In the Wake of Wynn’s Departure, Everybody’s Got a Theory

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It’s not exactly the Kennedy assassination or 9/11, but Steve Wynn’s decision to withdraw his bid for Philadelphia’s second casino license has people hazarding all kinds of guesses as to the reason for his departure — some of them better than others. We’ve created a plausibility index from 1 to 5 with 5 being “Very Plausible” and 1 being “Oh Please.”

Wynn+Philly

Competition with New York. Wynn said the recent approval to expand casino gambling in New York State was a key factor in his decision. But the NY casinos aren’t going to be anywhere near Philadelphia; the legislation was motivated by a desire to generate jobs in upstate New York. The Times reports that developers are expressing particular interest in the Catskills. Was Wynn really worried that the Catskills would steal patrons from Fishtown? On the other hand, Wynn was hoping the casino would serve as a resort destination that would draw people from all over the country, and perhaps even internationally because that’s the scale he typically works with. If something very grand is ultimately built in New York, will that be competition at some point down the line? Perhaps. Rating: 2

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3 Things That Might Have Kept Steve Wynn in Philadelphia

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Many people were surprised earlier this week when casino-mogul Steve Wynn announced he was backing out of his plans to build a gambling resort in Philadelphia’s Fishtown section. It’s really not that surprising. Wynn thinks big. He’s building a $4 billion resort on the tiny island of Macau. His casino in Vegas makes the word “opulent” seem understated. He’s after big money, big fame, big publicity. And Philadelphia is not the place for this. It’s not that big a market. There’s already a lot of competition. And most importantly, it’s not New York.

New York is the place for Wynn. So when New York’s voters last week approved a resolution that could potentially allow gambling in the city, I’m sure Wynn’s mouth watered. I mean, c’mon, if you’re a big-thinking, big-playing kind of guy like Steve Wynn, why in the world would you waste your money investing in Philly when you can make a splash in New York City, just 90 miles up the road. It’s New York. It’s not Philly.

Could our city have done anything to save the deal and keep him here?

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Breaking: Wynn Withdraws Casino Bid

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Big news that just hit the Property inbox:

Statement from Wynn Resorts regarding its developments in Pennsylvania

Las Vegas, November 11, 2013 — The Wynn Resorts Board of Directors recently met to carefully examine the feasibility and opportunities associated with the company’s domestic development in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At this time, the Board has decided that the best course for the company is to pursue business opportunities elsewhere.

The board took a host of factors into consideration, including the Philadelphia market performance over the past year and the competition which will result from the recent approval of gaming in the State the New York. Consequently, the company will withdraw its licensing applications in Pennsylvania.

Here’s how he once felt:

From Wynn's website. With love.

From Wynn’s website. With love.

This is a little bit of déjà vu for those who remember Foxwoods, Wynn’s last flirtation with Philadelphia gaming, in 2010. He pulled out of that deal, too. At the time, the company released a statement that said:

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How Knowing His Tomatoes May Make a Winner Out of Wynn

Daniel Keating, head of the construction company that bears his name and the lead contractor on the proposed Wynn Philadelphia casino resort, acknowledges that each of the six proposals for the remaining casino license in Philly has something to recommend it. But in the end, he says, the weaknesses of the other five outweigh their strengths, which is why he signed on as the contractor for the Wynn project.

“The three South Philly casinos are adequate in size, and their location is not as big a negative as some think,” Keating said in an hourlong interview at the Phoenix the other day. “They can handle the traffic they will generate at some times of the day. The problem is convincing us that South Philly wants another traffic generator.”

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Everett, Mass., Mayor Endorses Wynn Philadelphia…for Everett, Mass.

“Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr. today announced details of an agreement with Las Vegas casino developer Steve Wynn that is expected to generate millions of dollars in new tax revenues.”

That’s how the article about a potential partnership between Steve Wynn and the town of Everett, Mass., begins, and the mayor is indeed feeling good. “We’re excited to bring this to the residents,” the mayor told Boston.com, though she didn’t mention that this–the “gleaming bronze resort casino”–is the same this as the gleaming bronze resort casino rendered for Philadelphia, nor that the plans to reinvigorate the Everett waterfront are the same as the plans to reinvigorate the Philadelphia waterfront.

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Inga Saffron: Steve Wynn Should Get the P.T. Barnum Award

Is there anything more delicious than a critic who’s ticked off? When the New Yorker‘s Anthony Lane hates a movie, you know you’re in for a really fun read. Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron takes the gloves off plenty, like a good critic should, and it’s always fun–and often a much-needed reality check.

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New Rendering of Wynn Philadelphia

One of the Design Advocacy Group‘s recent complaints about Wynn Philadelphia was the scarcity of information accompanying the pitch: “Wynn Philadelphia has so far provided only two distant perspectives of their proposed hotel tower and a poor-quality site plan…” In a display of superb timing, Steve Wynn sent the Inquirer’s Jennifer Lin a new rendering and spoke with her about details.

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