LET THERE BE LIGHT

Wynn Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - BY JOANNA HAU­GEN

We go in­side the atri­ums with the team re­spon­si­ble for the care and feed­ing of Wynn’s twin­kling lights and flo­ral top­i­aries.

In the spring­time, bursts of fuch­sia and yel­low greet guests, and in au­tumn, the hues take on a warmer tone with gold and crim­son shades. Bright­ened by the sun, which peeks through the atrium’s over­hang­ing fo­liage and streams through the glass ceil­ing, the mul­ti­color flo­ral dis­play at Wynn has a per­son­al­ity of its own, tak­ing on new color pal­ettes for five dif­fer­ent sea­sons—chi­nese New Year, spring, sum­mer, fall, and hol­i­day—through­out the year. It’s a place that makes peo­ple smile and stop to drink in their sur­round­ings, a place that trans­ports them be­yond the chaos of the nearby casino floor. “Mr. Wynn wants our guests to de­com­press as they en­ter our build­ing, and we ac­com­plish this in the atrium with plants, trees, and flow­ers that are soft, lush, and invit­ing,” says Gary Cramer, Wynn’s Di­rec­tor of Hor­ti­cul­ture. “As you en­ter our re­sort, you feel that you have en­tered another world that makes you want to re­lax, ex­plore, and en­joy the sur­round­ings.” Wynn’s atri­ums are among the most pho­tographed lo­ca­tions in the re­sort, but these flaw­less dis­plays of op­u­lence don’t de­sign, cre­ate, or care for them­selves. Many peo­ple work closely with Roger Thomas, Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent of Wynn De­sign and De­vel­op­ment, to en­sure that the atri­ums’ at­mos­phere is invit­ing, in­no­va­tive, and pho­to­genic, with­out look­ing forced or stale. Cramer and his team pro­vide Thomas with color and plant sam­ples to re­view and con­sider up to a year in ad­vance of their public dis­play. “We con­stantly look for new con­cepts, and if we come across some­thing in­ter­est­ing, we present our ideas to Roger for re­view and in­cor­po­rate them into fu­ture sea­sons,” Cramer says. “We con­tin­u­ally look for new cul­ti­vars [plants] that may per­form bet­ter and of­fer a fresh look.” The atri­ums un­dergo sea­sonal color changes ev­ery three weeks (17 ro­ta­tions an­nu­ally). Or­ders for color cul­ti­vars oc­cur six to nine months prior to each sea­son. The ro­ta­tion of fo­liage plants de­pends on the light­ing, and while some are changed ev­ery few months, oth­ers last a few years be­fore be­ing re­placed. Most of the col­ored flo­rals and green­ery is sourced from Cal­i­for­nia and Florida. A lot of thought goes into where to po­si­tion the var­i­ous flow­ers and plants in the atri­ums, so that some are ac­cented or placed in high-pro­file lo­ca­tions. A cus­tom­ized ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem al­lows a va­ri­ety of flow­ers and plants to be mixed, each with a wa­ter­ing sched­ule suited to its spe­cific re­quire­ments. Although sea­sonal col­ors are ro­tated out ev­ery three weeks, a full trans­for­ma­tion of the atri­ums takes place lit­er­ally overnight. A staff of up to 20 peo­ple be­gins work­ing af­ter mid­night to change out more than 7,000 six­inch con­tain­ers, fin­ish­ing the job by 7 so guests can en­joy the area. “The most chal­leng­ing as­pect is the stag­ing of the flow­ers,” Cramer says. “We like them to show a per­fect amount of color on the day they’re in­stalled, yet we also need to en­sure they look spec­tac­u­lar for the three weeks they are on dis­play.” Be­yond the blooms, the most sig­nif­i­cant fea­tures of Wynn’s atri­ums are the mo­saics art­fully splashed across the floor. In­spi­ra­tion for the tiled flo­ral pat­terns came from a car­pet de­signed by Jac­ques Gar­cia, and the tiles re­quired thou­sands of hours of de­sign, in­ven­tion, and trips to Italy for art di­rec­tion and prod­uct ap­provals. The glass tiles are an eighth of an inch thick, come in 35 col­ors, and, like the fo­liage, re­quire on­go­ing care. “They are con­stantly be­ing bro­ken by heavy traf­fic, lug­gage carts, and high heels, so we’re al­ways re­plac­ing them,” says James Pa­ni­agua, man­ager of car­pet and tile at Wynn. Main­te­nance is con­stant but well worth it. “Peo­ple love it,” Pa­ni­agua says. “We get com­ments on it ev­ery day.” Four full-time gar­den­ers work­ing in the atri­ums en­joy a sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ence. “On an av­er­age day, they spend 50 per­cent of their time an­swer­ing guest ques­tions,” Cramer says. “Peo­ple are fas­ci­nated by what they do, and they are con­stantly quizzed about how they make the pre­sen­ta­tion look so spec­tac­u­lar.” n

The mo­saics’ tiles re­quired thou­sands of hours of de­sign, in­ven­tion, and trips to Italy for art di­rec­tion.

92 Wynn’s atri­ums are among the most pho­tographed lo­ca­tions in the re­sort.

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