10 Things You Didn’t Know About Elaine Wynn

If you have a penchant for the fascinating world of business, the landscape of Las Vegas, or philanthropy, the name ‘Elaine Wynn’ will be of no stranger. The co-founder of Wynn Resorts, who is often referred to as the ‘Queen of Las Vegas,’ has made significant contributions not only to the gambling and hospitality industry but also to the world of charity and education. However, beyond these lofty titles and considerable achievements, there are intriguing aspects of her life that remain relatively unnoticed. Hence, let’s explore the ten things you didn’t know about Elaine Wynn.

1. She was the first woman to chair the state board of education

Elaine Wynn has had an enduring commitment to education. In 2016, she became the first woman to chair the Nevada State Board of Education, a role she held with exemplary dedication, pushing for comprehensive education reforms in the state. During her tenure, she focussed on improving Nevada’s public education system and implemented many policies that greatly benefited students and teachers alike.

Her commitment to quality education didn’t stop at the state level. She also co-chairs the national board of Communities In Schools, one of the leading dropout prevention organizations in the United States, reinforcing her commitment to advocating for student success.

2. Elaine Wynn was a key player in the founding of Wynn Resorts

Elaine Wynn is not only a notable figure in educational and philanthropic spheres; she has also left an indelible mark on the gaming and hospitality industry. Alongside her then-husband Steve Wynn, she co-founded Wynn Resorts, one of the leading luxury resort and casino companies in the world, in 2002. More than just a passive participant, Elaine played an integral part in the company’s foundational years, guiding the business’s strategic direction and operations.

However, her influence at Wynn Resorts is not a thing of the past. Even today, she is a significant shareholder in the company, showing her enduring connection and influence on the company she helped to establish.

3. She fought a legal battle about her shares at Wynn Resorts

Consistently demonstrating her resolve and determination, Elaine Wynn ignited a legal battle for control of her shares in Wynn Resorts after a bitter divorce from Steve Wynn. Her ex-husband had allegedly sought to forcibly sell a section of her shares in the company, an attempt she firmly resisted.

The fierce legal battle, which spanned several years, cast a spotlight on the inner workings of the company. Eventually, she emerged triumphant, attaining full control over her shares and embedding her position as one of the wealthiest, most influential women in the corporate world.

4. She has a museum named after her

Elaine Wynn’s contributions are not limited only to education and business. She has also had a significant influence on the art world. Her deep appreciation for the arts led to her becoming the co-chair of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, with the museum proudly displaying several award-winning pieces from her personal collection.

In recognition of her indubitable contribution to the arts, the museum renamed a section of its building “The Elaine Wynn and Family Wing”. This honor underscores her dedication and influence in advancing the world of art and culture.

5. Elaine Wynn is an avid philanthropist

Despite her immense wealth and success, Elaine Wynn has never forgotten those less fortunate. She has consistently leveraged her resources and influence to contribute significantly to various philanthropic causes. Her efforts in this sphere span a range of issues, from education and health care to social services.

Through the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation, she is able to make tangible, durable impacts on the lives of thousands across the United States. Here, she focuses on improving access to education and healthcare, tackling poverty, and supporting the arts, truly making a difference in various communities.

6. Her world-record-breaking art purchase

Elaine Wynn’s penchant for fine art led her to acquire one of the most expensive paintings in history. In 2015, she purchased ‘Three Studies of Lucian Freud’ by Francis Bacon for a staggering $142.4 million. This purchase set a record for the highest price ever paid for a work of art at an auction at the time.

This staggering acquisition further underscored her passion for the arts. It also served to cement her reputation as not only a pioneering business figure but also a key player in the art industry, whose deep appreciation for aesthetics has made her one of the world’s most influential patrons of the arts.

7. She has a school named in her honor

Elaine Wynn’s unparalleled commitment to education led to her receiving one of the most prestigious honors in the field. In recognition of her relentless advocacy for improving the public education system, the Clark County School District named a school after her – the Elaine Wynn Elementary School – a testimony to her enduring impact on the community.

This marked a significant milestone in her philanthropic journey and continues to inspire others in the community, providing a shining beacon of what concerted effort towards betterment can achieve.

8. Her role in NBA’s LA Clippers transition

Elaine Wynn extended her influence beyond industries she is primarily associated with when she became embroiled in the ownership transition of the NBA basketball team, the Los Angeles Clippers. During the controversial Donald Sterling saga, she sided with Steve Ballmer in his bid to acquire the embattled team.

Her support provided a crucial boost to Ballmer, solidifying his position as the new owner of the Clippers. This intervention offers another glimpse into the far-reaching impact of Elaine Wynn, whose influence stretches beyond her primary areas of operation.

9. She is an influential woman in Nevada

Throughout her career, Elaine has never failed to break the glass ceiling. Her decades of work in industry, education and philanthropy have cemented her status as one of the most influential women in Nevada, and indeed, the United States. Whether through her positions in various organizations or the powerful work of her foundation, her influence is immense.

She has consistently ranked in lists of powerful women across the country, with her commitment to numerous cause and passion for progress earning her a well-reserved reputation as a figure of sterling influence in the Silver State.

10. Her enduring commitment to women’s rights

Elaine isn’t just a successful woman; she champions the rights of women around the world and strives for their advancement. Keenly attuned to women’s issues, she has become a dedicated advocate for women’s rights, passionately working to promote equality and opportunities for women in all corners of society.

Her outspoken support for women, combined with her position and influence, marks her as a beacon of hope for many, offering a powerful example of what women can achieve no matter the obstacles placed in their path.

Explore more about Elaine Wynn and her influence in the following links:

Wynn Resorts
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation
Elaine Wynn Elementary School