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MGM Springfield celebrates its first anniversary



Aerosmith, New England Patriots cheerleaders and a five-tier birthday cake: The first Las Vegas-style casino in Massachusetts hosts a forgiving birthday night on Saturday. One year after its opening in the west of Massachusetts, MGM Springfield has promised to undercut its high revenues and already lose hundreds of jobs. And for some, the promised revival of downtown was overwhelming. With a $ 2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor casino rival and potentially more competition in Connecticut, the $ 960 million entertainment complex that is supposed to revive a battling region is coming to life on its own turn out to be lucky? Casino President Michael Mathis promises to rebuild the second-act gambling, hotel and entertainment complex, even though he and the city leaders see the resort's success in spurring new business investment, attracting millions of new visitors to the city center and Promoting the Employment of Thousands of City Residents "We're just setting up, there are a lot of benefits," he told The Associated Press before Saturday's celebrations. "The dominoes are falling, but not as fast as we imagined." Mathis acknowledges that the casino executives underestimated the challenge of deducting loyal customers from Foxwood's and Mohegan Sun's regional power plants. The Indian-owned resorts in Connecticut saw a decline in gambling revenue this year, though not as bad as some people at MGM feared. MGM plans to double the quality of non-gambling entertainment in the future, such as Aerosmith's list of four concerts this week, Mathis said. The casino is also revising its slot machine offering, introducing new high roller amenities and continuing to provide legalized sports betting in Massachusetts. "This is a competitive market, and every place has to find its niche," said Mathis. "Great entertainment and a unique estate, I think, will be ours." The adjustments will bring only marginal benefits, but are unlikely to change, suggests Colin Mansfield, a casino expert with ratings agency Fitch. "Many of its regional competitors are focusing on the same initiatives," he said. "From the convenience perspective, tribal casinos have much more travel-style offerings that MGM Springfield does not offer." Unlike the troublesome new casinos in New York that went bankrupt or change ownership just a year after opening, MGM Springfield will eventually do so Paul DeBole, a gambling expert at Lasell College, Newton, Massachusetts, predicts, "MGM knows how to run a profitable casino, "he said. "Even in a saturated market." By July, MGM Springfield had earned just under $ 250 million in gambling revenue, even though it had initially earmarked more than $ 400 million in the first year ̵

1; and much more in subsequent years. The casino also opened with 3,000 employees, but has dropped to around 2,300 as the company reduces its global workforce. Mathis said he did not expect another job cuts. He quickly notes that more than 40% of employees are residents of Springfield – which surpasses their original goals – and that the casino attracted around six million visitors in its first year. materialized. Some shops near the casino are empty and some new stores have already opened and closed. The resort's unconventional design – a low brick façade blending in with the historic street scene and a spacious outdoor space – was designed to encourage visitors to the casino to explore the downtown area and breathe new life into Main Street. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno says there are other signs of economic recovery. Meal revenue increased 16% year over year and hotel tax revenue 55%. Mark Wahlberg and his family plan to open a Wahlburger eatery next to the casino, while a developer restored a historic restaurant Downtown Theater and combined it with a new boutique hotel. MGM is also working with the city to convert another major Downtown property into dozens of standard housing units – an important requirement for city and state agreements According to Sarno, the number of crimes has increased by 9% year-on-year declined. "This was a huge shot in the arm," he said. "The side-effects are on-going, they give momentum and people feel confident in the city."

Aerosmith, New England Patriots cheerleader and a five-tier birthday cake: Massachusetts & # 39; s first Las Vegas-style casino tosses an indulgent birthday Saturday.

Just a year after opening In the west of Massachusetts, MGM Springfield has not fulfilled its high sales promise and has already cut hundreds of jobs. And for some, the promised revival of downtown was overwhelming.

With a new $ 2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor casino and potentially more competition in Connecticut, the $ 960 million entertainment complex can help revitalize a troubled region his own fortune?

Casino President Michael Mathis promises to rebuild the gambling, hotel and entertainment complex for his second act, despite the fact that he and the city leaders are praising the resort's success in boosting new economic investment and attracting millions of new visitors to the city center and employs thousands of city dwellers.

"We're just setting up, there's a lot of upside potential," he told The Associated Press before Saturday's celebrations. "The dominoes are falling, but not as fast as we imagined."

Mathis acknowledges that the challenge of deducting loyal customers from Foxwood's and Mohegan Sun's regional power plants has been underestimated. In the Indian-owned resorts in Connecticut, gaming revenue declined this year, though not as bad as some feared with MGM's entry.

MGM plans to double the quality of non-gambling entertainment in the future, such as Aerosmith's four-list concerts this week, Mathis said. The casino is also revising its slot machine offering, introducing new high-roller amenities, and continuing to promote legalized sports betting in Massachusetts.

"This is a competitive market, and every place has to find its niche," Mathis said. "Great entertainment and a unique estate, I think, will be ours."

The adjustments will bring only minor benefits, but are unlikely to be game changers, suggests Colin Mansfield, a casino expert at ratings agency Fitch.

"Many of the regional competitors are focusing on the same initiatives," he said. "From the convenience perspective, tribal casinos have much more travel-style offerings that MGM Springfield does not offer."

But unlike the problematic new casinos in the state of New York, which had bankruptcy or ownership changes just one year after it opened, MGM Springfield will eventually take hold, predicts Paul DeBole, a gambling expert at Lasell College in Newton, Massachusetts.

"MGM knows how to run a profitable casino," he said. "Even in a saturated market."

By July, MGM Springfield had earned more than $ 250 million in gambling revenue, even though it had earmarked more than $ 400 million in the first year – and much more in subsequent years. The casino also opened with 3,000 employees, but has dropped to around 2,300 as the company reduces its global workforce.

Mathis said he did not expect another local job cuts. He quickly notes that more than 40% of employees are residents of Springfield – which surpasses their original goals – and that the casino attracted around six million visitors in its first year.

Nevertheless, some shopkeepers in the downtown area complain about the promised spill over Main Street has not materialized. Some shop windows near the casino are empty and some new stores have already opened and closed.

The resort's unconventional design – a low brick façade blending in with the historic street scene and spacious outdoor space – was designed to encourage the casino's visitors exploring downtown and revitalizing Main Street.

Domenic Sarno, Mayor of Springfield, says there are other signs of economic recovery. The tax revenue for meals increased by 16% over the same period last year and by 55% for hotel taxes.

Actor Mark Wahlberg and his family plan to open a Wahlburger eatery next to the casino while a developer is restoring a historic downtown theater and combining it with a new boutique hotel.

MGM is also working with the city to convert another key downtown building into dozens of standard housing units – an important prerequisite for agreement with the city and the state.

According to Sarno, the crime in the city center is 9% lower than last year.

"This was a huge shot in the arm," he said. "The side-effects are on-going, they give momentum and people feel safe in the city."


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