Shopping at Wynn Las Vegas is a distinctively pleasant experience. At least, that's how I imagine it.
Many times I've walked through Wynn and Encore's retail "esplanades," connective corridors that bridge the Strip to the casino and the two towers with high-end boutiques conveniently located in between.
Inside the Wynn Esplanade, warm light complements honey-toned walls accented with crimson carpeting and gold fixtures and interrupted by storefronts for a litany of luxury brands: Cartier, Chanel, Dior, Givenchy. The Encore Esplanade, meanwhile, is a subtly brighter space with colorful glass chandeliers and outposts of Christian Louboutin and Hermes. They make for a lovely stroll, though I can't speak to the experience of actually purchasing anything. On a journalist's budget, these boutiques are firmly beyond my reach.
But despite the lack of my personal business, the shops are thriving, according to Wynn Las Vegas senior vice president of retail Frank Visconti. So much so, in fact, that the company is dedicating 70,000 square feet to a new shopping development called Wynn Plaza, scheduled to debut this October.
Set alongside the Strip between the Wynn and the Encore, the Plaza will take over real estate formerly occupied by a Ferrari dealership and poker room as well as vacant space previously part of the resort's landscaping. Unlike the other retail areas, the Plaza will be spread over two levels, with each floor offering a distinct personality and vision.
"The first level is a continuation of what we already have," said Visconti, namely, luxury fashion houses like Bottega Veneta, Celine and Balmain, which will open its first Las Vegas store at the Wynn Plaza. A new Louis Vuitton men's store will welcome visitors entering from the casino side, Hermes is expanding into a two-level space and the floor will be anchored by an 150-seat outpost of Cipriani, the famed Italian eatery with locations in New York, Monte Carlo, Hong Kong and Dubai.
The second floor, meanwhile, caters to the more casual lifestyle customer arriving for the weekend from Southern California. Denim dye house Cotton Citizen is moving in, along with Diptyque fragrance and candle brand and Los Angeles-based designer James Perse, taking over a pair of shops, one for apparel and one for accessories.
"Fashion has changed a lot in the last 10 years," Visconti said. "Men wear suits with sneakers." He sees Wynn Plaza filling both those needs — the high-end investment pieces and the more low-key accessories.
Anchoring the second floor will be the first Nevada location of Urth Caffe, which specializes in coffee, tea and organic, health-conscious fare. But the most anticipated tenant is also perhaps the most surprising: spin studio SoulCycle.
"It has a cult following," Visconti said of the indoor cycling workout with more than 80 locations in the U.S. and Canada. "We are really happy to have them on board."
In a packed Las Vegas retail market where high-end shopping is never more than a few minutes away, Visconti sees some contraction on the horizon. "I think you're going to see a retrenchment and probably a pullback on some of the units," he said. "You can't be everywhere. It doesn't make sense to have six Chanel stores."
Still, he said he believes Wynn can withstand those changes and thrive by offering guests a complete experience. "I think you have to be fully integrated. You can't just offer luxury tenants in a vacuum. The shopper needs to have the appropriate restaurants to eat in that day for lunch; they need the five-star hotel room and the spa. All of the components have to be analogous and at the same level," Visconti said, "and I think we successfully do that here."