Wynn Makes Play for New $1.6B ‘Beach’ Resort in the Las Vegas Desert

Wynn Resorts has teamed up with Crystal Lagoons to develop a massive mixed-use project around a 38-acre lagoon and artificial beach.

By Gail Kalinoski

Rendering of Wynn Paradise Park, Las Vegas
Rendering of Wynn Paradise Park, Las Vegas

Las Vegas—Steve Wynn, chairman & CEO of Wynn Resorts, is betting on non-casino and family-friendly entertainment for his company’s latest project in Las Vegas. Wynn wants to turn a 138-acre golf course behind two of his hotels into a $1.6 billion mixed-use venue built around a 38-acre lagoon with the city’s first beach.

The proposal, which still needs approval by the company’s Board of Directors, was recently unveiled to investors. Targeted for 2020, early plans call for a 1,000-key hotel tower; 260,000 square feet of meeting space; small casino; extensive dining and nightlife offerings and an elaborate water attraction that would feature both daytime and nighttime entertainment elements. The guest rooms would have a separate bedroom, living room and balcony. Dining options would include doubling the size of the current Country Club restaurant.

Steve Wynn (courtesy of Wikimedia user WynnLasVegas)
Steve Wynn (courtesy of Wikimedia user WynnLasVegas)

“We have a chance to reinvent Las Vegas and make the whole venue an entertainment attraction…an idyllic beach paradise surrounded by white sand beaches,” Wynn said in prepared remarks. “People come to Las Vegas from all over the world to live large and have a good time and we can dish up an irresistible entertainment attraction.”

The working title of the project is Wynn Paradise Park and Wynn reportedly said it would be like Disneyland or Disney World, which features nightly fireworks at their parks.

The Wynn Golf Club, the former Desert Inn golf course, is located behind the Wynn and Encore casino hotels. Telsey Advisory Group analyst David Katz wrote in an investors note the golf course earns about $5 million a year before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization while the new project could earn between $300 million and $400 million, according to a Bloomberg report.

Katz wrote that the redevelopment would be a “shrewd move on the part of Wynn to unlock further value from the land,” the Bloomberg story noted.

The lagoon, expected to be the largest crystalline lagoon in the United States, will be developed by Crystal Lagoons, an international company with 13 offices that created and patented a technology that allows the creation of crystal clear lagoons and artificial beaches to be built around the world. It would have a white sandy beach and boardwalk that would offer activities like water skiing, paddle boarding and parasailing during the daytime and the elaborate fireworks display at night.

“The projection of this alliance is huge, given that Steve Wynn is involved in Las Vegas, Macau (China) and the world’s most important resorts,” Uri Man, CEO of Crystal Lagoons USA, said in a prepared statement. “His success formula was to conceive a city especially devoted to entertainment for adults from all over the world, integrating luxurious hotels, casinos, retail stores and world-class theaters.”

Man said the Las Vegas project acknowledges the company’s success in the U.S. market, where after only a year it has already signed 11 projects and is considering about 44 others worth a total of $53.4 billion.

For Wynn, it is the company’s first major construction project in Las Vegas since Encore opened in 2008. In addition to Wynn Paradise Park, the company is also building Wynn Plaza, an expansive retail complex with 75,518 square feet of luxury stores. The complex is expected to open in 2017 and boost the total retail square footage at Wynn and Encore to more than 173,500 square feet.

During the Investors Conference, Wynn updated plans for two of the company’s other major construction projects – the 1,700-key resort known as Wynn Palace being built on the Cotai Strip in Macau that is slated to open this summer and Wynn Boston Harbor, planned for Everett, Mass., a Boston suburb. The property, which is about 5 miles from Logan Airport, the Convention Center and TG Garden, could open by 2019. The Boston-area project, estimated to cost between $1.9 billion and $2.1 billion, will feature a 671-key hotel, retail, 142 gaming tables, 2,860 slots, and the largest poker room in the region with 95 tables. Even though the complex will be built on the Mystic River, Wynn has renamed the project Wynn Boston Harbor, noting that the Mystic does empty into Boston Harbor.