Wynn Builds a Sanctuary on the Strip

An ambitious expansion provides a sustainable haven for groups.

“Serenity” is not a word often applied to the Las Vegas Strip. But Wynn Las Vegas played against conventional thinking in conceptualizing its convention space expansion, which will double the gaming resort’s meeting space when it debuts this February.

“We’ve taken a number of our clients, both existing and new, to see the space and they have been absolutely stunned,” says Chris Flatt, executive vice president of hotel sales and marketing for Wynn Las Vegas and Encore. “When you start to see those views, it’s such a surprise. People are literally just blown away.”

“Those views” come courtesy of a two-level expansion that sits on the southeast side of the resort’s private backyard and overlooks the redesigned Wynn Golf Club’s 18-hole championship course. They’re visible through floor-to-ceiling windows that offer an abundance of warm natural light. The view is even better from the terraces, where the Las Vegas sun reflects off Wynn’s two glass towers.

One client put it best, says Flatt: “The customer basically said, ‘this just feels so non-Vegas.’ People feel really at peace out there. You’re not hearing or seeing the hustle and bustle of the Strip — which people love, and that’s one of the reasons they come here — but for people to use words like ‘peaceful’ to describe the space was really a surprise.”

Extensive planning went into eliciting that response. Wynn’s aim was to create a sense of experience, where meeting-goers would find a business sanctuary in the heart of the Strip. The project embodies the brand’s five-star reputation for luxury, as well as a heightened commitment to sustainability and an atmosphere of inspiration.

The space transports attendees to a place where they can be more focused, says Roger Thomas, the legendary executive vice president design for Wynn Design and Development, who spearheaded the effort. “The glitz and the gambling and the entertainment aspect — which can be very distracting — gets refocused. You’re constantly aware of being in this elevated, green, healthy environment. It’s about looking at every single guest as important and providing them with such an uplifting and unique experience that they’ll come back to you for it.”

Letting the Light In

New and returning attendees will find Wynn’s space transformed, a mix of the familiar structure now connected to a distinctive addition. The expansion adds 300,000 square feet, more than doubling the meeting space at Wynn and nearby Encore to a total of 560,000 square feet across 57 flexible rooms, a 20,000 square-foot outdoor pavilion (with adjacent 20,000 square-foot lawn) and four pillarless ballrooms, one of which, a uniquely engineered room at 83,000 square feet, is among the largest in town.

Letting the Light In

The 20,000-square-foot pavilion is ideal for concerts, receptions or dinners.

The two-level expansion’s striking indoor/outdoor design connects directly with the current meeting space through a L-shaped glass hallway that looks out over the 18-hole championship course, spanning 129 acres. The only resort golf course on the Strip, it is fresh from a redesign by legendary course architect Tom Fazio.

There’s plenty more to see: A luxury 2,500-square-foot hospitality lounge houses a state-of-the-art video wall measuring 72 feet by 9 feet. The grand rotunda entrance leads to 18 new rooms—each scaled for versatility of use for anything from receptions to general sessions, with patios that offer sightlines to the 18th fairway and the Wynn towers in the distance. “There’s a terrace off the back of that floor so receptions can flow outside, and skylights along the other promenade that go along the other side of the ballroom,” says Flatt. “No matter where you are in the space, you’re going to get natural light.”

A stylish new lounge area provides more comfortable work spaces for attendees.

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.

Wynn Story 1 Promenade
A long promenade lets in the light and looks out over the championship golf course.

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.