How MGM Springfield will reflect Massachusetts' heritage

As MGM Resorts International prepares to open the $960-million MGM Springfield in Massachusetts this summer, the company is looking to the past—and the location—for design inspiration.

The reimagined architecture will frame "whimsical" design elements with tributes to local denizens Dr. Seuss and Emily Dickinson, among others. Earlier in the project’s process, MGM pledged to integrate its 14-acre development into the downtown area by preserving all or a portion of several "iconic" buildings. The company plans to restore the United Electric lobby with its terrazzo floors, marbled walls and a stained-glass dome, to be displayed at the casino.

Group Effort

MGM Resorts design and development team oversaw the design of the hotel's 250 guestrooms and suites. The team also collaborated with firms working on other areas of the resort's design.

Los Angeles-based Avenue Interior Design designed the hotel's lobby, as well as the property's Italian restaurant concept. Bishop Pass, also based in Los Angeles, is the lead firm for the hotel's steakhouse and South End Market. Las Vegas' Friedmutter Group is the design architect and architect of record and conceived the master plan and exterior design; it also developed the interior design for the casino floor and all nightlife and bar spaces.

Washington, D.C.-based Moya Design Partners designed the property's spa. Springfield-based Specs Design Group designed the casino's poker area, various retail locations and the employee areas.

Meanwhile, Costa Mesa, Calif.-based firm Studio McCormack designed Tap Sports Bar, the hotel's 10-lane bowling alley, arcade and restaurant.

Inside and Out

Across the resorts public spaces and guestrooms, a fine-art program inspired by the industrial ethos of Springfield will display a collection of commissioned and hand-selected pieces by international and local artists from Springfield, the greater Berkshires, New England and beyond. The property also will feature an exclusive exhibit, “Cabinet of Curiosities: Springfield Innovations from the Springfield Museums,” curated in partnership with the Springfield Museums to showcase turn-of-the-century objects throughout the resort, such as a 1925 Edison Western Union Stock Ticker, a 1915 Springfield-made Telegraphone and an 1895 Edison Home Phonograph.

The boutique-style property's guestrooms were inspired by the historic significance, architecture and literary legacy of its surroundings. Each space will have details such as quotations from the works of Emily Dickinson and Merriam-Webster-inspired works of art. Agawam, Mass.-based Yankee Mattress will provide California kings for the large high-roller suites.

Avenue Interior Design's concept for the hotel and casino lobby uses warm reds with industrial wood and metal touches. Other details that call back to Springfield’s industrial history include exposed concrete-planked ceilings.

A unique element of the resort will be a standalone news studio just off of the outdoor plaza. Western Mass News will broadcast select news of the day to local stations from the studio, and when the space is not in use, guests will be able to visit the set. The Western Mass News studio will have floor-to-ceiling windows allowing visitors to peek in on live broadcasts and interviews. MGM Springfield will also become a visual backdrop for live weather and beauty shots.

Exterior lighting is emphasized throughout the project, including lighting for the exterior of the former State Armory building and buildings along the Main and State street corridors.

For dining, MGM Springfield will have Cal Mare, The Chandler Steak House, TAP Sports Bar and South End Market off Main Street.

The property also will have the 8,000-seat MassMutual Center as a large-scale entertainment venue, and approximately 42,500 square feet of event space.

Other amenities will include Topgolf Swing Suite, a social gathering spot with golf simulators and a lounge; an eight-screen movie theater complex; 10-lane bowling center; spa; and an 8,000-square-foot pool situated within a terraced rooftop garden.