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Steve Wynn describes Macau diversification plan as “misunderstood”

Written by Ben Blaschke

Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn has described Macau’s diversification plan as “misunderstood”, insisting restaurants, not roller coasters, are the true representation of family entertainment.

Speaking at a press conference at his new US$4 billion Macau resort Wynn Palace, which opens for business next Monday, Mr Wynn rejected claims that a lack of non-gaming amenities and family tourist attractions was behind the Macau government’s decision to grant the property just 150 new to market gaming tables – 100 fewer than Galaxy and Studio City received last year.

“We make every hotel family friendly,” he said. “What I mean by that is all our restaurants can be accessed by people who are less than 21 years old. Nobody has to contend with the casino. The casino is a department here.

“The city (Macau) is family friendly. Every major destination city in the world has one thing in common – they are filled with hotels and restaurants and shopping. People go for the hospitality experience.

“But they don’t go to theme parks unless they have little children with them and they want a thrill ride. That means roller coasters and bungee cords and we’re not about that and I don’t think that’s what they mean by diversification. If they did it would mean nothing because the people who want to go on a bungee cord make up a tiny little part of the world and they are not the same people who go on vacations and have conventions and meetings.”

Theme parks have been a common point of disparity in discussions on Macau’s diversity, with some insisting they are the way forward and others believing they don’t fit in with Macau’s current resort attractions.

Mr Wynn said he preferred to leave such amusement parks to nearby Hengqin Island, which already houses Ocean Kingdom.

“What’s wonderful about Macau is the diversity of the hospitality attractions and right next door, a few minutes away, is Hengqin Island with theme park rides for children who want to spin around very quickly and get nauseous. But that’s not what family entertainment is about.

“You mustn’t confuse an amusement park with family attractions. Family attractions are things people enjoy with their clothes on and that don’t endanger their lives or increasing their pulse rate. It is being satisfied in much more sophisticated ways.”

The list of attractions at Wynn Palace includes 14 food and beverage outlets, Macau’s biggest spa, a performance lake, skycab ride, floral sculptures and artwork throughout worth an estimated US$150 million.