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Adelson, Wynn make Forbes list of top business minds

Updated September 19, 2017 - 6:37 pm

Forbes magazine has named two Las Vegas-based casino operators to its list of the World’s 100 Greatest Living Business Minds.

Sheldon Adelson, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands, and Steve Wynn, chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, were listed in the magazine’s special edition commemorating its 100th anniversary published Tuesday.

Both casino operators had short essays defining reasons for their success.

Wynn, who operates Wynn Las Vegas and Encore as well as resorts in Macau and is building a new property in Everett, Massachusetts, wrote about building self-esteem among employees at his properties for the magazine.

“Every day, they (employees) hold 15-minute pre-shift meetings that start out like this: Who can tell us about something that happened yesterday with a guest?” Wynn wrote.

“Then when staffers tell the story, we reinforce it. We thank them. The supervisor calls a storytelling hotline. We then put the story on the in-house internet and plaster it on the walls. We make the storyteller a hero and do this hundreds of times a week.”

Adelson, who operates The Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas and several properties in Macau, wrote about reimagining.

“When I was 16, I bought a bunch of vending machines,” Adelson wrote. “At the time, they were set up inside factories, which meant people only bought snacks during the 40-hour workweek. So I moved the machines into gas stations, where cab drivers were lining up 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Money came rolling in.

“Years later I did a similar thing with casinos,” he said. “Las Vegas had been successful in the United States, but China had a billion more people in it. Why not rebuild the Las Vegas Strip there?”

Other business people, some with Las Vegas connections, who made Forbes’ list include Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Paul McCartney, Oprah Winfrey, Bono and Michael Bloomberg.

The list also includes Carl Icahn, former owner of the Fontainebleau; frequent Las Vegas visitor and airline owner Richard Branson; and U.S. President Donald Trump, who has an off-Strip nongaming hotel.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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