Monday, February 28, 2011
Wynn Goes Vegan
The casino visionary changed Sin City's landscape forever when he built The Bellagio, The Mirage and Treasure Island, bringing dolphins, fine art and pirate ships to The Strip before is properties were bought out by MGM Grand. Many Vegas insiders thought he was down for the count, but he came roaring back with the luxury boutique resort The Wynn and its sister property, The Encore.
Now the outspoken Casino boss is making like that Silver Lake hipster girl who always judges you when you eye a bacon-wrapped street dog after a Silversun Pickups show by going full on Vegan, lecturing the press on his new lifestyle and adding Vegan entrees to his restaurants.
Not one to do anything at half-measure, Wynn recently announced that he was hiring Vegan chef (and friend of Oprah) Tal Ronnen to revamp the restaurants in his properties in order to add some high-grade foods that are both healthy and animal friendly.
Now, I'm no Vegan (I suppose I lack the strength of will and moral fiber to give up on In N Out Burgers and Buffalo Wings) but I do respect the fact that the Vegan thing has come to a town known for cheap steaks and meat-laden buffets. It's another great example of why people should never underestimate or pigeonhole Sin City's continued evolution, as it's increasingly being defined by its up and coming arts scene and cool companies that march to the beat of their own drum as much as by the drunken starlets experimenting with their bisexuality at soul-deadening megaclubs.
The question is, will the Vegas of the future make room for more artistic, creative and progressive people to call it their home (or at least their weekend playground)? Or will the Charlie Sheens of the world always define Sin City as they trash their hotel rooms in coke-fueled rage-a-thons?
Only time will tell, but if a stubborn old bull like Steve Wynn can change his lifestyle enough to find common ground with the tatted up and intimidating, black flag T wearing chick who cuts my hair at Rudy's, then there's still hope for Vegas yet.