“I’m not about to croak,” hotel mogul Steve Wynn told me, “but I have changed my will.” My mind immediately raced as to whether things were really heating up with beautiful Andrea Hissom, who was on his arm at Tony Hawk’s Stand Up for Skateparks at the Wynn on Saturday.
Steve’s will must fascinate every inquisitive journalist worth his salt and had my eyes a-popping and my ears open larger than normal. A world scoop was the immediate thought! I hadn’t seen Steve in a few weeks, and when we greeted each other, I told him how fit and well he was looking. I thought to myself, “This love match with lovely Andrea is getting serious.” Somehow people do look better when they’re in love and having fun together.
“I’ve actually lost 15 pounds since I’ve gone vegan,” said Steve, as Andrea told us she’s 5 pounds lighter. “We’re not doing this trying to lose weight. We’re doing this because we both want to get really healthy and live longer.” He even pulled up his shirt to show me his toned and tanned abs on his new washboard stomach.
Senior Editor John Katsilometes’ fascinating new Las Vegas Weekly cover story details Steve’s new food decisions and how he became not only a believer but also a preacher with a mission.
“It’s very simple,” Steve continued. “I’m killing two birds at once, so to speak. Animal-based food kills people. This way by going vegan … we get healthy and save animals. I’m being selfish, too, because if I can get my employees healthier, we cut down on sick days and gain more productivity. Our plan to take care of ourselves this way has blended right in with our staff. Our chefs have really gotten into it with special vegetarian and vegan dishes on each one of our restaurant menus.
“We take pride in our steakhouses here because customers want that. There will always be a steakhouse to serve the best meats, but if people follow this vegan plan, we’re going to cut down on obesity in America, and mothers won’t have to worry so much about their kids being overweight.”
Steve is so evangelical on the subject that he’s given every one of his executives, chefs and employees a book and a DVD on the subject. He’s even converted the staff cafeteria over with a vegan-based menu -- and it is reportedly popular. When I dined at his new Lakeside Grill from chef David Walzog and ordered his menu items, I was so impressed that before seeing him, I went online and ordered the book and DVD.
“I’d have given you one, Robin. I’m giving every one a copy. I really believe I can make a difference and get people younger and healthier again. Once you know and understand, you’ll start giving all your friends a copy.” I told him I’d ordered 12 for the upcoming holidays.
“When people see the changes that are already happening to us, they want to join in -- and when they see it happening for themselves, they’ll have everybody else joining in,” he added.
And that’s what led to the subject of his will when I asked just how committed he was to the program. I wondered if he would lead the charge here in Las Vegas, maybe Nevada, maybe the entire country?
Before I could pose the question, he gently interrupted the thought and said: “I don’t want any more concentration camps for animals that are cruelly treated, force fed to fatten themselves up for our consumption.
“I’ve become an animal rights activist. I’m taken care of myself for the rest of my life. So I decided to change my will the last few days in case I croak. I’m not about to, and I’m not planning on that for a long time. But I’ve changed my will to show my concern for animal rights. Andrea is in full agreement!”
I wanted to follow up with the details of how much and what parts of the will had been changed, but before I could get too personal, the protective arm of the PR people was lowered, and he was whisked away to a less intrusive questioner on the subject of skateboarding. I plan to follow up the next time we run into each other. I’m certainly going to chronicle his progress with his vegan diet.
I really got the feeling we might see another vegan restaurant and maybe a vegan store in the not-too-distant future at the Wynn and Encore. That would really prove he means business about his change in lifestyle.
Steve concluded: “I just wish I’d come to all of this earlier in my life instead of later. Who knows how much it would have changed everything?”
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