Posted by ryan
on Oct 26, 2015 in Strategy/News
| 0 comments
Fine art collector and hotel CEO Steve Wynn is best-known as a major casino and hotel magnate operating out of Las Vegas. His biography reads like a textbook example of the classic American rags-to-riches story. He inherited $350,000 in gambling debts from his father, as well as a chain of near bankrupt bingo parlors. With his previous plans for law school at Yale completely quashed by the financial realities of his father’s estate, he focused on turning the family business around, which he did in just five years, paying down the debts and using the experience to land a role as part-owner of the Frontier Hotel in Vegas. From that position, he was able to take over run-down hotels and build them up again, before completely turning round the reputation of the Strip with his classy, family-friendly hotels. The focus on tasteful interior decoration – the hotel as museum and art gallery, as well as casino – led to his enduring appreciation of fine art. CEO Steve Wynn’s private collection includes works by Picasso (one of which he put his elbow through, later commenting that ‘The money means nothing to me. It’s that I had this painting in my care and I’ve damaged it’), Matisse, Léger, Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Giacometti, as well as one of only two paintings by Johannes Vermeer that are in private hands – the other belongs to the Queen of England! Aside from his private collection, his former flagship hotel, the world-famous Bellagio, contained over $300 million worth of art from the Impressionists up to the contemporary era (he later sold the hotel for over $6 billion). Having sold the Bellagio, widely considered to be the greatest hotel in Las Vegas, if not the world, Wynn decided that the only way was up, designing a brand new hotel still more sumptuous – yet tasteful – than the last. Having by this point demonstrated to the world that he could build hotels in Vegas (and elsewhere in the States – he opened one of the first casino-hotels in Atlantic City), he’s now overseeing a new venture in Macau, the former Portuguese colony reincorporated into China in 1999. In line with his passion for art, he’s furnished the hotel with, among other things, four Qing dynasty vases worth a total of $12.7 million, which were removed from the country in the 18th Century. For CEO Steven Wynn, it’s only partly about the money and the opulence: Just as important is the fact that he’s been able to restore these antiques to their native land. Wynn’s reputation for knowing what he wants and getting it, whether it’s casinos, money or Picassos, unjustly conceals the genuine passion for business, people and art that is the motivation behind it all. Now aged 73, he’s just over two decades into re-booting his hotel career after the sale of the Bellagio, but shows no sign of slowing down yet. About Mail | More Posts...