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How God would do it if he had money: Wynn Las Vegas A New Paradigm for Luxury Destination Resorts?

Ryan, Nicky (2006) How God would do it if he had money: Wynn Las Vegas A New Paradigm for Luxury Destination Resorts? In: Spaces and Places: Exploring the Flagship Concept Symposium, LCC 11 May 2006, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Ryan, Nicky

This paper examines the flagship concept through an analysis of megaresort Wynn Las Vegas. The notion of flagship as paradigm is tested against Wynn’s claims of creating a revolutionary blueprint that will serve as a new model for subsequent structures. Ryan argues that the iconography of Las Vegas is currently being reconstructed and the meaning of the city re-written by a powerful business elite. Ryan examines recent building developments and in particular focus on the latest megaresort Wynn Las Vegas, built by Steve Wynn, Chairman of the Board of Wynn Resorts Ltd. Megaresorts are huge hotels with multi-programmes that include casinos, theatres, restaurants, shopping malls, conference centres, and changing attractions such as fine art galleries. Las Vegas has always been associated with hotels and according to the LVCVA (2006) the city is ‘home to 17 of the 20 largest hotels in the United States’. Wynn Las Vegas is significant not only because it took five years to build, cost $2.7 billion dollars and its progress was veiled in secrecy, but it was the first major building after the downturn following 9/11. For many observers the opening of Wynn’s new casino-hotel in 2005, timed to coincide with the city’s centenary celebrations, marked a significant moment or tipping point. Ryan's discussion of the ‘Manhattanisation’ of Las Vegas is contextualised within critical writings that explore the myths and constant reinventions of the city. Visual research methods were applied including a semiotic framework to interpret cultural phenomena such as hotel design and promotional elements. I argue that the significance of Wynn’s project resides as much in its symbolic value for the city of Las Vegas, as in its implications for casino-hotel design. Wynn Las Vegas is a synecdoche for the ‘city of re-invention’ as it moves into a new transitional phase of growth.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: RAE2008 UoA63
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: 11 May 2006
Event Location: London College of Communication, University of the Arts London
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2009 00:06
Last Modified: 19 May 2011 13:56
Item ID: 1383
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1383

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