When screenwriter-novelist Nora Ephron is looking for fun, as she tells Dani Shapiro, she makes a beeline for Vegas, baby—and the Wynn Hotel.
Credit: Courtesy of Wynn, Las Vegas

"If you have what my sister Delia calls ’the fun gene,’ you understand why Las Vegas is so great. I’ve always loved it, but there came a moment eleven or twelve years ago when Las Vegas got the joke about itself—and got it in amazing ways. It’s the equivalent of what Miami Beach did when they painted all the buildings pink. And right around the time Las Vegas was getting the joke, Steve Wynn was building the Mirage, with the white tigers behind glass in the lobby, and then the Bellagio. I really do think the guy is a kind of modern Medici. The dancing fountains, choreographed to spray water in different directions depending on the music—I’ve seen those fountains do it all: ’Hey, Big Spender,’ ’Luck Be a Lady’…

Then he built the Wynn. The Wynn is not ironically gorgeous. It’s not gorgeous for Las Vegas. It’s just gorgeous. It’s total make-believe in a kind of divine way. The last time we went to dinner at the SW Steakhouse in the Wynn, there were twelve of us, and we had a reservation to go somewhere else the next night. Well, we canceled that reservation and ate the exact same meal again. I had the greatest strip steak of my life two nights in a row, and creamed corn with truffles, and some amazing potato thing.

And the Wynn has the greatest breakfast buffet ever. You die at that breakfast buffet. If you have cafeteria lust, which I do—if you secretly wish that all meals could be in a buffet setting—this is for you. Eight thousand strips of bacon. Every single kind of fruit imaginable. Smoked salmon. A Japanese breakfast, if you happen to be Japanese. And you can play Keno while eating. Now, Keno is a game you cannot win. It seems easy, but you cannot win it.

It’s kind of a dream experience, playing Keno over breakfast at the Wynn."

By Dani Shapiro and Nora Ephron