Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Punk'd Again?

Sometime last year, I asked Steve Wynn if he was planning to go atop of Encore for a TV commercial similar to how he did it for the opening of Wynn Las Vegas. He clearly told me he would not. We played it on the show.

Except that he did.

Sigh. I'm too busy this morning to wade through the shows to find which episode that was, but I know he said it. And I don't know what to make of this. It's the second time this year this has happened.

Here's the commercial and a testimonial, by the way. The shrug at the very end is kinda cute.


Troy in Las Vegas said...

How much would you stand to lose if you exposed this in an article say in LAs Vegas Weekly or NY Times or LVRJ? Would he unleash his lawyer hounds on you? Of course that would be deadly. But if it is true..? Or he will just probably say something like, "Well, I had to protect the idea and couldn't have it public knowledge." or some other B.S.
I know he is a "Player" in Las Vegas but how 'bout losing him? How 'bout telling him you are hurt that he lied again and you are not gonna interview him anymore and you are going to instead concentrate on his rivals and competition?
When was the last time you interview a Boyd?

RJ Guy said...

Uh, no. That's not an option. He's also given Steve many bits of information that proved to be true. This is annoying, but I bet anything he doesn't even remember saying it. If I remember the show in question, it was sort of an off-handed question and answer. If you're Steve Wynn and they come to you with this idea, you don't stop and say, "Shit, I told Friess I wasn't going to do this." It's worth what this is, a blog post.

Anonymous said...

I agree with R-J Guy. We need Wynn more than he needs us. He is the King of Las Vegas, the RateVegas blog content is probably 70% about Wynn, almost all discussions regarding Strip operations become comparisons to Wynn. I don't know what "it" is, but Wynn has it in spades. I think the downloads on "The Strip" are the highest when Wynn is the guest.

Jeff in OKC

Judy and Dagmar Jenner said...

Too bad you got punk'd again by SW, Steve! Likes/dislikes aside, I must say the commercial is pretty impressive. I wouldn't have believed he was actually up there if I hadn't seen the first clip. Good for him that he didn't have any mishaps up there, poor eyesight and all. (I am thinking about the Picasso...) Encore couldn't really open at a worse time, but if I have a free minute, I will swing by. My hunch is it will be deja vu Bellagio, and deja vu, of course, Wynn.

Anonymous said...


Do you really feel slighted? I'm asking cause it just doesn't seem like a big deal to me but maybe I'm missing something.

Sure, he said it wasn't the plan and he may have known they'd do it and was being coy but they also may have changed their mind after he spoke with you.

Seems like it was an off-hand comment in an interview and they ended up going another way and doing the commercial.

I don't know if you feel the same way but from my perspective it seems like Wynn has given you a gold mine of stuff since that 2005 WLV walk-through that more than compensates for anything like this.

Am I off base?




Do I feel badly burned? No. Does it bug me when this kind of thing happens? Sure. As a journalist, I don't weigh my reaction to inconsistency against what a source has "given" me. I'm a reporter; I've gotten a lot of good information from many sources. Every source that gives me information does so for his/her own purposes or, perhaps, because I'm persuasive at times. But if I don't point out when there are inconsistencies -- the Danny Gans thing was a bit more egregious than this -- then I'm not doing my job.

If I didn't raise this sort of thing when it arises, I fear audiences and readers would believe I go softer on some than others, that I'm willing to forget who I work for, which is not myself but those who consume my work. In fact, that's actually what you're suggesting I do -- treat some sources differently than others because of their kindnesses to me. I don't believe that's a way to earn real respect from anyone, either the readers or the sources.

Anonymous said...

What I'm saying is that "Punk'd" implies some sort of intent to deceive. As far as I can tell, there's no strong evidence of that in this instance.

While I think that was certainly clear with the Gans thing given how close it was to the announcement and how long negotiations go, it at least seems possible that in this instance, given the long delta, that it was simply a strategic shift or decision made after he made the statement.

I wasn't suggesting you treat anyone differently - I was reacting to Troy's comment suggesting that you would quit interviewing Wynn as some sort of punishment because of this. It would seem to me there's enough of a story in Wynn's ongoing narrative to justify continued coverage, despite these 'incidents'.


Anonymous said...

The short commerical, which the bulk of people will see, doesn't inspire a never been to Vegas person to come to see Encore because the focus is 100% of the exterior of the hotel of which it looks exactly like the Wynn tower, so to the layman, its not another hotel with anything new, it just looks like an expansion of what already exists.

Anonymous said...

Knowing that Wynn reads (or has someone monitor) Steve's blog, it would surprise me if he doesn't make a fence-mending overture in the near future.

David McKee