Believe it or not, years ago, when MGM Springfield wasn’t built yet, NETG looked into our crystal ball and had some random thoughts and concerns for the future. The following post was three years ago. Any additions will be in green italics. Otherwise, it’s posted here as it was three years ago. How did we do with our crystal ball?
I want MGM Springfield to succeed.
There, I said it.
I want it to bring revenue for an economically needy city, I want it to be beautiful and to enhance the rundown parts of Springfield.
I want it to be another casino jewel in New England to solidify southern New England as a gambling/tourist destination. MGM, Wynn, Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, Twin River – all large casinos with amenities to provide for vacations & stay-cations alike.
But I still have doubts to accompany the excitement of a top-class resort venue and their journey to 2018. So here are random thoughts about the MGM Springfield project and related issues:
The original plans were impressive, but now take away the tower, lower the parking garage by two floors, and move the apartments in the opening of the video further away from the casino. Inside, MGM Springfield looks similar to Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas (Sumerlain), with restaurants outlying the casino, and the essential “Center Bar” made so Important by the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas long ago. It has modern looks like MGM’s latest “Aria,” but much brighter. (BTW, it’s not even close to looking like Red Rock in Nevada, except for restaurants on the perimeter)
VIDEO CLIP – MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis explains changes. (sorry, not accessible three years later)
Will MGM & Wynn be powerful enough to influence a repeal to the “NO Happy Hour” Law in Massachusetts? Imagine no alcohol freebies on a casino floor owned by MGM & Wynn – blasphemy! (Originally, free drinks were to be limited to non-alcoholic. Good for all that it was changed)
MGM is a giant in the gambling industry and shouldn’t have any trouble separating their concerns in Macau & Las Vegas. But their project in Atlanta, the first casino in Georgia, might be more of an interest than Springfield. Massachusetts hasn’t been the most welcome state in the country concerning Wynn & MGM’s interests.
I’m encouraged about then East-West connection the rewards club, MLife, will provide. Earning points in Springfield that can be used in Las Vegas & Biloxi (MGM owns Beau Rivage Resort Casino there) is exciting! Let’s face it, MGM does own some incredible properties. Imagine earning connections to stay at Bellagio in Las Vegas! (In fact, country connections, now including Borgata – still jointly owned with Boyd Gaming three years ago – is a huge reason fir playing at MGM Soringfield)
MGM dismisses everyone else in New England (except Wynn) as no competition. Eliminating the hotel tower is disappointing. Yet, their “hotel on its side” plan idea is supposed to be the thing that distinguishes them from the Foxwoods & Mohegan Suns of the world. Sorry MGM, we know you are big stuff in the gaming industry, but rationalizing a downgraded hotel as game changing in the casino industry is just insulting. New Englanders just aren’t that naive and stupid.
Speaking of the comparison to Connecticut’s casinos, if the Nutmeg State’s casinos (including a third in the Hartford area) are not a threat to MGM Springfield, why the law suit, why the comparisons to CT instead of watching out west to New York State, and why say you want a casino in CT (Bridgeport) only to have pulled out of Foxwoods? Hypocrisy I say. (Since then, MGM bought the Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway in New York. That’s only 55 miles away from Bridgeport, CT. Also, their recent interest in buying Encore Boston Harbor showed a lack of wanting to keep MGM Springfield. MGM continues to look like PacMan – trying to gobble up everything in sight.)
Changes in design plans DO happen all the time, and rising costs are sighted as the reasons for these changes – whether it’s a Mall, housing project, or a casino. I’m more concerned with what MGM is going to bring to gamblers. So, MGM, I ask you – what advantage do I have spreading my money in Springfield compared to other New England options?
Will MGM have the same poor to mediocre Video Poker paytables that are in all their other properties? The exception is Borgata in Atlantic City which they share with Boyd Gaming. You’re going to have to make your gambling options better if you seriously want to compete with CT & RI. (Guess we nailed that one!)I wonder what plans MGM Springfield has concerning smoking. The options provided for smokers at Plainridge Park seem almost punitive. Massachusetts Casino Law has the entire casino as non-smoking. (A plus to some, minus for others)
I have so many other thoughts, questions and requests concerning MGM Springfield, but they will just have to wait……….my brain hurts, time for a break.
Tomorrow its a look at Thanksgiving dining promotion at New England’s casinos. (Actually, we will re-post our 2018’s Thanksgiving Dining, Gambling and Event promotions tomorrow)
(Thanks for going back in time with us. MGM Springfield is still evolving. I wonder how different it will be three years from today?)