Wynn takes on China: Opens Macau casino, plans another resort in Cotai

Steve Wynn is no stranger to a challenge. The billionaire’s Wynn and Encore at Wynn in Las Vegas have shown strength against the decaying economy over the past few years, and now Wynn is placing his bets overseas. Wynn opened his latest hotel and casino in Macau on Wednesday, and at the same time announced plans to build another resort in Cotai starting next year.

At a press conference in Macau, Wynn described the new $600 million Encore hotel and casino as a “boutique hotel” meant to cater to high rollers. The casino is relatively small by Macau standards with only 400 suites, four 7,000-foot villas and 61 gambling tables. However, the new resort has already been referred to as the “the ritziest hotel in China” and according to reporters in Macau, the rooms raise the bar for China’s luxury tourism market.

The Washington Post reports the new resort would feature less than 2,000 rooms, and offer gaming tables, restaurants, shopping and meeting rooms sprawled out across 50 acres of gardens and landscape. Wynn said the luxury hotel and casino complex should be completed before the end of 2013 and feature about 450 gambling tables.

“What makes people happy and what don’t they get in China? …. What you don’t get in China is space, and the heart of a resort is space – gardens, places to gambol, not gamble,” Wynn said in an interview in Macau. “I know what I want to do on the 51 acres, not build four hotels or six hotels or any of that foolishness,” he said to the press. “I am going to build one hotel of modest size with gardens and extended space wherever you are.”

Wynn’s timing, as usual, is spot on. Macau is one of the world’s most lucrative casino markets and was one of the first places to bounce back from the global recession. So lucrative, in fact, that Wynn told CNBC he is considering moving his company headquarters from Las Vegas to Macau. Wynn Resorts reportedly gets about 60 percent of its revenue from operations in Macau.

[via Washington Post]