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Wynn’s latest gem a New York penthouse


Steve Wynn’s newly completed second home is the talk of the town in hard-to-impress New York City.

First photos of the over-the-top property that overlooks Central Park surfaced in the March 2014 edition of Architectural Digest.

Purchased two years ago for a near-record $70 million, the 10,882 square-foot penthouse was redesigned by Wynn’s go-to guy Roger Thomas and completed in five months.

The Las Vegas hotel mogul had previously owned an apartment in The Plaza hotel. He sold it for $24.4 million in 2010 before purchasing the penthouse apartment that occupies the 30th and 31st floors of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

Wynn, 72, bought his digs from Christopher Jeffries, a founding partner of the real estate development firm Millenium Partners.

Jeffries was involved in redeveloping the old St. Moritz Hotel into the Ritz and claimed two floors for himself. One was the grand ballroom of the St. Moritz.

Jeffries married Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, daughter of actress Rita Hayworth, in 1989. They divorced in 1993.

Wynn’s pied-a-terre includes a 70-foot terrace facing Central Park.

Architectural Digest quoted Wynn as saying, “I walked in here and said, ‘Man, what a place!’ ”

The 14-room apartment has 16.5-foot ceilings and features many of Wynn’s top artworks, including Picasso, Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning and Roy Lichtenstein.

According to the magazine, the home’s most arresting feature is a Wynn tradition: a spectacular staircase. Wynn felt the previous staircase “lacked drama,” so he had it replaced with “a show-stopping sculptural form of curved glass and ebonized English sycamore.”

CELEBRATING 25 YEARS

Two Las Vegas restaurateurs — David Alenik and Sami Ladeki — are celebrating their 25th anniversaries in the business this year.

Alenik, who moved his Pasta Shop Ristorante from East Tropicana and Eastern avenues to Horizon Hills four years ago, recalled two favorite stories.

One of the most awkward nights at the Tropicana location was when casino exec Ted Binion and girlfriend Sandy Murphy joined mobster “Fat” Herbie Blitzstein at a table (Blitzstein was assassinated in 1997 in a mob hit).

“Then Nevada Supreme Court Justice Miriam Shearing walks in, which made me gasp! We promptly seated her on the opposite side of the room, and thankfully no words were exchanged between the two parties,” Alenik said.

On another night motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel came in all impressed with the Harley-Davidson motorcycle parked in front in front of the restaurant.

It was Alenik’s.

After Knievel complimented him on the bike, Alenik asked him to autograph his helmet, “thinking he would write something inspiring like ‘ride safe’ or ‘lookout for danger.’ Instead he wrote, ‘Happy Landings!’ ”

Ladeki, who owns 24 restaurants, including a half dozen Sammy’s Wood-Fired Pizzas in Las Vegas, launched his empire in LaJolla, Calif., in 1989.

His first Sammy’s pizza restaurant in Las Vegas opened in 1995. His first Sammy’s Restaurant & Grill opened late last year at Green Valley Parkway and Pebble.

Born in Lebanon, he ended up in Las Vegas in 1967 a few years after emigrating to the United States.

Before he rose to director of food and beverage at Caesars Palace, Ladeki was a captain at The Rib Room at the Royal New Orleans Hotel.

One night in 1968 a cowboy in a big hat walked in with his girlfriend.

“Howdy,” said the cowboy.

“How can I help you, Mr. Howdy,” said Ladeki, while checking the reservations list.

“I thought it was his name.”

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Wynn has recruited a top executive away from Sheldon Adelson’s East Coast stable. Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem President Robert DeSalvio confirmed that he’s leaving. There are reports he’s heading for Wynn’s new $1.5 billion casino complex in Everett, Mass., just outside Boston. …

Mark Giovi is back in town for a one-off appearance tonight at the Italian American Club, 2333 E. Sahara.

The former lead singer of the Las Vegas Tenors, before going solo, Giovi moved to the East Coast last summer. He will be teaming up with Genevieve Dew, fresh from her sold-out Billie Holiday tribute at Santa Fe Station, and musical director Bill Fayne, who will add his voice to the mix. Showtime: 8 p.m. Ticket information: 702-457-3866. …

The General Assembly of French Master Chefs is holding its world conference in Las Vegas through Sunday, their first U.S. summit. The five-day event is being held at The Venetian and the Palazzo.

SIGHTINGS

NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., dining at Sushi Roku (Forum Shops at Caesars) on Wednesday. … Nigel Lythgoe, creator and executive producer of “So You Think You Can Dance” and former producer of “American Idol,” at Fantasy (Luxor) on Wednesday. … Singer Jermaine Jackson, with his wife and a friend at America Restaurant inside New York-New York on Friday.

THE PUNCH LINE

“Vladimir Putin says that the Russian troops did not invade Crimea. Really? Well, what are those guys, mall cops?” — David Letterman

Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email him at norm@reviewjournal.com. Find more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.