Foxwoods Is Extending its Brand to Puerto Rico

Foxwoods has been circling the wagons for the past few months. The “Wonder of it All” has been closing casino areas and shortening the time that particular casino floors are open. But, unlike their neighbor across the river at Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods has not successfully promoted its brand beyond Connecticut. But now seems to be the time as Foxwoods Is Extending its Brand to Puerto Rico.

Foxwoods Is Extending its Brand to Puerto Rico

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe is reaching San Juan, Puerto Rico, in what may be its first brand expansion. Details are not available yet. But, it concerns the El San Juan Casino’s reopening at the Fairmont El San Juan Hotel in Puerto Rico.

According to published accounts, the Fairmont El San Juan Hotel, located in the San Juan beach neighborhood of Isla Verde, first opened in 1958 and was a trendy hot spot. Hurricane Maria in 2017 closed the hotel due to exterior damage. The 388-room hotel reopened following a $65 million renovation.

Fairmont El San Juan is A Beautiful Property

Foxwoods Is Extending its Brand to Puerto Rico
El San Juan Hotel. Photo credit: Two Roads Hospitality

Reopening the casino under Foxwoods management will need an extensive casino floor renovation. The casino had closed well before the hurricane struck and has remained closed. Meanwhile, today’s Fairmont El San Juan Hotel has been renovated and is a beautiful property on the beach. It features four pools, beachfront villa rooms, a Well & Being Spa, and a three-level Fitness Center with a unique Sky Deck, beach activities, luxury pool cabanas, and signature dining. 

The El San Juan, part of Hilton Hotels’ Curio Collection, reopened in January 2020. Managed by Hilton, it is the Fairmont brand’s debut property in Puerto Rico.

The government closely monitors all casinos. By law, a hotel or resort must maintain the property. Most casinos are open 24 hours a day, and the minimum gambling age in Puerto Rico is 18 years. Also worth mentioning is that casinos in Puerto Rico are non-smoking.

The city of San Juan has Puerto Rico’s larger-scale casinos. So Foxwoods will have competition with eight other casinos of varying sizes in the surrounding area.

Long String Of Failed Projects

Foxwoods Is Extending its Brand to Puerto Rico
Proposed Foxwoods Casino in New Bedford, withdrawn Even the joint casino venture.

Over the years, the tribe also has pursued out-of-state casino projects in Philadelphia, California, & Kansas. However, in New England, The Pequots fell short with projects connected to the Massachusetts casino expansion, such as:

  • Nunes/Foxwoods Casino proposal in Milford, MA (2013)
  • Foxwoods agrees to operate a casino proposal by KG Urban Enterprises proposed for the waterfront in New Bedford, Massachusetts (2014-15)

In 2016, the Mashantucket Pequots announced they would lend financing and the Foxwoods brand to a proposed resort casino in Biloxi, Miss. Unfortunately, Foxwoods Resort Casino at Biloxi Pointe never materialized. It was scheduled to open in 2019.

Foxwoods Resort Casino at Biloxi Pointe

Even the joint casino venture with the Mohegan tribe is dead for the foreseeable future. The 188,000-square-foot casino, Tribal Winds, rose in East Windsor, CT, to compete with MGM Springfield.

Foxwoods Is Extending its Brand to Puerto Rico – Summary

If this goes through, it is a good move. A future plus would be a junket connection for Foxwoods – Hartford to San Juan. In any case, Foxwoods needs to branch out or be left in the dust by the likes of Mohegan Gaming Entertainment, Bally’s Corp. (aka Twin River Worldwide Holdings), and Wynn Resorts.