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Wynn Resorts' new CEO scales back his predecessors' projects

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Wynn Resorts Ltd's new chief executive officer said he's pulling back on some of the projects begun by founder and predecessor Steve Wynn, including a lake resort under development in Las Vegas.

[LOS ANGELES] Wynn Resorts Ltd's new chief executive officer said he's pulling back on some of the projects begun by founder and predecessor Steve Wynn, including a lake resort under development in Las Vegas.

Speaking on his first earnings call since replacing Mr Wynn in February, Matt Maddox said a new resort with a nightly, floating parade on a lake will be scaled back in favour of beaches and bars focused squarely on high-end customers. He called the proposed US$3 billion budget for Paradise Park "not sustainable".

Mr Maddox is also reviewing plans for another project on recently purchased land across the street from the company's original Wynn Las Vegas.

Mr Maddox is taking steps to show the company is changing since Mr Wynn left two months ago following allegations of sexual misconduct dating back decades. The new CEO said the company considered more than 50 candidates before selecting three women to join the board this month. He said the company also added paid parental leave benefits.

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Mr Maddox said his goal is "reducing the noise surrounding our business". Buoyed by its newest Macau property, Mr Wynn's first-quarter earnings rose to US$2.30 a share, excluding some items, the Las Vegas-based casino company said on Tuesday, topping the US$1.96-a-share average of analysts' estimates. Revenue, while up 20 per cent, was just shy of projections.

Wynn Resorts is under investigation by casino regulators in Nevada, Macau and Massachusetts over the actions of former CEO Steven Wynn and the board's handling of the allegations against him. That hasn't hurt results at the company, which owns casinos in Las Vegas and Macau.

Macau, the only part of China where casino gambling is legal, is rebounding from a multi-year slump. New resorts, including one that Mr Wynn opened in August of 2016, have stimulated demand.

Wynn shares fell 2.6 per cent to US$185 in extended trading. The stock declined 1.7 per cent to US$190 at the close in New York and has risen 13 per cent this year.

Wynn reported US$421.7 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization from its two Macau casinos, ahead of the US$414.5 million estimate provided by Consensus Metrix. Total revenue for the quarter rose to US$1.72 billion, compared with analysts' estimates of US$1.75 billion. Gaming revenue fell short of expectations at Wynn's original resort on the Macau peninsula, according to Deutsche Bank analyst Carlo Santarelli.

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