Identity. That’s what makes Sean Christie a perfect fit at Wynn Resorts. There’s no bigger Vegas brand than Steve Wynn’s, and Christie’s work fashioning Encore Las Vegas into an edgy day-and-nightlife destination (while seeking a seamless blend with the Wynn standard of luxury) is the epitome of innovation.
Christie moved to the desert more than 15 years ago to help open the House of Blues. After an executive turn with the Light Group, he helped bring another dimension to Wynn’s twin resorts by opening Blush Lounge, Surrender Nightclub, Encore Beach Club and Andrea’s restaurant. In his new role as vice president of operations, Christie’s focus reaches beyond clubs and restaurants. Among his first special projects is the recently arrived Encore Players Club, a welcoming, wide-open lounge with diverse gaming and extra tech. It’s definitely something different, and it’s only the beginning.
“Mr. Wynn has been toying with this over the past year and has said it again and again—the casino floor model hasn’t changed in decades,” Christie notes. “If you don’t innovate, you get left behind. Just because this is a luxury brand that wins all the awards for service doesn’t mean we can’t be innovative and address a segment of [younger] people who are at one point or another going to game.”
Change is abundant at the Wynn and Encore resorts, with several restaurants emerging from culinary and design renovations, the poker room slated to move from Wynn to Encore—right next to the Players Club—and the standard-bearing nightclub Tryst transforming into Intrigue, opening in the spring. The common thread among these new endeavors is the “new” part; Christie is looking to create trends, not follow them.
“We are looking to the next thing,” he says. In the case of Intrigue, for example, a simple club refresh would be boring. “We do that as good as anybody, and we certainly try to be the best at that. But we’re not here to bring out yesterday’s newspaper for you to read.”