Superstar designer has eyes on Macau


It was only a matter of time before hotel developer Steve Wynn and superstar event designer Preston Bailey teamed up on an epic project.

Last week’s unveiling of two floral art sculptures — an animated carousel and a hot air balloon — in the atriums at Wynn Las Vegas was a symbolic beginning.

The bigger news: Wynn has hired Bailey to help create concepts for the floral-themed Wynn Palace, the hotel mogul’s third property on Macau’s Cotai Strip.

They’ve been working nine months on the new $4 billion property.

It appears Bailey came away from his latest Las Vegas visit with a notebook brimming with new inspiration.

During his stay he attended “Le Reve: The Dream” on consecutive nights and was seen getting a backstage tour.

I asked Bailey if he’s considered expanding his operations to Las Vegas, one of the busiest cities in the world for high-end weddings.

“I would love nothing more than setting up an office in Vegas,” he said in an email. “I am in awe of the new artistry and technology that is happening in this town.”

His Q-and-A interview appears in full at normclarke.com.

DAVID ATWELL R.I.P.

No one put the life of real estate broker David Atwell in better perspective than Danny Koker, the main star in History’s “Counting Cars” reality series.

Atwell, who died Monday at the age of 63 after battles with cancer, was best known for negotiating some of the biggest land deals on the Strip.

But Koker, and no doubt many others, remember Atwell for his special spirit.

“I met him at a church called Centerama. It was a former theater called Cinerama with the wrap-around screen. My father was the music director for a short period of time,” Koker recalled.

“We sang in the choir. David was always an automotive enthusiast. He drove a 1963 Thunderbird convertible with a sports coup package. Had the whitewall tires.

“That’s how this car rolled around Vegas in the ’70s. He was like the original Dan Tana,” said Koker, referring to the T-Bird-driving star of the ABC show “Vega$,” which ran from 1978 to 1981.

“That’s how I will always see him, when I close my eyes, a larger-than-life character all the time,” Koker said.

“He’d come in Vamp’d (Koker’s club on West Sahara Avenue) and hang out. He loved all the rock bands,” Koker added.

Others, myself included, remember Atwell for his super-charged version of “Mustang Sally,” which won a Sterling Club talent show I judged about 10 years ago.

Services will be held Dec. 8 at the International Church of Las Vegas, 8100 Westcliff Drive. A celebration of his life will follow at Piero’s.

SIGHTINGS

Entertainment legend Steve Lawrence and Pia Zadora with her husband Michael Jeffries at Piero’s Italian Cuisine on Thursday. Nicolas Cage and his family were in on Wednesday. … R&B artist Brian McKnight, turning heads at Carmine’s (Forum Shops at Caesars) on Wednesday. … Matthew Morrison, best known for his role on the hit television series “Glee,” dining with his fiancée at Lavo (Palazzo) on Tuesday.

THE PUNCH LINE

“It’s that special time of year when your whole family gathers together in one place to look at their cellphones. And I’m going to start dinner by telling my parents I’m gay. It never gets old!” — Jimmy Kimmel

Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Reach him at 702-383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find more at normclarke.com. Follow @Norm_Clarke on Twitter. “Norm Clarke’s Vegas” airs Thursdays on the “Morning Blend” on KTNV-TV, Channel 13.