There may not be anyone more associated with Las Vegas than Steve Wynn. He built The Mirage, known for starting the wave of megaresorts that now line the famed Las Vegas Strip, and now owns the most profitable resort in Las Vegas.
Along the way, he's built a net worth estimated at $2.5 billion, including some of the most expensive art and real estate in the country. Here's how he piled up that much cash.
The company that made Steve Wynn a household name
Steve Wynn's current reputation as a Las Vegas mogul took a huge step forward in 1989 when he completed The Mirage, the namesake for the former Mirage Resorts. While he controlled Mirage Resorts, Wynn built Treasure Island, Bellagio, and Beau Rivage in Mississippi, leading the way to a new generation of resorts. But he began spending tens of millions on art along the way, upsetting investors and his board of directors, who started to look for alternatives for the company.
In 2000, MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM) acquired Mirage Resorts in a $6.6 billion deal, resulting in a $500 million payday for Wynn. Before the deal even closed he bought the Desert Inn for $270 million and would soon line up the financing that would create Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) as we know it today.
Wynn Resorts reinvents the Las Vegas Strip
By 2005, Wynn was back on his feet, completing the $2.7 billion Wynn Las Vegas. This opened a new phase in his career, and it was actually the value of Wynn Resorts that would make him a billionaire.
He would soon follow with Wynn Encore in Las Vegas and Wynn Macau, which is now the company's most profitable property. The next major property for Wynn is Wynn Palace in Macau, a $4.0 billion property in Macau's Cotai region.
And there's more to Wynn's interests and wealth outside of the casino business. He has made tens of millions (if not more) on art and real estate as well.
Where Steve Wynn's net worth lies
Today, a large portion of Steve Wynn's wealth lies in Wynn Resorts. His stake in the company is worth $740 million, although that value has been within $2.0 billion in the past year alone. But Wynn Resorts has also paid $600 million in dividends to Wynn in the past decade, some of which he has used to invest in art and real estate.
Steve Wynn has owned some of the most well known pieces of art in the world, including Rembrandt's "Man with His Arms Akimbo", Van Goh's "Peasant Woman Against a Background of Wheat", and Jeff Koons' "Popeye". His most famous piece is the Picasso "Le Reve", which Wynn put his elbow through when showing it to guests at Wynn Las Vegas. The painting was repaired and eventually sold to Steven Cohen for $155 million.
Wynn also owns valuable real estate, including a property on the Bel-Air Country Club that's on the market for $17.5 million and his recently acquired $48 million property in Beverly Hills.
All told, Forbes estimates that Steve Wynn's net worth is $2.5 billion, although that value is dependent on illiquid assets like art and real estate. No matter how you slice it, he's one of the wealthiest people in the U.S., and he's far more than the casino company that holds his name.