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LETTER: An end of an era on the Strip

Reading the news last week about The Mirage closing brought back so many fond memories. I was one of the lucky ones to open this iconic property on Thanksgiving weekend in 1989. It was definitely the turning point for Las Vegas.

Steve Wynn transformed the image of Las Vegas from the glitter gulch in the desert to an oasis of refinement and elegance.

Watching the 750,000 people who walked through the doors that weekend was an experience I will never forget. Everyone was awestruck and delighted with the beauty of every corner of the property.

When Mr. Wynn addressed the entire staff that week, he made the comment that he believed it was the dawn of the mega-resorts. When we look at Las Vegas today, we can see no truer words were ever spoken.

I started my gaming career at the Golden Nugget in the 1970s. Mr. Wynn also started his gaming career there after becoming the owner of this small corner casino. He would spend days and nights in gaming areas learning every aspect of his new endeavor. Once he told me that he was going to open “a joint on the Strip” (his exact words) that would rival Caesars Palace. I thought it was quite a lofty statement.

Many years later, the night The Mirage opened, I passed him in the lobby. I couldn’t help but go up to him to tell him he was definitely a man of his word. Of course, the rest is history.

Mr. Wynn continued to bring Las Vegas to higher and higher standards by building Treasure Island, Bellagio, The Wynn and Encore. Tens of thousands of Las Vegas residents have benefited from being an employee at one of these properties. Not only do they work in such beautiful places, they earn an excellent living.

Mr. Wynn’s impact on our beautiful city will continue to live on as Las Vegas and Southern Nevada reach higher and higher global recognition.

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