Car showroom as tourist attraction? Yes, according to a Bloomberg News report which says that tourism is the impetus behind a new Ferrari/Maserati dealership slated to open in the lobby of Wynn Resorts Ltd.'s new $2.4 billion, 2,700-room casino hotel under construction in Las Vegas.
The report said the dealership is scheduled to open when the resort does in the spring of 2005 and is a 50-50 joint venture with United Auto Group Inc. (UAG), the megadealership chain headed by Roger Penske.
UAG owns a second U.S. Ferrari dealership in Scottsdale, Ariz., while Penske owns two in the United Kingdom, Bloomberg News noted.
The report said resort visitors will be able to look at, but probably not touch, a half dozen or more new Ferraris and Maseratis on display, free of charge, and will be able to buy Ferrari-branded merchandise at a store or have a meal at the Ferrari cafe.
Bloomberg News said that, with only 29 U.S. dealerships and about 18,000 Ferraris registered out of 212.4 million vehicles on U.S. roads, most Americans -- even if they've heard of the exotic Italian sports car -- probably have never seen one.
But Steve Wynn has, the report noted. The Wynn Resorts chief executive officer has a black $650,000 Ferrari Enzo displayed in the lobby near his office.
Marc Schorr, chief operating officer of Wynn Resorts, told Bloomberg News that only about 40 percent of the new casino hotel's revenue will come from gaming, with the rest from restaurants, catering shops, meetings and room rentals. A decade ago, the hotel would have provided about 70 percent of revenue.
Bloomberg News said that Ferrari owners who decide to drive to Las Vegas will be able to have their vehicles serviced at the hotel, where attendants will whisk them to an underground service area. But for the time being, the 125 or so Las Vegas residents who own Ferraris must drive - or ship them - to Scottsdale or Los Angeles for service, the report said.