He became its president by the time he was 31 and convinced Frank Sinatra not only to sing, but to appear in a series of commercials.
The Golden Nugget became Wynn's golden egg.
Las Vegas was just a bunch of casinos in the 1980s when Wynn built the Mirage, the first luxury resort on the Strip. Outside, a volcano exploded every 15 minutes. Inside, he hired Siegfried and Roy to perform.
Next door, he built another hotel and brought Cirque de Soleil to Las Vegas for the first time.
The Strip wasn't just about gambling anymore, and Wynn was hailed as a visionary.
"I've gotten too much credit for that really. If you look at Las Vegas in the 1980s, there hadn't been anything built since 1973 new. And so the city was in a time warp and as has so often been the case, in the valley of the blind, the one eyed man is king," he told Rose.
"So you had an idea and you were king," Rose asked.
"Yeah, all of a sudden I look like I was a rocket scientist," Wynn replied.
He wasn't a rocket scientist but he was a showman. When he imploded the old Dunes Hotel in 1993, the event became a Steve Wynn extravaganza, broadcast live on television.
Out of the ashes he built the Bellagio, at the time the most expensive hotel in the world. He sold the Bellagio and Mirage Resorts in 2000, pocketing more than $600 million. By then Las Vegas was calling itself the "Entertainment Capital of the World."
Steve Wynn is known for his charm but he's also known for his explosive temper. "I wish that I was a more considerate person and to the extent that I demonstrate consideration for other people at my age, I wish that I had gotten to that point earlier," he told Rose.
He got to this state of self awareness with the help of a friend, the Dalai Lama. "He says to me, 'I'll do an imitation, When you get angry, when you lose your temper, when you think that you shout and react in a poor way to other people, it is a result of a false sense of yourself, an inflated sense of yourself that is worthless,'" Wynn said.
And what keeps Steve Wynn on top while other casino moguls tottered near bankruptcy is that he never gambles with his own bottom line and he has always been driven by a single vision: "To see if I could do, If I could make people go 'Wow.' To see if I could create a place that was a wonderland, that it was better than the outside world. Where everything, like Joel Gray said in Cabaret, 'inside everything is beautiful, even the girls are beautiful, even the band is beautiful.' That seemed like such a fun way to spend your life."
Produced by Catherine Olian