Tuesday, June 1, 1999 | 11:19 a.m.
On a Saturday morning in February, Broomall, Pa., resident William Platt says he left his New York-New York hotel room and headed to the Bellagio hotel-casino with his daughter and granddaughter for breakfast.
But, as he explained in a letter later sent to Mirage Resorts Chairman Steve Wynn, Platt's 10-year-old granddaughter was not allowed in Bellagio. Hotel security personnel told Platt that kids under 18 can't enter Bellagio unless they are staying at the hotel.
"What next," queried Platt in his letter. "No blind people? No Jews? No blacks? Tell me Mr. Wynn, where does it stop? ... My granddaughter was embarrassed as a result of this confrontation -- she had trouble understanding why she was not let in. I also had this problem in 1965 when I tried to register at the Chateau Frontenac and was refused because I was Jewish."
Platt says Wynn never replied to the letter. He did receive a phone call from a Bellagio representative explaining the policy.
Mirage Resorts spokesman Alan Feldman said Bellagio's age policy is in place to ease crowding.
"It is incredibly crowded, as it is, with people who are over 21," said Feldman. "It's for the benefit of our guests who are over 21."
Bellagio is the only Mirage property with such an age restriction, said Feldman. Bellagio and Mirage's other Las Vegas properties also ban strollers. Neither ban applies to the Monte Carlo hotel-casino, owned in a joint venture with Circus Circus Enterprises, or to Mirage's Golden Nugget Laughlin hotel-casino.
While Platt did not receive a direct reply from Wynn, but a separate letter to Venetian hotel-casino owner Sheldon Adelson generated a personal reply.
"We allow children or any age to enter the Venetian, whether they are in strollers, carriages or wheelchairs, and, what's more, we encourage it," wrote Adelson.
"I, too, have been discriminated against since I was a child because I am Jewish," continued Adelson. "I don't understand why anyone would discriminate against children or wheelchairs. We will never have such a discriminatory policy as long as I own the Venetian. You and your granddaughter are most welcome here -- and she may bring her friends too!"
Feldman declined comment on Adelson's letter.