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Wynn Nightlife leader Alex Cordova, on setting the pace in Las Vegas and worldwide

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Courtesy Wynn Nightlife

The past year has been one of the great change for the Las Vegas Strip. It continued along the course of its natural entertainment evolution while recovering from an unprecedented and unforeseen tragedy. It reinforced the experiences that maintain Las Vegas as one of the top tourism destinations in the world while adding all-new attractions and evens to the landscape and making even bigger plans for the future.

Wynn Resorts epitomized that year of Vegas change. With a new CEO at the helm and other significant leadership changes, the iconic luxury resort brand is moving forward with key developments at its twin Strip resorts, including retail and restaurants at the Wynn Plaza expansion and the construction of a 25-acre lagoon attraction and innovative meeting and convention space on the site of the former golf course. Standing strong amid this metamorphosis is Wynn Nightlife, which has emerged as its own powerful brand in recent years, one that sets an international standard for music-centered social experiences at its three club venues: XS, Encore Beach Club and Intrigue.

Alex Cordova

When Alex Cordova was appointed Executive Vice President and Managing Partner of Nightlife in 2016, it cemented the union of all Wynn nightlife operations under one umbrella. Wynn Nightlife has continued to dominate with a peerless roster of resident artists while diversifying the sights and sounds that create the backdrop for these enduring experiences. In the always up-and-down nightclub industry, this team has discovered consistency while leaving space for experimentation and growth.

Just weeks after the highly successful Art of the Wild weekend, which brought an all-star squad of international artists and promoters for a three-day mini-festival like Strip nightlife has never seen before, Las Vegas Weekly checked in with Cordova for an assessment on the state of Wynn Nightlife and a glimpse at the future.

How have changes and the new direction at Wynn Resorts impacted the Wynn Nightlife team and objectives?

Wynn Nightlife has continued to prioritize exceptional service for our guests by offering the most luxurious nightlife experiences in the world, including the most sought-after party destinations with the most diverse music lineups and residencies in the world. It is an exciting time for the department, as we have been brought into the development of reshaping the future of Wynn Las Vegas. There is a lot to be unveiled in the upcoming year.

Wynn Nightlife is universally recognized as an industry leader in Las Vegas and around the world but also an essential component of the brand and its Las Vegas identity. Has the last year of transition strengthened the importance of the nightlife team's success?

Nightlife has always been an important component of the Wynn brand. Our nightlife team has always adapted to changes within the industry and continues to strengthen the successful foundation that we have built over the years. Every year our team continues to expand our capabilities in order to further leverage our brand in the nightlife space.

Can you discuss the programming and venue innovations that have kept Wynn Nightlife on top in recent years?

We are continually searching for new ways to provide exciting experiences for our guests. We pride ourselves on having the most diverse lineup and staying on the pulse of music trends. We make sure to pay attention to how our guests' music tastes evolve and change throughout the year, and we work to ensure our programming reflects that.

In 2017, we made a strong commitment to introduce house and techno into our programming strategy. We have worked with the strongest operators from around the world to create one-of-a-kind experiences within our venues. The team has worked diligently with some of the best production experts in the world to create a new look and feel for the venues during these performances. It was truly a learning experience, and we are excited to expand upon this in the years to come.

This is what we do best.

Who is on the new experiential team, what are their objectives and approach and what kind of impact do you think their efforts will have on Vegas nightlife?

We have a strong team of industry influencers that has been in place for some time. Each team member brings various backgrounds and deep-rooted experiences in the nightlife arena. Wynn Nightlife believes in nurturing young talent, as they will ultimately be our future leaders. The experiential team was born out of a necessity to have more interaction with the local community through unique activations at our property. We want our local guests to feel welcome and also understand that individuals need to be recognized for their achievements within this industry. The activations the team executes create memorable moments within the resort and our venues. It's encouraging to see other operators adopt this strategy within their venues. It means that the town overall has a commitment to make rewarding nightlife experiences for our community.

You’ve been with Wynn for more than two years now, and it’s really become your team after you had to build trust and camaraderie. What is the dynamic like today?

Having all three nightclub properties managed together under one entity has definitely created a stronger sense of unity. We are proud of the team we have cultivated to provide our clientele with the best in-class service and experience. It’s incredible to see how much people have grown in the past few years. The talent on this team is limitless. I truly believe that we are only starting to reveal our true potential.

You are not just competing against other nightclub venues on the Strip. Nightlife has to compete with Vegas entertainment in general, which is always growing and expanding and now includes professional sports. What is the strategy moving into the future to stay at the center of the Vegas entertainment experience?

We are continuing to look into new and exciting opportunities that will complement and expand our current lineup. The success of Art of the Wild proved how the music tastes of our demographic are evolving, and we are continuing to make sure that sound is added into in our lineup on a regular basis. Our sole focus is to drive bodies to Las Vegas and our properties. Our primary focus is to create compelling experiences to draw guests to our venues. Art of the Wild was the first step in our understanding how to achieve success through an eight-month marketing campaign. Vegas is so fast-paced that it is hard to plan that far out for one single event series. On any given weekend, you have the most compelling festival lineups in the world across event facilities on the four-mile strip. It’s extremely aggressive, and now, by adding sporting events, it brings a completely new dynamic to the town. Still, it is about the success of the overall town. We have to be the leader in entertainment in the U.S. to continue the momentum we have built, and the success of sports will only complement that.

Now you will see us introducing more special weekends to create date-specific experiences for our customers. Outside of holiday or fight weekends, we want our guests to plan for these special moments throughout the year and understand our commitment to providing something extraordinary during their stay. It’s always about showing the customer an over-the-top experience they cannot see at home.

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Brock Radke

Brock Radke has been writing about Las Vegas for almost two decades. He currently serves as editor-at-large covering entertainment and ...

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