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They burned the Monte Carlo ... and may get away with it
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They burned the Monte Carlo ... and may get away with it
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Once again, the Post-Eating Server (our technologically evolved version of Charlie Brown's nemesis, the Kite-Eating Tree) has devoured something intended for the "Comments" section, so I hope you'll indulge me while I respond to reader mike_ch lthusly ...
I used to slag you when you were on That Other Site [Las Vegas Business Press -- Ed.] and were calling Wynn childish names over his labour dispute, but now it's starting to float in the other direction. And you're not even the first person I've heard say that the best channel is the one where Steve talks all day long.
When you see the rest of the channel lineup, you'll realize that's not quite the compliment it seems (since I didn't notice any free HBO, Showtime or Cinemax in the repertory). However, the dance-competition show on Italian network RAI did give "Steve TV" (or maybe "sTeVe") a run for its money.
Also, I forgot to mention that the TV is set (deliberately?) to the incorrect scaling mode, so that non-HD channels display in that "stretched" setting that makes everybody look 50 pounds heavier. (Gotta use the whole screen, y'know.) Re-set "aspect ratio" to "native" and everything will be fine. However, since my apartment complex -- among its many other crimes against humanity -- balks at replacing a corroded cable-TV line, staying at Encore is as close to HD cable as I'm going to get for a while.
Those of you who weren't around for the "childish names" not only didn't miss anything but need only know that they were pejorative references to some plastic surgery (or Botox-ing maybe) that had very unfortunate -- but temporary -- side effects on Steve Wynn's face. It was a lapse on my part that I'd like to think I've outgrown or am at least trying to (ditto Sheldon Adelson's coiffure).
Per the ongoing dispute over Wynn's tip-confiscation regime and his generally shameful treatment of his dealers (covered in detail at LVCityLife.com), I'd like to paraphrase something once uttered about composer Richard Strauss: To Steve Wynn the casino impresario, I take off my hat; to Steve Wynn the person, I put it back on. His tip grab was not only a giant blotch upon an otherwise industry-leading record in labor relations, it was petty, stubborn and -- unless he relents -- it will follow him to the grave.
Seriously? And I've been hearing about this "media day," but did they really shack said journos and bloggers up in complimentary rooms?
More like a week, actually. Four days of events. As for who was comped: Journos, yes. Bloggers, I dunno. Not me, though. My (red) badge relegates me to the anonymous status of "Media Guest." Which serves as a useful restraint upon one's ego.
And nobody wondered whether that would affect credibility? (Note I'm not singling out you here, I've heard about this event from others on Twitter and I figure if they're bringing bloggers along then the Medium-Large Media must be getting this, too.)
Some of Wynn's most favorable coverage comes from Greenspun-owned media outlets and those folks aren't allowed to accept anything worth more than a buck, so I question the efficacy of comping. It certainly doesn't make a substandard experience (names withheld to protect the guilty ... for now) any less irksome, especially since you're receiving something of dubious financial value in return for the surrender of that which is priceless and irreplaceable -- your time.
Also, if I've been comped to something, I try to include that caveat in my postings, so that readers can weigh my coverage accordingly. (Constantly mentioning that yours truly was the proverbial "plus one" does, however, have the bathetic side effect of seeming like a constant proclamation of, "Look! Look! I have a girlfriend!")
As for my opinions of Encore, the Dec. 22 media walk-through set them pretty much in stone, with slight amplifications and alterations during "Media Week." If/when I can afford it, I'll be back as a paying customer, as I've been at the Venetian (very good) and MGM Grand (not so good). Which reminds me that I have to book an anniversary dinner at Sinatra ...
Of course Steve Wynn knows how to run a company, but I'm not so convinced that I'll join his Official Fan Club, even if he does leave members a personal message on their birthdays.
If you're like me and think that, with a few exceptions, most other casino operators on the Strip wouldn't have a clue (or would be stuck 10-20 years in the past) without Wynn's example, it's easy to sound fan-clubby. But I don't harbor any illusions that I'm even a blip on Steve Wynn's mental radar, so I don't expect to receive any birthday greetings from him ... and would be mighty suspicious if I did.
(Actually, if I got a personal message from Steve Wynn, I'm extremely confident that it wouldn't be "happy birthday" but would be of a rather less pleasant nature.)
Anyway, since S&G is meant to be more of a conversation than a sermon, I hope that my impromptu dialogue with Mike has provided something of value (at least reaching the Greenspun-mandated $1 threshold).
Now I must be off to find out what the heck -- if anything -- ever happened to that "For Sale" notice Don Barden hung upon the downtown Vegas Fitzgeralds property.