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Wynn Resorts scratches plan for lagoon on Las Vegas Strip

Wynn Las Vegas is pictured in this file photo. (KSNV)

The Las Vegas Strip won’t have a lagoon after all.

Casino operator Wynn Resorts revealed during its third quarter earnings call Wednesday that it has scratched plans for an artificial lake that would have taken the place of its 18-hole golf course. At the size of nearly 100 Olympic swimming pools, the lagoon plan was pitched in 2016 as a more conservative use of water for the company’s Wynn and Encore casino-resorts complex on the Strip.

Maddox said the casino operator is eliminating the lagoon project because it now owns 38 acres of undeveloped land along the Strip. He said the company will spend two years drawing up plans for the “far superior site” that was purchased last year.

“That project was over $3 billion looking at it today with construction costs, and it included the convention center that we are building right now,” CEO Matt Maddox told investors, adding that “we weren’t really interested in building a large public swimming pool for the Las Vegas Strip.”

Meanwhile, the golf course’s original architect, Tom Fazio, has designed a new 18-hole course after the original was affected by the development of the 400,000-square-foot convention center expected to open in January 2020, Maddox said. The company lost 16,000 rounds of golf and $10 million to $15 million in domestic casino business since the course closed, he said.

“The design of that is complete, the work has commenced, and the golf course will be restored and back in action by this time next year,” he said. “It’s a great amenity for the resort.”

The Las Vegas-based company on Wednesday reported third-quarter net income of $156.1 million, or $1.44 per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were $1.68 per share.

The results missed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.77 per share.

The casino operator posted revenue of $1.71 billion in the period, beating Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.64 billion.

Wynn Resorts’ stock tumbled $13.64, or 12 percent, to $100.35 in extended trading.

The company also said Wednesday that casino industry veteran Phil Satre has been named chairman of its board of directors, replacing D. Boone Wayson. The appointment is part of a previously announced agreement between the company and its largest shareholder.

Satre is the president of the National Center for Responsible Gaming and was the longtime chairman and CEO of Harrah’s Entertainment.

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