Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Exclusive: Wynn Assesses The Cosmo

[Update: VegasTripping.Com analyzed Wynn's remarks -- with illustrations! Check that out.]

Steve Wynn had some good news/bad news for the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas during my wide-ranging conversation with him on Monday that is NOT authorized for use on the podcast. So you'll have to pay attention here and other places where I write as I figure out the newsworthiness of each bit. The Cosmo is expected to open in December.

Cosmo's good news: He liked the rooms.
Cosmo's bad news: He said the check-in/valet area is "dysfunctional."

Here are the relevant exchanges. I'm giving the verbatim because, frankly, his description of what's wrong with the valet and front desk was complicated and I don't have a site map to help work it out. It seemed better just to transcribe it and let the geniuses like David McKee and the fellas at VegasTripping.Com and RateVegas.Com explain what the hell he's saying. I'm just a vessel.

Friess: You toured the Cosmo?

Wynn: I took a quick look at it, I did. The rooms are very nice upstairs, as opposed to the Fontainebleau where they aren’t.

Friess: Ha. That's funny.

Wynn: No, I mean the Fontainebleau model rooms. They weren't nice. [The Cosmopolitan] has a nice room. Now, the property is so constrained by its size that it’s dysfunctional at its entrance, where people come and check in and go nto the garage. I don’t know about kitchens and back of the house and all of that. Are you asking for a technical evaluation of the building?

Friess: I was asking what your first impressions were.

Wynn: My first impression is they have very nice rooms, that the site has created unbelievable problems as far as access and egress for guests checking in and out. If you have some idea what the load on the Sunday check in and checkout is in the hotel, that place can’t work properly. I made a suggestion to the young man who showed me through as to what they should do almost at any cost if they can do it, and that is to somehow break through from Harmon to the street on the other side that goes between Bellagio and them. Right now, you go in on Harmon from the Strip. As you go under into the building right under the garage, you take a 90-degree right-hand turn and you’re headed back toward the Strip. There’s two lanes there. You’re in the bottom of the garage. And you stop the car, there’s about 10 car lengths and you go into the building there to check in, then you go forward four car lengths, and you have to make a 180-degree turn for cabs and people. It can’t work. If they can get through the building to the other side, they might be able to work it. They’ve got a real problem with check-in.

Translation for those of us without the mental capacity to parse out the spatial relations he's describing: If you can get inside, it's lovely. But good luck getting inside.



detroit1051 said...

I need a map of Cosmo's entire footpring to visualize Steve's concern, but a website of a fire suppression system contractor points out some of the challenges:
"• Project is approximately 6,200,000 sf or the equivalent of 142 acres of development constructed on an 8.5 acre footprint"
"• Parking garage will accommodated approximately 3,800 cars all located on 5 levels of subterranean parking."
The site contradicts itself by stating 1,800 parking spaces and then 3,800 spaces.
Regardless, underground entry is always a turn-off for me. If anyone can make it work, John Unwin can.
I don't know how Cosmo could do anything with the north side of the building due to Jockey Club being there.
Here's the contractor's site:

mike_ch said...

That sounds only really relevant if you're driving. In the meantime, neither Wynn nor Encore (nor Bellagio!) garages can be accessed without driving on Las Vegas Blvd (but then, neither can CityCenter's either). So for someone critiquing garages, Wynn has has put a fair amount of visitor traffic on the strained Las Vegas Blvd.

Most people going to Cosmo are going to arrive in taxis, and walking in off the street. A few will use their valet (but probably not nearly as many as Bellagio or CityCenter) and even fewer will self-park there.

Jason said...

Mr. Wynn is spot on about the parking debacle at Cosmo - However, he neglected to chime in about the other cut corners - water hazard debacle that created a three year delay - the non-ready casino - and horrible track record of current ownership (Deutsche Bank), treating the victimize condo buyers and future hotel guests without respect and honesty. This project is Vegas's worst nightmare and Deutsche Bank has already killed the brand.

Jason said...

Thank for getting this interview on the record Steve! Mr. Wynn is spot on about the parking debacle at Cosmo - he neglected to chime in about the many other cut corners - the 2005 water hazard debacle that created a three year delay and potential foundation problems - the non-ready casino at "Grand opening" - and horrible track record of current ownership (Deutsche Bank), cheating the condo buyers who made that project possible. Ownership and CEO Unwin are also lying to future hotel guests without respect and honesty about the hotel. This project is Vegas' worst nightmare. It's shocking the banking regulators and legal authorities have not stepped in to settle the countless lawsuits still being filed against Deutsche & Cosmo - but the truth is slowly leaking to the press through blogs and journalists that are finally reading the latest legal complaints. Keep up the fight! These banks are not "Too big to fail."

alexanbo said...

SO what are the odds that Jim Murren will tour Cosmo at any point?

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you get a variance from the County to reduce the minimum number of spots from 5000 to 3000. This place is going to be a parking nightmare. I'm sure guests with cars will love it...NOT!

detroit1051 said...

Mike_ch, I always have a rental car in Vegas, and convenient self parking is important. The speed ramps at Bellagio and Wynn are factors in my staying at those properties. The parking hassles at MGM Grand and Venetian/Palazzo are reasons to stay away.

If I stay at Cosmo in December, I'll self-park, so it better be customer friendly.


detroit - i love the palazzo garage. possibly my favorite in the whole city!

mike_ch said...

Detroit: I see a lot of garages too, when I take a ride with someone else.

I would still recommend that if you want to take your rental car to Cosmo, that you just park at Bellagio and head out the conservatory/lobby to the Strip sidewalk. Bellagio has movators going out as well as in and you'll be where the action is going to be relatively quickly.

Harmon traffic around Cosmo/Vdara/Aria isn't too bad now, but the added stress of Cosmo might be too much.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many people actually arrive to the building via private car that needs to be parked.

I find it foolish that the las vegas owners continue to focus their buildings on driving and using las vegas blvd. Its terribly congested, and building more parking spaces is not the solution.

Detroit above said he considers the "speed ramps" when deciding his stay. But how important is the time saved in the garage when you spend 20 minutes not moving on las vegas blvd? I find that during many hours of the day, you can walk faster than the traffic is moving (assuming you can navigate around the tourists well).

Anonymous said...

As far as ingress and egress are concerned, the missus and I have far less *tsuris* with the Encore parking garage than any other on the Strip. (Circus Circus parking is a major f-up, but you'd expect that, wouldn't you?)

One of the worst garages has to CityCenter's which is an incredibly inefficient use of space and appears designed to discourage self-parking. The one garage we will never use is Hooters', which looks as though it will collapse at any moment.

David McKee