News item: Steve Wynn, the brash Las Vegas casino developer who created the Mirage, Treasure Island and the Bellagio, opened his newest resort in Las Vegas on April 28th.
The first new casino resort to open in Las Vegas in five years, the Wynn Las Vegas is apparently a beautiful property that’s different than any other Las Vegas location.
I say "apparently," because even though I was in Las Vegas when it opened, I didn’t join the thousands of people who waited in line for four hours to get a glimpse inside the new $2.7 billion property.
I remembered something I had once heard Steve Wynn say: "Do you want to know how to be a winner in a casino? Own it!" Somehow, a gaming resort that calls itself "Wynn Las Vegas" is just too ironic. The only one likely to win is Steve himself.
No, I was in Las Vegas for an entirely different kind of experience, one that wasn’t quite so much of a gamble. The AERA International Expo 2005 and PERA Spring Marketing and Tech Meetings, held concurrently, offered enough valuable information that all who attended learned something. As Engine Builder contributor and industry icon Doug Anderson pointed out during his review of the Gen III family of engines to the PERA crowd, "Your trip out here will be paid for by the tips I’ll give you this morning."
Collectively, of course, everyone who went to Vegas for our industry’s association gatherings was a winner, but there were also a few individual jackpots I’d like to recognize as well:
- For proving to themselves and the assembled masses that they can do the job, congratulations go to Gail Ault, Susan Deegan, Sandi Holder and Becky Tardif for successfully firing the 357 cid Ford racing engine in the first-ever Clevite Women’s Engine Build contest. Despite predictions by some skeptics I spoke with, this was no joke. For overcoming a late race spin by an unnamed but disgruntled incoming Vanguard group member, a tip of the racing helmet to Engine Builder managing editor Brendan Baker for winning all the trophies at the Vanguard kart racing night. For proving that persistence pays off, congratulations to Paul Nelson, instructor at Northwest Technical College in Bemidji, MN. Clevite presented Paul with a special award honoring his support for students in all industry training programs. Likewise, Engine Builder publisher Dave Wooldridge was feted by AERA for his decades of unswerving support of this industry. John Wenskovitch, of DLK Auto Parts and Machine of Russelton, PA, was named the 2005 Victor Reinz Machinist of the Year. And Manitowoc Motor Machining and Parts, of Manitowoc, WI, captured the coveted 2005 Engine Builder Machine Shop of the Year title.
You might say anyone who goes home with more than he or she had at the beginning of the trip is a big winner in Las Vegas. And for my money, that’s anyone who attended either AERA or PERA’s events.