Steve Wynn Gets ‘Primordial’ Sharing His Casino Vision with Boston Business Leaders

Posted on: November 2, 2017, 06:00h. 

Last updated on: November 2, 2017, 09:24h.

Steve Wynn appeared before the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, in part to dish on the hidden benefits of Wynn Boston Harbor, a $2.4 billion casino resort slated to open in June 2019. Perhaps to the surprise of the few dozen in attendance, however, what matters most are water, sunlight, and plants, he explained.

Steve Wynn Boston Harbor casino
Steve Wynn has big plans for his Boston casino resort, and big words to summarize its concept. (Image: Calvin Sit/Getty Images)

“If you stay close to the primordial forces of life,” he said to a group of luncheon attendees, “water, plants, and sunlight … you resonate with people in a way that all of us don’t necessarily articulate consciously. But it does move us. We all love sunshine and beautiful flowers. We love looking at the water.”

MassLive first reported on the gathering with the CEO and Chairman of Wynn Resorts.

“Those are the primordial forces of life,” Wynn said. “And I said to myself, ‘Look, if we’re going to get people to come out here … to deal with the complexities of travel, we’re going to have to resonate with human aspiration. In some way in our souls we know that is the source of our own life. And that’s where I start when we dream up one of these places.”

Originally called Wynn Everett, the Wynn Boston Harbor as it’s now known (despite not actually sitting on the Boston Harbor) is being built on land that was formerly a chemical plant.

Urban Renewal

At 75, Wynn says he remains passionate as ever about his developments, and reminded the other business leaders listening to him that he didn’t study business or real estate at the University of Pennsylvania, but rather English literature was his game.

The crux of his keynote was basically saying that in order to attract both locals and tourists to his resort in Everett, he’ll need to subconsciously offer them elements they simply can’t be found anywhere else in town. Wynn Boston Harbor will focus on the warmth of the sun, he said, as well as indoor and outdoor oxygen-rich green spaces filled with flowers, trees, and water features.

A 27-story hotel in the signature Wynn shape and design will overlook the Mystic River, with the lobby providing a view of the Boston skyline in the distance.

Wynn says the overall theme of the property is “flowers.” The main entrance promises to feature two (expensive) curved escalators, wrapping around Jeff Koons’ Popeye sculpture, which Wynn bought at auction in 2014 for $28 million and currently sits in his Las Vegas casino’s shopping plaza.

Welcoming Environment 

The gaming tycoon revealed that the Massachusetts resort will be a family friendly destination, and promised that guests would only come across the casino if they wanted to. “By law and logic, a casino is not a place for children,” Wynn said, “And we want the hotel to be enjoyed by everybody.”

Wynn Boston Harbor President Bob DeSalvio provided updates about the structure’s actual progress, and explained that Wynn Resorts coming to town brought with it investment beyond just casino spaces.

“Like any prudent developer, we have a responsibility to invest in our host community and play an active role in what will be built around us,” DeSalvio said.

The company intends to spend almost $100 million in acquiring nearby properties, both commercial and residential, to create a more welcoming arrival for resort guests. Wynn says $75 million of these purchases are already pending, and that the number will soon increase to $90 million, with that money flowing into the city long before the future casino turns on its water.