Davies+Starr Las Vegas
| Credit: Davies+Starr

During her eight years covering Las Vegas for the Wall Street Journal, Christina Binkley trailed hotel developers Steve Wynn (Wynn Las Vegas), Kirk Kerkorian (MGM Mirage), and Gary Loveman (Harrah’s) as they battled it out on the Strip. In detailing their exploits for her new book, Winner Takes All, Binkley saw many sides of Sin City. Here, she shares her insights with T+L.

You’ve seen Vegas through several transitions…

When I first came in 1997, I thought it was a goofy place. Now the theme is luxury, and people are pouring in.

So what is it that we find so appealing?

Vegas is where we go to release. It’s the soul of our crass side—and we all have a crass side.

Any notable hotels on the horizon?

Next year, the City Center opens; it’s an MGM Mirage property with multiple hotels, casinos, and a shopping district as big as SoHo and Times Square put together.

What are you most excited about overall?

The growing arts scene. James Turrell is a main designer of a new Fontainebleau casino. He’s creating a light installation that’ll be visible for miles; it’s intended to steal the Las Vegas skyline. It gives me hope that, along with our crass side, there’s also a part of us that appreciates beauty.