Live from DMA05: Playing to Wynn

Atlanta–The secret to Steve Wynn’s success? The truth.

“The only way to get someone like me where I want to go is the truth,” the Las Vegas hotel king and chairman of Wynn Resorts told attendees during his keynote address at the Direct Marketing Association here on Oct. 17. “We have to speak the truth, no matter how impressive our style is.”

That may seem rich from a man whose empire is rooted in America’s fantasyland, but Wynn’s point was that you have to make sure to provide what your customers expect. “Keep the promises that you make,” whether it’s the best food, most luxurious hotel room, or prestigious merchandise, Wynn said. “People will reward you with their business.”

Offering choices is another cornerstone in the Wynn empire, and something that has become increasingly important in the tourist/entertainment business, he noted. “The secret to Las Vegas at the moment is choice,” not gambling, Wynn pointed out. “People want a richer, deeper experience when they go on vacation. Is it gaming? Hell, no!” Most U.S. destinations are now a no more than a 90-minute ride away from some sort of gambling, he said. So consumers aren’t necessarily coming to Vegas to strike it rich; rather, they want the vacation options available as soon as they arrive.

Choice also helps expand your market: As you increase the number of choices, you also increase the diversity of your audience, Wynn said. But even in Las Vegas, where as Wynn said, “everything worth doin’ is worth overdoin’,” you can’t be all things to all people: “You can’t be Neiman Marcus and K-Mart at the same time.”