02/25/2005 1:00AM

It's not just his money that talks


Just two months from now, on April 28, the $2 billion Wynn Las Vegas will open and usher in a new wave of resorts in Las Vegas, with the Palazzo, next to the Venetian, and Red Rock Station on the west edge of town soon to follow.

Recently, the owner of Wynn Las Vegas, Steve Wynn, was interviewed on a local cable station, and he gave his take on how to design a hotel, the future of Las Vegas, and even on Donald Trump possibly entering the Las Vegas arena.

Asked about the impact of his new resort on other hotel-casinos in town, Wynn said it's the older properties that may be hurt.

"The pressure gets felt further down the food chain, [properties] that are less imaginative, that were built a long time ago," he said, adding that Las Vegas "probably is the most violent 24/7 commercial hand-to-hand combat in the world."

How is Wynn Las Vegas different than his other projects, which include the Mirage, Treasure Island and Bellagio, properties he recently sold to MGM Mirage?

Wynn gave a quick history lesson on Las Vegas: "The history of the town is pretty easy to understand architecturally," he said, calling the Strip "a carnival midway." Customers would see the signs and the facades, and go into the one that was "most catching."

But, Wynn said, hotel-casino design has changed. "You don't design a hotel from the outside looking in as I did with the other three," he said of the Mirage, Treasure Island and Bellagio. "[Wynn Las Vegas] is designed from the inside out, and that is the principal idea that sets this hotel apart and that is why it costs so much money."

Wynn gave his view of the city's future, pointing out that it is almost impossible for other cities to duplicate the attractions of Las Vegas. "What we have got here is a very unique place that will continue to be a destination of choice for everyone else," he said.

He jokingly reflected on the soaring Wynn Las Vegas stock, reminding that the initial public offering was $13 a share and now it's at over $63 two months from opening and creating its first revenue stream. "We're going to ruin this company by opening a hotel," he quipped.

Wynn is advertising his new resort on Sunday's Academy Awards telecast. The commercial will show Wynn standing at the very top of his hotel (yes, he really was there), telling the world about his new digs.

"It is a not-so-subtle play," he said of the commercial. "It is a suggestion that Bellagio and Mirage were practice."

Finally, Wynn gave his take on Donald Trump's long-awaited entry into Las Vegas. Trump has announced plans to build a condominium tower on the Strip.

Wynn said: "This is the perfect place for Donald Trump. His energy blends in. His music blends in with the music of Las Vegas.

"In other places you sort of stand alone if you are that way. Here he is an added attraction."

Ralph Siraco is turf editor for the Las Vegas Sun and host of the Race Day Las Vegas radio show.