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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Winners Play and Stay At "The Wynn" Las Vegas

Inspiring Great Golf, Food, Wine and Travel.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Winners Play and Stay At "The Wynn" Las Vegas

Recently my son MJ Mc Colgan, 3 time National Special Olympics Golf Champion and I had the pleasure of staying and playing at the Wynn/Encore Hotel Golf Club in Las Vegas.  Designed by famous architect Tom Fazio and Steve Wynn the par 70 course stretches to over 7000 yards from the back tees.  There are also three other tees to choose from making it a fair test of golf for any handicap level.

You can feel the spirit of the many "Winners" that have walked these hallowed grounds as it was built on the former grounds of the famous Desert Inn that hosted 50 years of PGA and LPGA events. It is the only golf course on the Las Vegas Strip and truly a combination of "elegance and excellence." Having played many famous golf courses all over the world, MJ commented when we checked in to play, "this place is awesome Dad."  

The course is well manicured and has 5 par threes and 3 par fives.  The 1200 original trees were included in the design and 5800 more were added.  In addition, 100,000 shrubs were brought in giving you a feeling that you are far away from the Las Vegas Strip. A waterway runs thru 12 holes with a 37 foot waterfall behind the 18th green that soothes your soul and cools you down from the warm desert sun as you complete your round.  
      We were lucky to have PGA Pro and Wynn caddy Darin Osborn help us during the round read putts on the smooth and fast greens. Darin is also a great player holding the course record 62 with PGA pro Eric Compton. He has been working at the golf course since it opened in 2005 and has some interesting stories about the many famous guests that have played here.

We also asked Director of Golf Brian Hawthorne what his favorite hole was and he said, "that he likes all of the 5 par threes as they offer lots of variation and unique beauty ranging from 160 to 201 yards." MJ  and I enjoyed all of the holes but our favorite was the dramatic 18th. It looks like a post card from the tee with the huge waterfall as a backdrop to the green and well manicured bunkers that require a precision drive and second shot on the 448 yard par 4. It is also fun to drive thru the waterfall back to the club house to enjoy lunch and a beverage overlooking the 18th green.
Green fees range from off-season weekly rates of $300 to in season rates of $500. The VIP(Very Important Player) treatment makes the green fees well worth it. You get a world-class golf course complete with caddy (included in the fee with tips welcome to help you lower your score and read the greens. The cart is filled with everything from soft drinks to Gatorade to water. If you did not bring your clubs and won a pile cash playing Blackjack and decide to treat you friends to a round of golf, no worries. The latest top line golf equipment and shoes are also included in the green fees.

The golf course opened in April of 2005 on the site of the Wynn Las Vegas. One year later ground was broken on the second tower called the Encore. In December of 2008 the 74000 square feet 2034 room 2.3 billion dollar Encore officially opened.  It is connected to the Wynn Resort via a shopping arcade that features shops from Cartier to Channel, a salon, spa, 5 restaurants, 7 bars and a nightclub. 

We stayed at the Encore this time and it is 63 floors of "fun in the sun." The Golden towers of the stately Encore and Wynn smile brightly during the day as the sun reflects off the windows and radiates with power and pride at nighttime.  
 The rooms are spacious with spectacular views of the golf course and sparkling strip.  From Wikipedia .com "The Resort Suites rooms offer style with a residential feel: they contain 700-745 ft² (65-69 m²) of floor space, with floor-to-ceiling windows, Wynn signature beds with European linens, 42” or 46” flat-panel televisions featuring on-demand movies, modern office equipment, one-touch climate controls, a fully stocked mini bar and in-room safes. Bathrooms include 19" flat-screen television, dual sinks, sitting areas with lighted vanity mirrors, separate shower and soaking tub, and Signature Wynn Resorts robes and slippers. The hotel tower features two sections; the standard Resort tower and the smaller, more upscale Tower Suites."
In summary, the Wynn/ Encore is a world class vacation hotel that is a must stay experience.  It is a worthwhile break from the rigors of the daily grind as it offers something for everyone with the highest standards of excellence and elegance.
  It is no surprise that they have received so many awards.  From the Wynn/Encore web site, "Wynn Las Vegas and Encore continue to set the bar for luxury and excellence in Las Vegas, earning top honors and recognitions, including the 2011 Forbes Travel Guide Star awards (formerly Mobil Travel Guide Star awards). Wynn and Encore are two of only 54 hotels in the world to receive Forbes Five Star distinction."

In these days of challenging economic times, it is also impressive when you talk to many of the Wynn employees about loving to work for the Wynn’s.  The joy reflects in the superior service and VIP treatment that you receive as a valued guest of the hotel. We look forward to our next visit as the "Wynn is where Winners play and stay."