MGM Springfield Continues Improvements – But More is Needed. After one year in business, it is trying to improve its presence in the New England casino landscape. They really are. So why do I still feel like “meh” when I’m there? Let’s list random thoughts from my last visit. Unlike other trip reports, this isn’t a timeline. It truly is random to help you form your own opinions.
For the City of Springfield
MGM is listening to its patrons – they really are. Chris DiMauro at Art in the Game has been a major proponent of what MGM Springfield is doing for the city of Springfield and the valley. While there seems to be mixed feelings about MGM’s success, signs of Springfield rising from the ashes are visible. Better security and more businesses Downtown are examples of improvement. And Red Rose Pizza next door can’t keep up with additional traffic through their door, so they are adding another kitchen to help the situation. But, more is needed. Just remember, one year is not enough for a real evaluation, so let’s be patient.
Recent Floor Changes.
There is now an additional bar with a nice feel and great service. Unfortunately, bad VP pay tables and chairs that can’t move still are things that need changing.
Adding more video poker is great. But, diminishing the Royal Flush payouts to 1500 instead of the expected 4000 on 8/5 JOB decreases the expected value below 95%. That’s still considered “non-playable.” Check the full pay tables on the denomination and number of credits you wish to play, not just the full House/Flush.
MGM Springfield has taken out approximately 400 slots. It feels much more comfortable. There’s lots of space for those who need it. Sight lines are improved without compromising the “industrial chic” design. Service has improved, especially for drinks on the casino floor.
I’m just not a fan of electronic table games. I understand their place, but the rules offered are horrible. That includes every New England casino I know of. 6:5 Blackjack, minimum bet $5 and side bets are ridiculous. Might as well play bad BJ on the same bad VP machines at the bars. How about Bubble Craps? I was excited to see it, but after playing it with only 2X odds across the board, ouch. Forget your friend “3-Point Molly” here. By the way, read the notice below on these machines before you decide to play.
Kiosks and Hotel
Kiosk access, number of available kiosks and the combined MLife and cashier area all seem to be working out. However I purposely stay away from weekends and busy times, so, I wouldn’t know about those times.
The hotel check-in is still small, understaffed, and sometimes the staff is rather condescending. Of course, that’s my experience – five times. The hotel rooms are still small but comfortable. The beds and pillows are some of the best I’ve slept on in casino hotels. I recommend a stay, especially during the rest of this summer with Food Truck Fridays or one of the many promotions still offered through the summer. The pool is open and it’s a great time to utilize it.
I can’t wait to see the VIP lounge. Too bad Starbucks had to be sacrificed, since it was another option for breakfast and much better coffee than the self service areas. But the lounge is a great move to show higher level players more appreciation and raises it as a destination for gamblers.
The Rest of the Story
The entrance at the parking garage has more room to move, and the additional kiosks are great. The restaurants are still good, and TAP is a terrific sports bar, much like its predecessor in Las Vegas. By the way. A shout out to Roberta behind the bar at TAP. She is everything MGM would expect from hospitality.
My quick little trip wasn’t financially solvent. Almost two hours of Double Double Bonus video poker and no quads – double ouch. But I had fun with slots, and the casino floor continues to represent the newest in slot technology.
I will continue to visit because of the MLife connection and offers to Las Vegas MGM properties for those of us on the east coast. Earning points have been reported slower than MGM’s Biloxi and Las Vegas properties. Let’s hope that is on the “To-Do” list for MGM Springfield.