Today’s Show Recap

Thanks for listening to Makin’ It. On this week’s episode, we talk about the closing of the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, Verizon’s recent purchase of Yahoo, the Makin’ It Success Stories this week features Steve Wynn and, on Makin’ It or Breakin’ It, if Subway can recover after their recent controversy with their former spokesperson, Jared Fogle. Let us know what you think of the show in the comments section at the bottom of the page!

We’ve just hit the jackpot, because it’s time to start the show!

Tommy, Todd and Brittany start the show by discussing the recent closure of the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, NJ. The casino, owned by President-elect Donald Trump, inaugurated the casino in 1990 after he took over the construction from the Crosby family, as the construction of the casino was over their heads. The original construction began in 1983; however it was sold to Trump to complete after the death of James Crosby. The casino has been plagued with labor, stock, financial and bankruptcy problems pretty much since it opened. Striking workers were a large cause of the financial problems with 8,000 employees having gone on strike. The strike workers out of jobs, and the 3,000 who lost their jobs when the casino closed really brings to rise how much of New Jersey’s economy is based out of the casino industry, and the Taj Mahal is the fifth casino in five years to close down in Atlantic City. Additionally, there are more outlets for gamblers, such as online gaming. Casino owners were asked to draw up five-year plans, and if they cannot boost the revenue, the state is going to have to take over the industry. Why do you think so many casinos in Atlantic City are closing? Do you think online gaming is ruining the casino industry? Let us know in the comments section.

Next up, the gang discusses Verizon’s recent purchase of Yahoo for $4.8 billion. Verizon now owns both AOL and Yahoo, and they are trying to compete with Facebook and Google. But why would Verizon want to own two dusty brands such as AOL and Yahoo? It’s for the content they have. Yahoo has 600 million mobile users and 280 million email addresses, and this purchase can be seen as buying real estate on the web to sell to advertisers. Since everything seems to be going to video content, time will tell if the purchase is a good one. What do you think of Verizon’s move to buy AOL and Yahoo? Do you think they will be able to surpass Facebook and Google? Let us know in the comments section.

OMG Fact of the Week:
In Alaska, it is illegal to whisper in someone’s ear while they’re moose hunting.

In the next segment of the show, Tommy, Todd and Brittany do another installation in the Makin’ It Success Story Profile Series featuring Steve Wynn. Worth $2.6 billion, Wynn is a business man and art collector who is well-known for his involvement in the luxury casino industry.

Wynn is another example of an entrepreneur who started with nothing, and in his case debt from his father’s Bingo halls, and turned everything around to become a billionaire. Wynn was able to turn those Bingo halls around and obtain an education from the University of Pennsylvania before he moved with his family to Las Vegas, Nev. in 1967 where he purchased a small stake in the Frontier hotel. He gained an important connection with E. Parry Thomas, who was one of the most influential bankers in Las Vegas, did a deal with Howard Hughes and the Caesar’s Palace and gained controlling interest in the Golden Nugget casino. Things took off for Wynn from there. In 1973, he increased his shares in the Golden Nugget and started a relationship with the Sinatra family, which helped him quite a bit.

His first major casino on the Las Vegas strip was the Mirage, which opened in 1989, and he played a part in designing the casino. The Mirage is well-known in Las Vegas for its entertainment once being the home of Siegfried and Roy and houses Cirque du Soleil. The Mirage is responsible for revitalizing the Las Vegas strip and had a huge effect on Las Vegas’ economy. Wynn has overseen construction on other famous Las Vegas casinos such as Treasure Island and the Bellagio.

When a person becomes as wealthy and influential as Wynn, they can open themselves up to a host of new problems the average person doesn’t encounter. In 1993, one of his daughters was kidnapped and held for a $1.45 million ransom. Wynn paid the money, and the kidnapper was found when he tried to purchase a Ferrari in cash at a dealership.

So what makes a man claw his way to the top from the absolute bottom? Wynn is like many other successful entrepreneurs in that he has a strong ambition and didn’t listen to the people who told him to be otherwise. He had a desire to be independent. He started out working 20-hour days to turn the Bingo halls around. Wynn is another example of a self-made billionaire, and his work-ethic, driven by his ambition, was what made Wynn a phenomenal success. What do you think of Steve Wynn? What do you think of what he brought to Las Vegas? Let us know in the comments section.

Finally, Tommy, Todd and Brittany end the show with the Makin’ It or Breakin’ It segment. This week, they discuss whether a business can bounce back after a scandal. As in the case of Subway restaurants, they faced a huge scandal when their spokesperson Jared Fogle was found out as having issues with child pornography and subsequently convicted. Yes, Subway can recover from the damage because of how they handled things during that crisis, the principal act being severing ties with Fogle immediately. However, some businesses aren’t so lucky. A restaurant had hired a dishwasher who turned out to be a serial rapist. All the publicity from they received put them out of business. However, it doesn’t always have to be that way if you act quickly and effectively in those situations and distance yourself from the individual. Do you think Subway will get its brand back, or will they forever be associated with Fogle’s crimes? Let us know in the comments section.

Thanks for tuning in to Makin’ It. Let us know what you think of the show and if you have questions about your business, send us an email at info@makinitnow.com or leave us a comment below. We love to hear from our listeners and we read comments on the air. We just might choose yours for next week’s show (so don’t forget to tune in!).

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Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs:

Order Tommy’s new book, The Way of the Rich at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, booksamillion.com and buybooksontheweb.com.

To learn more about Steve Wynn, click here and here.

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