Speaking uninterrupted for half hour, Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn sketched out his plan for a $900-million waterfront resort -- that happens to have a gaming hall.
When Pennsylvania legalized gaming, it wanted to create jobs, raise revenue and build tourism, Wynn said. The emphasis for Wynn Philadelphia, he told commissioners, will be on creating a destination casino for out-of-towners, as well as locals.
With a bit of showbiz, Wynn showed a video with a Sinatra soundtrack showing what the actual 900-square-foot suites in the 300-room resort would look like. At the end, the audience applauded.
Gaming in America – Las Vegas aside – is “homely,” Wynn said. “Riverboats and racinos have sprung up as places of convenience and they’ve ended up being boxes of slots.”
Among the highlights:
- Bringing customers by train. Wynn wants to use the Amtrak rail system to bring customers from Boston to Washington to Philadelphia.
- A 2,000-foot riverwalk, lots of landscaping and park-like grounds for the neighbors.
- Paying from cash out of Wynn Resort’s $2-billion cash reserve.
Wynn has an option to 70 acres on the Delaware River waterfront on Richmond Avenue from Schirra to Columbia. “To hell with concrete and steel,” Wynn said. “I like warm and fuzzy and for that I need landscaping.”
He said the driveways will be “coated with trees, restaurants surrounded by gardens and you can take your family and not get anywhere near a slot machine.”