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Wynn Is Out - Minus Severance - So Do His Big Plans Go Forward?

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Associated Press

Steve Wynn has to give up his villa on Wynn Resorts property, and he won't be getting a multi-million-dollar severance package.

But will his resignation from Wynn Resorts -- following sexual misconduct allegations from former employees -- mean his announced plans for a new casino on the Strip are scuttled?

"I suspect that those projects will happen but there are a lot of unforeseen things still in the works involving very, very important powerful people in Wynn Resorts," Scott Roeben, who runs the website VitalVegas.com, told KNPR's State of Nevada, "So, I think it remains to be seen what's happening and what's not."

Those plans include a lagoon and hotel tower where the golf course now sits behind the Wynn and Encore. Roeben said his sources say the tower is now shelved and the plans for the Paradise Park project have "gone back to the drawing board."

The other project Wynn Resorts had announced was the purchase and plans to develop the old New Frontier site that was once announced as the Alon project. It is just across the Strip from the Wynn and Encore.

The person making decisions on what will move forward and what won't is the new head of the company Matt Maddox.

Maddox said he had no knowledge of sexual misconduct accusations against Steve Wynn before those accusations were reported by the Wall Street Journal.

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Roeben believes it is "fairly unfortunate" that Maddox said that he had no knowledge of the allegations.

"Any dealer on the casino floor will tell you that they knew," Roeben said, "Anybody pretty much in town would tell you that the knew about a lot of this stuff." 

Roeben believes there is more fallout left to come from the case. He said the conversations and the investigation are not going away and Maddox "took a big, big risk" coming out to say he knew nothing about it.

"Someone needs to take a stand and say, 'This behavior was reprehensible. It cannot continue in this culture or in other casinos in Las Vegas,'" Roeben said, "There is nobody in that camp trying to separate themselves so they are part of it."

Despite the allegations against Steve Wynn, there is no question that he changed Las Vegas and was a visionary in the casino industry.

"It is a huge loss for Las Vegas," Roeben said, "Even in the latter part of his career, he is always swinging for the fences. I don't see anybody kind of naturally jumping into the fray."

However, Roeben said Las Vegas is still going to be the place for big ideas and designs with a lot of flash.

As for the rest of the Strip, Roeben said he wants to be optimistic about The Drew, which is the new name for the unfinished Fontainebleau. The Marriott hotel chain is involved with the project, but Roeben points out it is expensive to get 4,000 unfinished rooms, along with restaurants, meeting space - not to mention - a casino floor up and running.

And the Lucky Dragon, the casino built to cater to Chinese tourists is now officially in bankruptcy. Roeben said there hasn't been a lot of interest by other gaming entities to buy the struggling property.

But his sources tell him the new owners of the SLS Las Vegas, which is just down the street, may make a play for it.

Guests

Scott Roeben, VitalVegas.com

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