properties now have, thanks in large measure to Steve Wynn, an abundant selection of beautiful rooms, great meals, hot
nightclubs and terrific shows — in competitors’ properties. Who among meetings
planners or a group of business travelers
planning a night out is going to suggest
a Wynn venue, at least in the short term?
And — no small thing — the uncertainty will have an impact on employee
morale, which can impact guest interaction. Competitors may see the current situation as open season for poaching talent.
Is all this pain and punishment, which
now involves many more people than the
accusers and Steve Wynn, a reflection of
Although public accusations have the
potential to undermine due process, they
also reflect an accepted part of a Western
society that holds free speech dear and assumes punishment
is a likely deterrent
to bad behavior.
For victims of
sexual assault and
often long term. That investors and employees are collateral damage is very unfortunate, but their misfortune serves a
societal purpose, which is to magnify the
responsibility of enablers and witnesses to
take control of someone who can’t control himself.
The danger of ignoring a leader’s misdeeds is higher than ever before. And Las
Vegas, of all places, should understand the
risks when stakes are raised.
Email Arnie Weissmann at aweissmann
@ travelweekly.com and follow him on
Twitter at twitter.com/awtravelweekly.
It seemed for a while that ravel was being spared its #Me Too moment. The foundation of most tour- ism businesses is hospital- ity, and for the most part, those who have risen to
the top tend to be very good at
making others comfortable, not
But in an industry this large and powerful, it was inevitable that something
would surface, and in the face of allegations of sexual misconduct, casino resort
titan Steve Wynn resigned as chairman
and CEO of Wynn Resorts. His accusers
say his conduct went far beyond making them feel discomfort. The Wall Street
Journal reported there were dozens of
complainants, and that he had paid a $7.5
million settlement to one of them.
Wynn denies harassment and assault
Regardless of one’s politics, choices in
entertainment, preferred channels of media, taste in art or
consumer habits, we have all
felt crestfallen when reading a #MeToo story that
dethroned someone who
had inspired, entertained,
informed or impressed us.
I’ve never met Wynn, but
his accomplishments in Las
Vegas, Macau, Atlantic City
and Mississippi are remarkable.
I stayed at
shortly after it opened. It was such a re-
freshing change from every other casino
hotel in Las Vegas. It challenged others
to up their game, and they responded. As
a measure of his impact and how it trig-
gered a rethink,
the Mirage to-
day, while a per-
fectly fine resort, no longer stands out
from the crowd as it once did.
When the Bellagio opened, it made a
similar impact (and its reputation has
had more staying power). To a lesser extent, Wynn and Encore created buzz, but
by then the bar had risen high. No one
can deny his influence on the Las Vegas
aesthetic, its entertainment and dining
offerings or its now-abundant supply of
The physical presence of Wynn’s legacy
presents challenges to familiar #Me Too
outcomes. Typically, the accused makes
a hasty exit, confirms or denies charges,
and to the extent his employer or investors can do so, he is wiped from public
view. Show hosts are fired, scenes are
reshot (or completed movies scrapped),
But will the eponymous name of
Wynn’s company be changed? Will it
be stripped from hotel facades, mer-ch and matchbooks?
Recently, some Trump proper-
ties have suffered from associa-
tion with the company founder’s
current role as head of state, and
a few property
way out of the
brand. It’s not be-
cause they can’t
sell rooms to
individual leisure and corporate guests,
but rather because their group and wed-
ding business is suffering. Apparently,
brides and grooms want aunts and uncles
to focus on the happy couple, not get into
staying in a con-
For the travel industry, Wynn’s departure amplifies the discussion of how to
separate a man’s accomplishments from
his alleged misdeeds. Time will clarify
how Wynn (the man) will be viewed, and
it’s likely that his reputation will bifurcate.
There’s precedence to assess the impact
of the passage of time. Pablo Picasso was
a well-documented cad, but no museums
are removing his art from their walls. Liv-
ing artist Chuck Close, on the other hand,
Wynn stock and
Close’s art may see
a dip in valuation,
but I suspect Close’s
art will recover in the long run — his ac-
complishments, like Wynn’s, impacted the
direction his chosen field took, and that
is often the lasting measure of artistic ac-
The value of Wynn stock, however, is
closely tied to its quarterly performance
and projections, which are inseparable
from management’s vision and operational philosophy, which are wholly dependent upon the CEO and chairman.
When the leader is removed, uncertainty
prevails, investors get jittery, prices drop.
Ironically, potential guests, diners,
drinkers and audience members for Wynn
WHY YES, WE ARE.
When editors of the renowned
Berlitz Travel Guide publish their
list of Europe’s Top Ten river cruise
ships, all ten start with “Ama.”
Yes. They do.
How did we get there? By saying yes.
Yes to onboard luxury. Of course to
exciting, innovating activities and
excursions. Absolutely to the best in
fine wines and gourmet dining.
At AmaWaterways “No, we can’t”
is an automatic... Of course we can.
Are Europe’s highest rated ships the
right answer for your clients?
Yes, of course we are.
FROM THE WINDOW SEAT
Editor in Chief
Who among a group of business
travelers planning a night out
will suggest a Wynn venue?