Sammasseur visits the construction site of Wynn’s “Luxury Shopping Plaza”
The heavy equipment has rolled up in front of the sleek copper towers that flank Wynn/Encore resort. Construction barriers have been erected and the earth is moving. Alas, it’s not for the long delayed Plaza Las Vegas/Alon/Whatever’s Next resort across the street, but Wynn’s own take on Strip-front retail. Yes, another shopping plaza, right across the street from Fashion Show Mall. Don’t hurt yourself while bashing that head against the nearest wall (wait until we get there to join you).
Is that a mall we spy in the distance?
While this writer has been a fan of all things Wynn/Encore since my very first visit (Garth Brooks being the exception….no thanks), I just can’t fathom the need for yet another resort to rip up its beautiful frontage for restaurants and stores. Shall we list the other Strip casinos to have done so in recent years? Hmmmm…..New York NY, Monte Carlo, Paris, Bally’s, Mirage and Treasure Island rattle right off the tongue.
In the case of Bally’s hideous and junky Grand Bazaar Shops, it’s more like “sticks in your throat”. And let’s not forget the on/off/on-again plans for Tropicana, which we told you about just a few short weeks ago.
To be fair, Wynn Plaza (the official moniker) isn’t a surprise, as we already reported it in a piece last February. Still, it’s one thing to read and another to see. And there is indeed plenty to see, if you’re tall enough to peer over the fence, that is. The entire 300-foot space between the two towers is sheathed in plywood barriers and scaffolding. As with any construction site, you can expect disrupted traffic patterns of both the pedestrian and vehicular variety.
The changes aren’t limited to outdoors, either. Gone is that ultra cool (albeit impractical) Penske Wynn Ferrari showroom and dealership. You know, the bright, sleek and awe-inspiring pseudo-attraction that carried a cover charge just to enter…
Former Penske Wynn Ferrari dealership/showroom
Once an entrance to Penske Ferrari showroom, now a wall…
The Wynn poker room next to the auto dealership was permanently shut down last month. A new one inside the Encore casino is already in operation. Those closures lead me to assume that this is where foot traffic is intended to flow from the plaza into Wynn casino. Most likely there will be a similar corridor on the Encore side.
So long, Wynn Poker Room
Soon to fall is the current Show Ticket Office for resident productions Le Reve – The Dream and Showstoppers (which recently was granted a reprieve through the end of 2016). A new, smaller box office will be located closer to the showroom entrances, perhaps in the spot that once housed Wynn Show Shop. That outlet for official programs and CDs was vacated in favor of another retail outlet years ago, necessitating a combined space adjacent to Drugstore Cafe.
The official description of Wynn Plaza, in the words of Mr. Steve Wynn, is “an opportunity for future development that is quite unique”. This assures us that Wynn Plaza won’t be home to another CVS or White Castle. What you CAN expect are the type of
vacant-looking luxury stores that line the Palazzo portion of Grand Canal Shoppes and that giant mausoleum echo chamber known as The Shops at Crystals (Aria). You know the type of venue of which we speak – six purses, three pairs of shoes and one gorgeous, bored-looking employee surrounded by miles of glass and chrome. And not one customer in sight.
While I may be sounding a bit harsh and cynical about this new venture…frankly, it’s deserved. We expect uniqueness and innovation from the Wynn brand, not copycat behavior and “sameness”. And hasn’t Las Vegas already reached its saturation level with retail offerings? Just count the number of patrons you see, any time of the day or night, at Grand Bazaar Shops, Crystals and the Bellagio Shops corridor. Chances are you’ll have fingers to spare.
What you WILL find in many Strip shopping complexes are plenty of empty store fronts, walled-off sections, “coming soon – another great store” murals…and hallways that lead to absolutely nowhere. Explore a bit further and you’ll find the seemingly-abandoned indoor promenade at Bally’s, a similar one called Underground at MGM Grand, and the remnants of seven failed Fred Segal stores inside SLS Las Vegas.
Even the busy Linq Promenade has been unsuccessful in filling its spaces. Several businesses have already closed since the avenue opened in 2014. So who exactly is doing all of this shopping?
At least Wynn/Encore softened the frustration of another shopping concept by preceeding it with something truly shocking – a new Strip attraction. I’m referring to the colorful and continuously-playing fountain show, which we first reported here.
You can find it right outside Wynn Esplanade, that OTHER Wynn shopping center.
Photos: [Sammassseur, Wynn Fountain by Michael Movestro]