Visiting Wynn/Encore Resorts
“Things must be tight in Las Vegas,” we commented when, in June, an invitation to three free nights at Wynn/Encore resorts arrived in the mail. While we had played there a couple of times in past years, we certainly didn’t drop a bundle — just racked up enough points for the free buffet.
I have always admired the casino. I love the mosaic butterflies cut into the marble floors. Colorful and whimsical. What fun to design a casino with the deep pockets that were available to the interior designers.
When we tumbled out of the taxi at Wynn’s front door, we assumed we had reached our destination. Rolling our luggage like obedient dogs behind us, we lined up at check-in where the sign said “Invited Guests”. My husband handed the invitation to the young man working the counter. He was congenial and checked us in, but advised us we would be staying in Wynn’s adjoining sister property, Encore, built more recently. “Just keep to the left,” he pointed. Off we went, following the butterflies and cheerful floral carpets to the Encore elevators.
On route, we passed shops selling luxury goods. A job from hell, we thought as we whisked by those bored, lonely sales people praying for customers.
Our mouths dropped open as we unlocked the door to our room. What would be home for three nights was magnificent. An open concept living area and bedroom were divided by a half wall on which sat a massive TV that swiveled so we could view it from either side. A well appointed bathroom had nice little touches, like a light that you could turn on without the annoying fan coming on too and a soft nightlight that glowed from below the long vanity counter. Robes to lounge in. And even a second TV set on the wall by the mirrored vanity.
The cooling system was unobtrusive and kept the room at the exact temperature we set.
As our days progressed, perfection unraveled. Three times our key cards did not work and we had to make repeated visits to the front desk. New ones were given to us, but they didn’t work either. Then we waited in the hall for twenty minutes until a repair man came. The lights in the living room came on by themselves in the middle of the night. There were no directions in the room manual concerning how to open and close the drapes. On our final morning, after manually dragging the drapes across the huge windows, we noticed a small button on the bed side console marked Drapes in print so small as to be not legible without glasses. Press it and lo! they automatically glided across on their own steam.
The rooms were no more sound proof than a cheap Days Inn motel. Awaking to sounds of the man in the next room coughing up phlegm so clearly, he could have been in our bathroom was not a welcome start to the day. And late at night, that “Oh shit” at a penultimate moment left us wondering. Was it uttered in exaltation or frustration?
Prices of food and drink were difficult to swallow, but we had to admit that everything was top quality. A $15 dollar hamburger was the best we have ever eaten. Service in the restaurants and bars was impeccable and friendly. We had heard on the morning news that Wynn had just handed pink slips to 165 of the Wynn/Encore staff. The people who served us showed no signs of fear or rancor at their boss’s decision. They were genuinely professional.
The hustle and bustle we had experienced other years in Wynn’s casino was missing. Why? Where were all the players? We found lots of them at CityCentre, the newest major attraction in Las Vegas. Another reason why ‘our’ casino seemed less busy became evident when we went to collect our cash back reward for all our play (“$5 for every 500 points you generate” said the lady in the Red Card booth when we inquired before starting to play). Facts are, there is no actual cash back. What you get is a card that you insert in a machine and the equivalent money flows into the machine for you to play with. We all know the likely fate of that extra money! So Wynn and Encore were not offering any promotional buffets or even real money cash back. Yep, things were tough in Las Vegas in June 2010.
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