It’s been less than a year since a casino has opened in New England, but none with the anticipation and excitement of Encore Boston Harbor. We see fabulous additions in CT and Springfield, and sports betting in Rhode Island. Beautiful interior designs found at Mohegan Sun, great thrill rides at Foxwoods, the wonderful exterior retrofit of Springfield’s MGM downtown and beautiful hotels, new and old from Maine to the CT shoreline have been visited by millions.
Encore Boston Harbor raises the bar far above the rest in many ways. Today’s post will be a positive look of anticipation. Wynn Resorts hopes their new Boston resort will boost their own sluggish first quarter, which included their Las Vegas & overseas gaming volume down and the company’s key VIP market weak compared to rest of the market. According to the Motley Fool’s post VIP Aren’t Betting Like They Used to at Wynn Resorts, it’s “still unknown whether Boston will attract the highly profitable baccarat players that have thus far driven [Wynn Resorts] Las Vegas and Macau’s profitability.”
Previous head and namesake of Wynn Resorts, Steve Wynn, always said he was “in the resort business, not the casino business.” While the past year has been a volatile one for Mr, Wynn, the fact that the birth of modern Vegas being traced back to many of his buildings and innovations cannot be taken away from him. Though banned with his name taken off the original project, his plans for this resort will soar above all that the northeast has to offer.
The WOW Factor
Wynn resorts has always had a passion to “wow” guests by designing resorts that offer amazing amenities, fine dining, premium retail offerings, and incredible entertainment.Now, his vision for the Boston area will finally arrive with the same posh elegance seen in Las Vegas, Cotai & Macau China. The resort lies on the Mystic River in the city of Everett. It will feature more than three million square feet/13 acres of gross floor area. Let’s take a look and compare to Wynn & Encore Resorts on the Las Vegas Strip to get an idea of what to expect.
27-floor hotel with 671 rooms, including 104 luxury suites –
Luxury is the first consideration when with Wynn Resorts Hotels. According to PRNewswire.com, in April of 2019, “Wynn Resorts ….. earned the distinction of being the highest-scoring hotel company in the world as rated by Forbes Travel Guide, outranking all other luxury hotel brands the company rates, representing a total of 1,105 hotels in 58 countries. Wynn Resorts exceeded each and every other luxury hotel brand including The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, The Peninsula Hotels, and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, among others.”
The Everett property “smallest room,” the 650 square feet Premier King, is not only the largest standard hotel room in the Boston area, it is also the largest in New England.” Attention to the highest in quality and innovation includes 507-thread-count linens, overstuffed pillows and shams, state-of-the-art conveniences voice-activated lights, curtains, heating, air-conditioning, and privacy settings. The highest quality suite will be the Signature Harbor View Suite, combining the comfort and amenities of a 1,350-square-foot Signature Suite with a pristine view of Boston Harbor and the city skyline.
15 restaurants and lounges ranging from waterfront casual to fine dining
The list includes a steakhouse, two Italian restaurants, a craft beer garden, a sports bar, a nightclub, a Vegas-style buffet, and, of course, Dunkin’ Donuts. If we look at their Vegas offerings, The Buffet will most likely be similar to Wynn Las Vegas – beautiful decor, over 120 different food items ranging from the usual fare to unusual delights. All in a fresh, clean, flower-adorned room. This upscale affair will be pricey, however, probably double the price of the buffets at Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods. Considering the Wynn Las Vegas Buffet is considered on of the best on the Strip, this buffet will surely not disappoint.
Successful restaurants from Wynn and Encore in Las Vegas will be available at Encore Boston Harbor, including the acclaimed Sinatra restaurant and Rare Steakhouse, inspired by the SW Steakhouse at Wynn Las Vegas. Encore Boston Harbor will also place a heavy emphasis on locally inspired venues ,including Fratelli, a casual Italian restaurant and bar created by Boston North End entrepreneurs Frank DePasquale and Nick Varano. .
State-of-the-art convention and meeting space
A 37,000 square-foot waterfront grand ballroom with10 break-out rooms, (total of over 50,000 sq. feet) and promenade will surely serve many conventioneers. All meeting space is on the ground level. While this is only approximately 1/6th the space of the new massive Mohegan Exposition Center, location near Boston will certainly translate to a major convention option as the largest ballroom space in Boston outside of the Boston Convention and Exhibition
Harborwalk, Park & Shuttles, oh My
The 6-acre, four-season public Harborwalk and park that will be open for all to enjoy. Shuttle buses and boats will transport employees and guests to and from major transportation hubs in the area and points across Boston Harbor. The intention from the beginning was to offer “Boston’s most magnificent outdoor gathering spot.” Public amenities will include a picnic park, paths for bikers and pedestrians, viewing decks, waterfront restaurants and retail, a performance lawn, abundant floral displays as in Vegas Wynn resorts and boat docks. Custom-built European-style water shuttles will transport guests year-round from Boston directly to the resort.
Elegance is the word most used for Wynn & Encore Las Vegas casinos, and the same magnificent gaming floor, with more than 4,000 gaming positions, will be presented in Everett. According to TravelPulse.com, “The 210,000-square-foot casino is divided into two spacious sections, with high ceilings and hand-assembled red Murano glass chandeliers transplanted from their original home at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. The first-floor features more than 3,000 classic and state-of-the-art slot machines, 143 table games and a stunning casino bar centrally located at the heart of the floor beneath a grand staircase. An 88-table Poker Room on the second floor is flanked by secluded terraces overlooking the gaming floor, offering high-end poker, VIP and private-gaming experiences.”
However, gambling rules & conditions have always seemed an after thought – remember,” resorts, not casinos” Gambling in a Wynn casino can yield very tight gambling, especially for low to mid rollers. In Vegas, roulette tables have 3 zero spots on them (traditional 2 zero tables at $25 and above) and Blackjack pays 6-5 for its $15 tables, but you can get 3-2 on its $100, $50, and $25 tables. The dealer must hit on soft 17 at all tables. Expect the same at Boston Harbor. Encore’s Poker Room should rival the likes of all New England’s casinos.
According to Massachusetts Gaming Commission guidelines, the casino will be non-smoking, with no ATMs available on the casino floor. Cash Advance is not available at MGM Springfield due to GameSense rules, so, I would expect the same at Encore Boston Harbor Casino.
WHO WILL VISIT?
The clientele will be an eclectic mix of worldly travelers, gamblers, foodies and and vacationers. It’s typical Wynn Resorts luxury brand retail has been reduced to make more meeting and convention space, but will still entice the fashionable elite. The 36K SF ballroom will be the second-largest in the city, after one at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. While competing with an already vibrant club scene in Boston, two venues will be the place for people watching, dancing and partying all night long. “Mystique and Memoire are destined to be flagship destinations at Encore Boston Harbor,” Big Night Entertainment Group principal Ed Kane said in a prepared statement. “We are thrilled to be able to deliver the premier, first-class experience that guests will expect at the resort.”
I visited and stayed at both Wynn and Encore Las Vegas. So many of Steve Wynn’s previously-owned groundbreaking properties – Mirage, Bellagio – are historically iconic, inspiring so much of the Vegas Strip’s landscape.
Encore Boston Harbor will be that inspiration for Northeast casinos. And it all starts this June, and NETimeGambling will be there.