Today’s post is all about the non-gaming at Connecticut’s casinos. The casino industry is becoming less dependent on gambling revenue, and more on the other possibilities of entertaining their guests. Oh sure, the usual non-gaming offerings have always been a part of the Connecticut casino scene, which includes the typical dining, clubs, comedy clubs and kids offerings – KidsQuest (MoSun) and The Treehouse Arcade (Fox). But gambling isn’t the key to casino/resort’s success as much as it used to be here in New England, and around the country.
Thrill Rides are the latest things to be introduced. Foxwoods has gone light-headed with elevation.
While the two Connecticut casinos have predominantly focused on gambling throughout their histories, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun holding the second and third largest casino floors in the US, the properties have recently begun focusing more attention on non-gaming. “We recognize with the increased competition in Massachusetts opening up we have to do other creative things,” Mohegan Tribal Chairman Kevin “Red Eagle” Brown told TV station WFSB, Channel 3 recently.
Besides the arcades, let’s take a look at previously successful non-gaming offerings in Connecticut’s Casinos.
(2003) The WNBA MOVES TO UNCASVILLE – The CONNECTICUT SUN
Capitalizing on the popularity of women’s basketball in the state, as a result of the success of the UConn Huskies, the Connecticut Sun also held the distinction of being the only WNBA franchise not to share its market with an NBA team. The Mohegan Indian tribe purchased and relocated the Orlando Miracle and has since enjoyed success in “Neon Uncasville.” The Sun has qualified for the WNBA Playoffs in nine of its fifteen years in Connecticut. It has proved to be one of the best-attended and most exciting venue in the WNBA. Last year’s success increased attendance with a young team that should prove to be one of the best for years to come. It is considered one of the best examples of family entertainment in Connecticut.
(2010) LUXURY BOWLING CENTER – The “HIGH ROLLERS” – FOXWOODS
Eric Gershon of the Hartford Courant said perfectly in 2010 – “This is not the Pizza Bowl of Laverne & Shirley’s Milwaukee.” The High Rollers Luxury Lanes and Lounge was built with a nightclub or lounge atmosphere, with everyone feeling like a VIP.. On either side of this large venue you have bowling with video, music and chandeliers. The lanes aren’t laid out in one continuous row, for example. A VIP area contains six lanes, which can’t be seen from the other 14, located across the lobby in a 4-2-4-4 configuration. Those lane groups will be separable by curtains. In the middle is a large “not-your-dad’s bowling alley” lounge with foodie appetizers, craft beer, and an upscale, sports bar feel. Opening in September of 2010, it still is hoppin’ – often catering to private functions.
(2014) MOHEGAN SUN INTRODUCES PRO LACROSSE
The New England Black Wolves are a professional box lacrosse team based in Uncasville, Connecticut. They are members of the National Lacrosse League and began play in the winter of 2014–2015 at the Mohegan Sun Arena. The Black Wolves relocated from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where they were originally known as the Philadelphia Wings, a historic franchise which played in Philadelphia from 1986 to 2014. They are members of the National Lacrosse League. Lacrosse has seen a surge in popularity, and families have brought their children to witness indoor lacrosse for the past three years.
RECENT INTEREST IN NEW ATTRACTIONS AT FOXWOODS
Foxwoods Resort Casino recently announced plans to develop a high-performance indoor karting center. Foxwoods President and CEO Felix Rappaport said the karting center in Mashantucket, Conn. will feature a a brand new high-performance, European-style indoor karting center, with a multi-level track and nine-horsepower karts that deliver a true Motorsport experience. According to Foxwoods, “The top-of-the-line, multi-level track will feature dramatic elevation changes, hairpin turns, and gas-powered, nine-horsepower karts that give drivers the power and control necessary for the ultimate high-speed rush.” The track will be built in partnership with On Track Karting and will open in early 2018. Construction is set to begin in late September and the karting center is scheduled to open in early 2018. To get your engine started, visit Foxwoods.com/karting for more information.
Foxwoods recently opened the Thrill Tower. The brand-new, extreme thrill ride includes two new rides, the Sky Drop and Sky Launch. On the breathtaking Sky Drop, four riders at a time are lifted to the top of Thrill Tower before free-falling 120 feet to the bottom. This ride utilizes a state-of-the-art magnetic breaking system to safely ensure a smooth, yet gripping free-fall experience. Sky Launch, which is equally adrenaline-inducing, propels two riders sitting back-to-back from the ground to the top of Thrill Tower and back again at jaw-dropping speed. Through providing maximum rider exposure, Sky Launch delivers a truly unmatched soaring sensation.
Foxwoods also has plans to open the High Flyer Zipline, a 60-mile per hour, 3,750 foot-long thrill ride that glides above the forested wonderland of Mashantucket, Connecticut. Connecting the 330-foot-tall Fox Tower to the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center nearly 4,000 feet away. Check out the video below:
MOHEGAN SUN’S NEW EXPOSITION CENTER
Meanwhile, Mohegan Sun topped off its $80 million Exposition Center in Uncasville, Conn. The new Exposition Center will stretch 240,000 net square feet and include a 20,000 square-foot ballroom, expansive pre-function space, a 132,000 square-foot Expo Center, 15 meeting rooms, 3,600 square feet of outdoor gathering space that features a wrap-around terrace, a 1,260 square-foot executive boardroom and 20,000 square feet of additional entertainment tenant space. It will be completed in summer 2018.
Mohegan Sun is also continuing to transform property across the river into a $600 million development to stimulate growth, drive new business and help strengthen the local economy. For our post, click on Mohegan Sun News – Plans for Norwich Hospital Site and Mohegan Expo Center
MGM Springfield will offer competition in the amusements area, although it maybe meant as more for locals, but still with the intention of treating players and families to an all-around experience beside gambling, dining, and entertainment. MGM Springfield will include a bowling alley and movie theater, as well as public areas for entertainment besides the usual large performance venues. Wynn Boston Harbor will offer a beautiful Harbor Walk, Shoreline Park, and Water Shuttles. It could be all five Mega-Casinos would cater to different clienteles with such diverse offerings. For now, we can enjoy what is available in Connecticut.