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Encore Casino Opens its Door to the Playing Public

On January 10th, 2009, Wynn Resorts Limited Chief Executive Office Steve Wynn stated that his $2.3 billion Encore Casino-which opened amidst a troubled economy that is greatly affecting the whole gaming industry and the traveling capability of customers-is about polishing the basics. Wynn said that better customer service, nicer hotel rooms and better lighting are just some factors that will attract more customers in the casino. He added that themes that are not attractive get old very quickly but real and interesting casino environments with excellent service are timeless.

Even if customers think that the Encore casino fulfills that promise, however, Wynn will have to keep the costs low to keep people booking its 2,034 rooms. That is because while Wynn is performing well, most casinos in the Las Vegas strip are not. MGM Mirage Incorporated, which owns and manages around ten casino facilities on the Las Vegas strip, has laid off around 3,200 employees since October 2007.

Harrah's Entertainment has laid off 1,800 employees since January 2008. Deutsche Bank analyst Bill Lerner told investors that he is tracking more delayed casino projects in Las Vegas than ever before. Wynn said that he views employee layoffs as a last option to stay afloat. He said that he is willing to slash down room prices to keep customers in the casino and his employees working.

Wynn added that if he lay off employees, he will just cause a ripple effect of insecurity and fear that is much more difficult to solve than is raising the cost when business is doing good. Company officials said that the 5,000 new employment opportunities at the Encore casino were eagerly awaited. Around 100,000 people applied for the available positions. Hit hard by foreclosures and the credit crisis, the Las Vegas strip reported an unemployment rate of 7.9% in November. Encore's opening is likely to be the only bright spot in the Las Vegas strip for a while.


03/05/2009 19:42 PM


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