An unprecedented up-close-and-personal look at the trio of tycoons whose high-stakes gambles, in business, make Sin City soar: Steve Wynn. Kirk Kerkorian, and Dr. Gary Loveman.
The first two are world-famous for their flamboyant, often outrageous efforts to dominate Las Vegas. But it's the third - an economist from Harvard Business School, unknown even to most of the guests at his high-profile casinos - who may now have the most impact.
In Winner Takes All, Christina Binkley, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, explores how these three magnates are building a bigger and better Las Vegas and how their influence is spreading beyond the city's borders.
Meet the winners: Steve Wynn is the visionary behind the Mirage, the Bellagio, and the $2.7 billion Wynn Las Vegas. Loud and passionate, with a tragic backstory - a world-renowned art collector, he is slowly going blind from retinitis pigmentosa - Wynn is often called the architect of modern Las Vegas.
Kirk Kerkorian, who is in his late 80s, is a shy, sly tactician, but his status as a billionaire dealmaker who owns half the strip - and his history as nemesis to Howard Hughes - keeps him in the forefront of Las Vegas wheeling and dealing.
Dr. Gary Loveman, the CEO of Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., represents a new, more populist future for Las Vegas, one in which gamblers will be carefully culled from databases rather than lured by flash. Loveman approaches the city as though it were a Harvard case study. On the verge of becoming Las Vegas' - and possibly the world's - biggest gambling titan, he refuses to even live there.Peppered with celebrity cameos (from Siegfried and Roy to George and Barbara Bush), this sharp, fast-paced narrative tells the story of how billions of dollars - and an unparalleled drive for power - took three men's visions for Las Vegas from mere dreams to reality.
©2008 Christina Binkley; (P)2008 Tantor