“We want to make sure we open the best way we can.” Michael Mathis, MGM Springfield President
After starting the construction phase for the new $800 million Springfield Casino Resort, MGM Resorts have decided to ask Massachusetts Gambling Commission for a permission to delay the opening which was initially scheduled for fall 2017. The plan is to delay the opening until 2018, due to the construction works on I-91 viaduct.
Change of plans
In March this year MGM Resorts International broke ground for the first construction phase of the new casino resort in Springfield which was planned to open in the fall of 2017. The new resort will spread on 14.5 Acres and it will include a 25-story hotel with 250 rooms, exclusive restaurants, a pool, spa, shops and there are plans for a bowling alley and a cinema too. MGM Springfield will host around over 3,000 gaming places including games such as slots, table games, poker and a VIP gambling section. The time frame set for construction is 30 months with a penalty if the construction lasts longer than 33 months. This means that the new casino resort should be opened by fall 2017. Now recent developments in the neighborhood have made MGM change their plans. Namely the improvements on Interstate 91 viaduct will limit the traffic flow in that area and this will not be favorable for resort opening. MGM Springfield President, Michael Mathis explains: “The industry is littered with many examples of companies that made the wrong decisions for opening. Those are long-lasting decisions that take a long time to recover from. In a very competitive environment, we may lose some of these customers, frankly, forever.” That is why MGM requested a permission to postpone the opening until September 2018. They have the support of the mayor and city officials but the final decision is on Massachusetts Gambling Commission.
Good news for competition
The news of delay are certainly well received by the competition in the neighborhood. Many speculate that the newly-opened slot parlor, Plainridge Park Casino, will benefit most, as it has already seen tens of thousands of visitors in the first days after the opening. Connecticut casinos also plan to use this delay to their advantage. Tribes operating Mohegan Sun and The Foxwoods Resort Casino once biggest rivals are now planning to open a jointly run casino in order to keep the gamblers and revenue at home and save thousands of jobs. The delay would give them a head start in their fight with the competition. Now all eyes are on Massachusetts Gaming Commission.