Mohegan Sun expansion signals increased investment for East Coast casinos

Yesterday, executives from the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Conn., shared details on a second hotel being added to the flagship property. When it opens in the fall of 2016, the seven-story, 400-room Earth Hotel is expected to add 500,000 room nights to the resort per year.

At a press conference announcing the $120 million development, Kevin “Red Eagle” Brown, chairman of the Mohegan Tribe, said that the Mohegan Tribal Nation has invested well over a billion dollars that has made the tourism industry sit up and take notice. We take very seriously our role in Connecticut’s tourism industry and economic welfare.”

According to the Hartford Courant, the announcement came two days after the Northeastern Gaming Research Project painted a "gloomy outlook" for Mohegan Sun and the other notable Connecticut casino, Foxwoods.

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The report found that residents in Massachusetts spent $400 million less at the Connecticut casinos compared with a decade ago, while residents in Rhode Island spent $200 million less. Half of the decline was tied to the recession, but the rest was being spent in other states.

The article also notes that Mohegan may join with Foxwoods to operate a satellite casino, possibly in the Hartford area, to compete with the MGM casino now in the early stages of construction in Springfield. Approval from the Connecticut legislature would be required.

Beyond Connecticut, Massachusetts has plans to develop three casinos, one of which is slated for Springfield. Rhode Island is investing in improvements in its aging gaming complexes, and more casinos may soon open in New York.

Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF) out of New York is the architectural firm of record for the Mohegan development. KPF was also the master architect for Mohegan Sun’s existing 1,200-room Sky Hotel which opened in 2002. A/Z Corporation, with headquarters locally in North Stonington, Connecticut, has been hired as general contractor for the project following various completed projects at Mohegan Sun.

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