to the property’s collection.
But it’s the convention expansion that has inspired the most gratifying reactions on Flatt’s initial tours. “Planners are already saying things like, ‘We can put this here, and we could do this there.’ I love that clients are already visualizing themselves in the space.”
She adds, “So many customers have been so loyal and absolutely loved being here,” she says. “A number of them, as time has gone on, have started to outgrow us. We have groups that have held down the size of their programs until we get this new space, because they don’t want to go anywhere else. Other groups have had to go elsewhere, and they would love to come back.”
Learn more here about hosting an event at Wynn Las Vegas.