What’s in a Name? Encore Boston Harbor a Move Away from ‘Wynn’

At the same time that the mothership casino operation launches a campaign called ‘We Are Wynn’ in Las Vegas, the Wynn Resorts company has announced that they will take ‘Wynn’ off of the name in Boston – now being known at Encore Boston Harbor.

The name change has been the worst-kept secret for months, but it had never been officially announced by the company until Friday, when CEO Matt Maddox made it official.

Less than 30 minutes later, new banners were wrapped around the fencing at the site with new names, new pictures and a new theme. Shortly after that, 1,600 construction workers got new shirts reading ‘Encore Boston Harbor.’

Maddox said there was a cultural sensitivity in Boston that seemed to require the change, plus the company was new to the city and hadn’t started operating.

“Massachusetts doesn’t have 12,000 employees like we do in Las Vegas that are dedicated to Wynn,” he said to reporters after the meeting, where he told the MGC about the change first. “Wynn is their home. Wynn is their family. They don’t think about it as a person. We’ve been doing business there since 2005…. Their customers say they love the Wynn. In Massachusetts, there seems to be more of a cultural sensitivity. Since we’re not up and operating yet, we are okay to using one of our brands. What I’m not okay doing is using a brand outside of our portfolio.”

He was referring to the fact that they took a name from an existing Wynn property, the Wynn Encore in Las Vegas. Keeping within the family of names, they were able to get rid of the tainted ‘Wynn’ name, and also not depart from their lifeblood.

The name change in Boston follows closely the introduction of an effort to redefine the brand in Las Vegas and China, where a ‘We Are Wynn’ campaign has been unveiled for internal and external use.

Maddox said that’s because Wynn is not known as a man in many locales, including China.

“The reason we are continuing to talk about our brand is that 75 percent of our profit comes from China and 95 percent of our customers over there have never heard of Steve Wynn,” he said. “He only went there one-time last year for two days. He’s picture isn’t there. He’s not on any TVs. We embrace a cult of personality in China because it was the wrong thing to do like we did in the United States.”

The name change has gone into effect immediately. Wynn officials said there wasn’t any approvals by the MGC necessary to begin changing their branding, which did happen immediately on Friday.

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