In a major move to try to distance itself from its founder, Steve Wynn, Wynn Resorts is changing the name of its Everett resort casino from Wynn Boston Harbor to Encore Boston Harbor. The moved was predicted three weeks ago by The Everett Stimulus.
The move does not signal a decision by the state gaming commission that Wynn Resorts is still “suitable” to hold its casino license. That decision won’t come until the completion of the commission’s investigation which is expected by the summer.
Friday’s gaming commission hearing featured Wynn Resorts officials, led by CEO Matt Maddox, making the case that it has completely separated from Steve Wynn and therefore Mr. Wynn should no longer be considered a “qualifier.”
The name change immediately grabbed the headlines. “We are ready to change the [construction site] wrap today,” Maddox said.
Stste gaming commissioner Gayle Cameron stopped Maddox during his presentation, seemingly unsold on what he was selling. “Obviously these women are eminently qualified. And you’ve been at a high level at that company for a number of years,” Cameron said. “They were eminently qualified two years ago, five years ago. I just have to make the point there’s an issue around women and now women are more valuable to the board. I see what you’re doing. But it just seems to me that the company as a whole didn’t value women until they got into trouble. At the board level, anyway.”
Maddox responded that the company has “new leadership. “I’m part of the generation that’s driving this,” he added. “I don’t think it’s anything about what the company did do or didn’t do. I think crisis sometimes creates opportunity.”
Coincidentally, Wynn Resorts held a “topping off’ celebration on the construction site to mark the construction of the 27th and top floor of the development. Everett city officials were on hand. The newly branded “Encore Boston Harbor” material was visible everywhere.