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Hotel Design Podcast


Jan 28, 2022

In this episode of the Hotel Design Podcast, we welcome Paul Steelman - CEO of Steelman Partners. Paul Steelman was previously on our show during Episode 10.

Host Glenn Haussman is an avid casino resort design enthusiast, and he starts the conversation with Paul Steelman by discussing his rich and vibrant background. Paul began his career prior to the birth of modern Las Vegas, which began with the creation of Steve Wynn’s The Mirage – the world’s first mega-resort.

Paul notes that the entrepreneurial spirit of Steve Wynn was absolutely incredible and they discuss how he parlayed a small investment into the ownership of The Golden Nugget, before setting out to redefine the entire notion of Las Vegas with the creation of The Mirage.

 

One of the most prominent projects that Steelman Partners designed was Resorts World Las Vegas – a recently opened $5 billion mega-resort on the Las Vegas Strip. Steelman recounts the long process from its initial design & concepts in 2012, to finally opening the modern Asian-inspired resort in 2021 after many design changes.

Paul and Glenn discuss the challenges of basing the resort over a failed mega-resort project called Project Echelon, a Boyd Gaming Project which was partially completed before succumbing the financial crisis in 2008.

They also reviewed the maturation of casino resorts and how the design of this project pushes the project into a new era of design. This influenced the casino to be located centrally to the building with all amenities surrounding the casino floor.

Paul’s philosophy is that the casino must be the most energetic room in any casino resort building - 24 hours a day.  Resorts World Las Vegas has a different casino design, which is long and narrow, and allows guests to take less steps overall to reach their destination. This makes the gaming floor easily accessible from all sides, an idea that Paul sees as successful through his many years of designing multiple Asian resorts in Macau, China.

 

Paul believes that every new casino must have something new that attracts and entices guests. A beautiful hotel and beautiful restaurant simply aren’t enough any longer. Customers crave something new and unique within a singular attraction. When Steelman Partners designed Circa, they designed the most incredible sports books - one inside that stretches three stories - and Stadium Swim, an unique and redefining outdoor sports experience.

They also discuss the Freemont Street Experience - which spans over 4 blocks and accommodates entertainers, free concerts, and more. They also discuss the concept of themed resorts, and creating buildings and that transcend a specific style and remain timeless.

 

They also talk about how Lorenzo Doumani, a young, new developer and the son of Edward Doumani, imagined building a non-gaming hotel. That project has recently broke ground, and is called The Majestic – which is located directly across from the Las Vegas Convention Center. Paul shares how this convention focused hotel has redesigned the experience to better help businesses achieve their meetings’ goals.

 

Finally, they discuss new endeavors that Steelman Partners is working on, along with concepts that Paul things will remain prevalent. They discuss sports, e-sports, and sports viewing – which is slated to reinvent the town and will reinvent these buildings a great deal. Paul thinks the integration of various digital services, including digital live gaming will in fact change the future. They are anticipating that artificial intelligence and virtual reality applications will be the next wave of entertainment.

Visit our website to view our extended notes and follow along with some great project visuals - http://hoteldesignpodcast.com/ - and make sure to subscribe to our new Youtube page to watch the video interview!