I just got through listening to Steve Wynn on a conference call with gaming analysts and shareholders regarding earnings, which were robust thanks, of course, to China. I'll get back to that in a moment.
First, though, some breaking news. It's Marilyn's fault. Asked about how new Wynn Las Vegas president Marilyn Winn Spiegel was fitting in, he sang her praises and offered this example:
So there it is. Yes, John Curtas, Alex was sacrificed on the altar of the nightclub set. By my calculation, Marilyn would have come to Wynn with this idea in late December and Alex was shut down not a month later. Spiegel came to Wynn from being a regional president for Harrah's. She's intimately involved with what's become of the Rio as well as Caesars Palace since the company took it over. I shudder to think of what she might have done with Bellagio's Conservatory had she been in charge back in the day. What a waste of non-money-making space! I fear Wynn is losing touch with his own philosophy that not everything needs to make money in order to add something intangible to the overall package that is his resorts.
If I were Paul Bartolotta, by the way, I'd be hugging ol' Marilyn even closer right about now. Seriously.
Meanwhile, the earnings call was fascinating, too, for how disturbingly, uh, solicitous Steve Wynn is towards the Chinese government. He said the Macanese authorities are very involved in the design of his resorts there by telling him what they'd like to see. You think even they buy that?
And then, a bit later, he said this:
Why if I didn't know better, I'd think Mr. Wynn got ahold of the talking points of the Democratic caucus in the Nevada Legislature or the Culinary 226! Can you even imagine if Brian Sandoval or Barack Obama weighed in on what he might do with his profits? It gives me a headache, imagining it.
I know he's saying this stuff for the benefit of the Chinese media. But it is still very peculiar to American ears, especially knowing his list of grievances with the Obama Administration and others. He's bowing to Chinese demands because the nation can confiscate his business overnight if it so chooses. That's all.