Meet Marilyn Winn
In case you hadn't heard, VT Super Friend, Vegas Gang mate, and all around gaming-minded genius, Dr. Dave Schwartz today posted his much-anticipated interview with new the Wynn Las Vegas grand pooh-bah, Marilyn Winn Spiegel. The discussion is filled with tales of her early days at the Denver Dry Goods Company, formative years at the Holiday Casino, and the new managerial philosophies she's bringing to Wynn Las Vegas (You just got Silo-ed!)
However, behind the discussion about her days hawking handsaws in Denver and how, under her management, Paris Las Vegas went almost ten years without a single carpet change, Ms. Winn outlined her new philosophy toward customer call center interactions. Soon, the days when you just called room reservations for (Whooda thunk?) a room reservation will be gone. You'll now be offered one-stop vacation planning shopping right on one phone call. Want a dinner reservation? This young lady will be more than happy to assist you. How about tickets to Le Reve?
Walk across the street and get them half-price at Tix4Tonight. Her pleasure. How about a tee time at the Wynn Golf Club? Eh, Marilyn didn't cover that one in the interview. It's consolidation and efficiency at its corporatized best, folks.
However, it's consolidation that now makes one of my favorite pre-Vegas trip activities almost redundant. See, I love being able to book a room at Wynn or Encore and then call up a concierge a few days before my vacation in order to have that lovely lady or gentleman help me plan my vacation. It's one of those fringe benefits that should always come along with spending your vacation at a AAA Five Diamond Award-winning resort. And yet, now that fringe benefit has been made redundant by Ms. Winn's laser focus on efficiency.
Now, I know that that's an entirely selfish and conceited opinion towards Ms. Winn's new managerial style, but consider this: that very concierge has now had half of their job duties wiped away. Moreover, the possibility that I would stop by the desk and drop off a tip for the person who had helped me a few days back has been completely eliminated. Now I might not interact at all with that person, might not experience the service they have been hired to provide, and might have a lesser experience with the property because of that. You've just experienced an erosion in service.
It's a very small thing that is now kinda/sorta gone, but it was a welcoming aspect of Wynn-style service. It's a decline by degrees. Is Ms. Winn's new effort at consolidation more efficient from both a corporate and guest perspective? Perhaps, but it's those little things that make Wynn a truly transportive and luxurious experience. Without them, the place will quickly become just another hotel that's ostensibly resting on its previously gained laurels.
And honest to God, what's next? Bottled water is expensive these days. Are we going to see those complimentary in-room bottles removed, or even worse, monetized? Marilyn spoke about how Steve wants to improve the Lake of Dreams. Is that somehow going to become a ticketed attraction? Or--again--even worse, will access to either it or the show terraces somehow become an amenity included in your resort fee? All of these are little things that could quickly disappear and result in decided non-Wynn experience. It's a very slippery slope, ladies and gents, and it's one I'm quickly worried that Wynn and Encore are now sliding down.
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