Adelson comments on building walls


In the city famous for its perpetual game of one-upmanship, Sheldon Adelson's new 50-story Palazzo is a monument to the rivalry between Adelson and Steve Wynn.

The wall grew higher last week when Adelson, on the eve of unveiling the Palazzo, suggested Wynn's time "has come and gone."

Wynn declined to comment on Adelson's latest tweaking of his competitors in an interview for a USA Today article by Las Vegas freelance writer/podcaster Steve Friess.

But now there's another aggravation for Wynn: The best VIP suites atop Wynn Las Vegas once offered a stunning Strip view. Now, I've learned, the view is blocked by Palazzo, which is located across Spring Mountain Road from the Wynn.

The height of the Palazzo came up in Friess' interview.

Asked whether the Palazzo was taller than the Wynn, Adelson said, "I think so. I know Steve Wynn says we were trying to outbuild him." The subject came up a few years ago, when they were still talking.

"He said, 'You know your building is taller than mine. What are you trying to do?'

"It was a big part of the argument why he didn't like us," said Adelson, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., which includes The Venetian.

While Wynn isn't responding to Adelson's latest jabs, Wynn made it clear in a recent interview with me that he misses the kinder, gentler days of Las Vegas.

"We never had jealousy and sniping until relatively late in the history of the town. And it came from newcomers, not guys who have grown up in the business," Wynn said.

"That's a Sheldon Adelson thing," he said. "We didn't have it before. It was just the opposite; we all went and gambled at each others' openings. ... There's no animosity there, there's no jealousy. There may be a 'Wow, look at that, there's something to shoot at, let's do better than that.'

"But it's sort of healthy. We've all done well because we've been with each other here, not in spite of each other. The secret of Las Vegas is the fact that we've all been here," Wynn said.

He compared the animosity of today with the day he sold his Mirage Resorts to Kirk Kerkorian's MGM for $6.4 billion.

He and Kerkorian "went out and celebrated when we made our deal," Wynn said.

"He was a customer at the Nugget, played blackjack with me. Came down for bread pudding in the buffet. There's not a speck of jealousy in that man."

KEEPING TABS

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her camp ate a little higher off the hog than her rival Barack Obama during their campaigning in Las Vegas last week.

Both campaigns called N9NE Steakhouse at the Palms minutes apart Friday for a food delivery.

Chef Barry Dakake and Jenna Morton, wife of N9NE co-owner Michael Morton, delivered $200 worth of food, including two Kobe burgers, two organic chicken sandwiches and one order of Dover sole, for the Obama camp to a conference room at the Las Vegas Signature Terminal.

The Clintons' tab came to $1,530 and included entrees of nine steaks, three chicken, three salmon, three Maine scallops and two lobster pappardelle; salads; sashimi; rock shrimp; and side dishes.

The Clintons, who stayed at a Bellagio villa, also ordered a large delivery from N9NE on Monday.

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Actor Tate Donovan, who dated Jennifer Aniston and was in 36 episodes of "The O.C.," was in town for the caucuses as documentary producer and Obama supporter. He was at the Wynn on Saturday helping filmmaker Amy Rice on a documentary on Obama. The coolest thing he saw was the costume parade of workers showing up to caucus. "Culinary cooks, cocktail waitresses, nightclub staffers, everybody in their own work clothes." ...

Miley Cyrus' three Hannah Montana shows at the MGM Grand Garden were sellouts, but ticket brokers still got stuck with a lot of tickets. A number of them were offering hotel concierges two-for-one deals on Friday at face value.

SIGHTINGS

Hillary Clinton, husband Bill and daughter Chelsea celebrating Hillary's caucus victory Saturday with about 1,000 volunteers and campaign staff on the mezzanine at Planet Hollywood Resort. Down the hall, Miss America candidates rehearsed in a ballroom. Among the Clinton crowd: Oscar-winning director Ron Howard, producer Steve Bing and California billionaire Ron Burkle. Most of the Clinton campaign team stayed at Planet Hollywood Resort.

THE PUNCH LINE

Overheard at the Democratic caucus held at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center on Saturday: "This gives new meaning to the term come out and vote."

Norm Clarke can be reached at 383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.

 

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