The Associated Press reported that the head of the Connecticut Airport Authority wants to bring a casino to Bradley International Airport.
“The airport represents a very viable location because of its significant levels of passenger traffic, and the CAA believes a casino can be incorporated into improvements that are being advanced for the terminal campus area,” said Kevin Dillon, the airport authority’s executive director.
However, Bradley Airport the 55th busiest airport in the country and only have 6 carriers in and out of it’s terminals at this time. ( I am counting American & American Eagle, for example as one company.) The fact that fares are relatively higher on these carriers compared to New York or Boston. and are similar in status to Greene in Warwick, Rhode Island, have slowed any growth that was hoped for. It is in the process of tearing down the old Terminal B.
For the latest update on the proposed renovation project at Bradley Airport from the Hartford Courant, click here.
I believe the Connecticut Airport Authority sees easy dollar signs prancing across the airport terminals without realizing what the State of CT is looking for to slot revenue. I also believe they don’t understand the clientele.
As the Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegans working together to pursue a third property to compete to hold expected job and revenue losses going to the MGM casino planned across the state line, in Springfield, Massachusetts, state officials are looking to stave off one thing – loss of slot revenue to Massachusetts. For an earlier post to review, check out “Connecticut Casino Plans Continue to Take Shape.”
The airport is not the best place for the state’s financial needs – but maybe for the Bradley’s financial needs, which is why the CAA is pushing it for the third casino’s home. Why is it a bad idea for CT’s third casino? Read on…..
- Gamblers want to visit casinos with little hassle and plenty of time to eat, drink and play in a comfortable environment. Fighting airport traffic, parking, noise and the general controlled chaos at any airport discourages gamblers that would spend the money that CT is looking for.
- The transient crowd of passengers from the airport will not provide the revenue CT is looking for.
- Let’s face it, having a choice between a snazzy, new casino off the highway, or a snazzy new casino sharing space with an Airport away from the highway, (and they are 15 minutes away from each other) most gamblers will decide on the former, not the latter.
Windsor Locks, the town where the airport is located, has been asked to consider working with the airport authority on the proposal. A month ago, the community of South Windsor voted not to entertain any casino proposal in their town. Community backing is a must. Will Windsor Locks vote differently?
AP reports “Windsor Locks First Selectman Steven Wawruck Jr. said the potential drawbacks to hosting a casino would have to be discussed but he is interested in exploring the prospects. ‘With shrinking state revenues and jobs on the decline, it’s important to explore all opportunities and keep dollars and jobs in Connecticut,’ he said.”
Explore all opportunities and keep dollars and jobs in Connecticut. That’s the point. If Connecticut wants to keep jobs & revenue, then traffic access, availability to build, community support, and a quick turnaround for operation are the main criteria for the third casino.
An airport and a mall in Enfield just won’t do. East Hartford is the best offer so far.
But, what do you think? I challenge you to comment on two questions:
Is a third casino good for CT? Why or Why not?
Where should it be built – Enfield Mall, East Hartford Showcase Theater, or Bradley International Airport?
Send me a comment on your thoughts.