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Launce Rake

Wynn-Adelson Feud Still Unsettled

19 August 2004

LAS VEGAS -- Last month's Clark County Commission decision apparently did not settle a longstanding dispute over parking between Strip casino titans Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson.

On Wednesday Richard Bryan, the former senator and governor who represents Adelson, was to have presented an element of the parking plan for the commission to consider. But he asked for and received a delay until Sept. 8.

Bryan said he needed the extra time because his team did not anticipate a protest from Wynn's lawyers, Frank Schreck and Todd Bice, who came prepared to argue that Venetian employees and customers are not using the off-site parking that the commission required last month.

The remote "parking already approved is not remotely being used," Bice told the commissioners. Bice brought with him photos of the Frontier casino parking lots, which are contracted to provide parking for the Venetian, that show mostly empty asphalt. Bice said the Frontier lot is only 10 percent used.

And earlier this week, customers destined for The Venetian sought parking in neighboring resorts as the parking lots at the Adelson property were full. A Venetian spokesman blamed a surplus and merchandise dealers trade show that brought 55,000 convention-goers to the city, many drivers from Southern California.

If Wynn's attorneys can show that The Venetian is not complying with county rules imposed last month that require Venetian to use its subcontracted lots, it could delay construction on the new Adelson megaresort.

Adelson had asked for and received commission approval of a complex plan to juggle off and on-site parking that he needed to allow his $1.6 billion expansion just north of the Venetian to go forward.

The approval came over the objections of lawyers for Wynn, who is building the neighboring $2.4 billion Wynn Las Vegas resort. The lawyers argued that Adelson's Venetian has never provided adequate parking and the new plan would be unlikely to correct the situation.

Greg Borgel, a land-use consultant working for Adelson, said the reason that drivers likely sought parking at other resorts recently is that there is construction on Sands Avenue. The road work, he said, is needed to accommodate construction at the Wynn project.

"When you have a convention, there's always parking stress," he added.

Borgel said the reason that there are many empty spaces at the Frontier parking lot is that the county required many more parking spaces than necessary. The county required 7,600 parking spaces. The plan in place provides even more, 7,800 spaces, he said.

"We were required to provide more (parking) than was actually needed," Borgel said. "That shouldn't be turned around and held against us."

Wynn-Adelson Feud Still Unsettled is republished from