Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This week's LVW Col: Vegas & Idaho

Major, major props to the LVW peeps for the headline on this week's column. Dunno how I didn't think of that one. Enjoy! -sf

Vegas’ own private Idaho
Sun Valley is the retreat of choice for
Sin City’s captains of industry



The World Cup match between England and the USA has just ended in a tie Saturday at a packed watering hole called Whiskey Jacques and between the boisterous crowd and the din of the many TVs, I can hardly hear myself think.

I had just met up with Kevin Stuessi, the former vice president for food and beverage at Wynn Resorts, who a few years ago abandoned Las Vegas to live here in Sun Valley, Idaho, the rustic retreat of choice for so many of Sin City’s movers and shakers.

As I mentioned, it is quite noisy, so I do that nod-and-smile thing that people with hearing disabilities do when we can’t hear in social situations and don’t want to admit it. Stuessi introduces me to the woman he is with but I don’t catch it, of course, so I assume this is his wife.

Kevin tells his companion that I’m visiting from Vegas, and I explain that I am in Sun Valley to write a magazine profile on Parry Thomas, the legendary Nevada banker whose willingness to loan money to casino projects in the 1960s weaned the city off the mob and provided the capital for growth. Thomas, now 88, summers on his horse ranch here with his wife, Peggy; their only daughter, Jane, is a full-timer in Sun Valley who occupies a home of her own on their farm.

When I mention the Thomases, the woman lights up.

“We’ve been family friends my whole life,” she tells me. “Jane used to babysit for me and my sister.”

“Really?” I say to her. “Do you know them from Las Vegas?”

The woman nods.

“Oh, cool,” I say. “What do your parents do?”

Stuessi and his friend, Kevyn Wynn, exchange a priceless look and bust out giggling.

“They’re Steve and Elaine Wynn,” she replies.

Read the rest at LasVegasWeekly.Com


JT said...

Hahaha that's pretty funny! She was the daughter of Steve Wynn!! That must've been quite an awkward silence moment!! Also, I wear two hearing aids and the "nod-and-smile" thing you said is sooo true! My friends can always tell when I'm doing it, but in new social situations it just about works! Great blog :-)