Hotel casino operators vie for stake in western Massachusetts23 Aug, 2012 By: David Eisen
MGM Resorts International is among at least five hotel casino operators competing to develop in the western portion of Massachusetts.
Bloomberg reports that MGM announced plans to develop an $800-million gambling, hotel and entertainment project in Springfield, Mass. The MGM Springfield project, if it is approved, would be located on about 10 acres of land. The plans include an assortment of entertainment outlets including restaurants, movie theaters and shopping.
MGM Resorts said it submitted a $400,000 fee that will fund the official vetting and negotiating process. The project would be located on three city blocks close to Interstate 91. The company said it controls several parcels in the area and has others under contract.
There is reason for the push to secure a project. Massachusetts legislators legalized gambling last year, and by doing so authorizing a maximum of three casinos in three regions. At least five other operators are eyeing locations in the western portion of the state, including Ameristar Casinos Inc. (ASCA), Penn National Gaming Inc. (PENN), Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority and Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment Inc.—this according to an August 20 analysis by the law firm Goodwin Procter LLP.
Back in January, Ameristar Casinos of Las Vegas said that it has closed on a deal to buy 41 acres off Page Boulevard in Springfield for a possible $500-million casino resort. It purchased the land for $16 million from an affiliate of the O'Connell Development Group of Holyoke.
With regard to Hard Rock, reports in November pointed to a planned Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in the hills of western Massachusetts. Word was Hard Rock International and Paper City Development LLC were partnering to develop the hotel and casino on the 100-acre Wyckoff Country Club.
"We are planning a state-of-the-art facility with a wide range of non-gaming amenities that will provide a world-class entertainment experience unique to the region," said Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock, in a statement.
According to Bloomberg, in March, MGM Resorts dropped out of a casino project in Brimfield, Mass., citing a lack of infrastructure.
External Source : Bloomberg