Wynn Resorts was one of two foreign operators given a casino licence in Macau as part of the opening of the market in 2002, following the break-up of the Ho family monopoly, which had lasted for 40 years.
Macau consists of a peninsula and two islands off the south-east coast of China and is the only place in China that allows legal licensed casino gambling. Steve Wynn immediately set about the construction of a new casino resort and hotel. The 20-storey, five-star Wynn Macau opened in September 2006 on a 16-acre site near Macau’s inner harbour.
The hotel is one of the new generation of glittering Western-style casino / hotels in this former frontier-style resort of Asia. The hotel, operated by Wynn Resorts, required an investment of $1.2bn (€930m) to construct.
The investment was based on the experience of The Sands, which opened in 2004 and was the first Western-style casino in Macau.
The Sands cost $500m to build and paid for itself in less than a year. The new Wynn Resort should get its investment back and be in profit within three years.
Wynn has adhered to a certain design style common to many of his projects; the Wynn Macau has the same shiny copper exterior as the Wynn Las Vegas and an upward sweeping roof with a ‘sky casino’. The casino and hotel employ over 7,000 personnel.
Wynn Macau Resort facilities
The Wynn Macau Resort has 600 luxurious rooms and suites – the luxury two-bedroom suites cost up to $2,500 a night. The rooms feature air conditioning, hair dryers, alarm clocks, plasma screen televisions, wake-up calls, luxury marble baths and ironing boards. Hotel amenities include childcare, a business centre, concierge desk, currency exchange, express check-out, bellhop, 24-hour room service, laundry service, ATM, bar, casino, computers, hair salon and underground valet parking.
The casino is open 24-hours a day and features an area over two floors of 205,000ft² with 390 table games and 1,190 slot machines. The hotel also features Las Vegas-style entertainment for guests, including shows and other entertainment.
There are seven gourmet restaurants offering a wide array of dining options for evening meals and a number of different cafes and smaller restaurants for other meals. The hotel features one of the best equipped and largest health clubs in Macau, along with a large outdoor pool and a spa.
The hotel has 46,000ft² of retail space with luxury and high-end shops (including Bulgari, Chanel, Fendi, Prada and Giorgio Armani) with duty-free prices for guests.
The Wynn Macau hotel is located adjacent to the beach. The reception area features two original French impressionist paintings: Henri Matisse’s The Persian Robe and Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Among the Roses. There is also a giant dragon made from 80,000 pieces of crystal on display as part of the hotel’s art portfolio.
Finance and lease
The Wynn Macau leased the hotel’s 16 acre site from the Macau Government for an initial term of 25 years, with rights to extend that deal indefinitely. The company will make an initial payment of $40m (paid in ten six-monthly instalments), plus another $17m to the Nam Van Development Co in exchange for that company’s rights to a portion of the site.
Wynn Resorts financed the project in part through a $397m agreement with Deutsche Bank and Société Géneréle Asia.
Phase II expansion
In February 2007, the casino added more table games and slots to bring its inventory to 256 table games and 477 slot machines in the 110,000ft² casino. The expansion was planned to coincide with the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Plans for phase II of the Wynn Macau were announced long before it opened in 2005. This expansion added a further 123,000ft² of casino space, enough for 150 more table games, 500 extra slot machines, a 9,800ft² VIP casino, a sports book / betting shop, a theatre showroom, two restaurants, a coffee shop, additional retail offerings and a huge water feature at the front of the property consisting of a man-made lake with water jets that shoot up as music plays.
The expansion included 85 additional tables, 551 new slot machines and new rotunda entrance showcasing a dramatic front feature attraction. Phase II was opened in December 2007.
Wynn Diamond Suites
The Wynn Diamond Suites are a further expansion of Wynn Macau and was first announced in November 2006. The new Encore hotel tower and casino is an almost independent resort with its own casino, restaurants, luxury villas and suites, retail and entertainment facilities.
The estimated $600m investment for the resort construction was funded by credit facilities and cash flow from operations of Wynn Macau. The design of the new resort is a symmetrical twin to the original tower.
Encore opened on 21 April 2010. Accommodation at Encore include 410 suites and four villas. Meanwhile, Steve Wynn has also applied to the Government of Macau for a concession on a new 54-acre plot on the Cotai Strip, so a further resort may be planned in the future.
The hotel design and construction project was a joint venture between Leighton Contractors of Australia and China State Construction and China Construction Engineering (Macau).
Any foreign contractor who wants to build a project in China needs a Chinese partner.
China State Construction was responsible for the second phase of the project.