MGM Springfield Is Not A Resort

The definition of a resort is a hotel with a variety of recreations – food, drink, lodging, sports, entertainment, relaxation such as spa and shopping. However lightly this may apply to MGM Springfield, MGM Springfield Is Not A Resort. It’s not a destination to stay for a few days. The dining is limited and the surrounding restaurants (not counting Red Rose Pizza next door) warrant walking a block or two. While security has stepped up since its opening, walking the surrounding area at night can still be an “iffy” proposition” in terms of safety.  It doesn’t belong in the resort category of MGM International’s many other properties – Bellagio, National Harbor, and Aria/City Center, for example. MGM Springfield Is Not A Resort.  It’s MGM’s first locals joint.

Opened late summer 2018

Early Changes

The original plans impressed the MGC. The inclusion of a hotel tower (which was changed to 5 floors) and larger parking garage (diminished by two floors) would be great additions to the “City of Firsts” skyline. The hotel tower was to be a 25-story glass-facade hotel structure rising above the city like a beacon for a city rising from the ashes. It also included roughly $30 million for the construction of 54 apartments changed to apartments off-site. MGM Springfield Casino has announced it will contribute $11 million to the redevelopment project as part of its agreement with the city. It will provide 54 market-rate housing units within half a mile from the casino in a historic building at Court Square in downtown Springfield. When finished, the six-story, 131,000-square-foot building will include 74 apartments as well as retail space on the ground floor and commercial office space on the second floor.

Mgm rendering
The old rendering of the first MGM Springfield Hotel Tower

Worry from the Start

Litigation, thy name be yours, MGM. If a business is confident in its product, and believes in open competition, why all the law suits. If MGM International and then CEO Jim Murren were confident and sure that New England would immediately make MGM Springfield the #1 casino resort, why all the lawsuits. The fact that MGM International completely misunderstood the location. MGM International was amazed and confused by the casino’s underachievement.  Connecticut budget planners had expected a 25-percent drop in slot revenues from Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino due to MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor. A smaller hit of 9.2 percent was the reality. Ex MGM Springfield President Mathis even admitted, “”I think we may have underestimated that level of loyalty, and what it would take for those customers to give us a shot.”

Related Post – MGM SPRINGFIELD THREE YEARS AGO

New England is a Very Different Place

There is no glitz and glamor in Springfield. There are no musical fountains and the streets are not lined with neon. It doesn’t have 100’s of entertainment options and world famous chefs on every block. Springfield is a nice little New England city, that has had some rough decades and is hoping for help. It seems the somewhat arrogant and lofty attitude of “we’re MGM – if we build it, they will come” is softening. Springfield ain’t Vegas, and MGM Springfield ain’t no resort casino. It’s about time MGM realized what it is – a really nice “locals casino.”

MGM Springfield Is Not A Resort – “not that’s there’s anything wrong with that.”

Previous CEO Michael Mathis was reassigned and the casino’s underachieved revenue is a huge future concern. The lack of a high rollers and a substantial Asian market just seems to prove the latest opinion that MGM Springfield is a locals casino.

As Jerry Seinfeld puts it, “not that’s there’s anything wrong with that.” 

If not a resort, then MGM Springfield has to rebrand itself. The future looks brighter, especially for the visiting gambler.  Lowered minimums such as $5 tables, better rules like 3:2 Blackjack on all tables 24/7, a mini VIP lounge, and taking out over 300 slots for a more comfortable experience are only a few of the recent changes. $2 beer all day?…you betcha. Downtown Springfield is very excited, and residents, realtors and businesses are pleased with the growth so far.

Focus on Local Events

Entertainment and events for the community must continue. The Plaza at MGM Springfield transforms into a 45 by 76-foot ice skating rink between the casino hotel and the Kringle Emporium. Kringle Emporium is in the building that was formerly an old church. MGM moved it from original location to make way for the casino.

Past use of the Plaza includes:

  • Summer Outdoor Free Music Series – Music on the Plaza in partnership with the Big E
  • The plaza will host food trucks festival
  • yoga-and-beer nights
  • a pop-up art gallery
  • a marketplace
  • a weekly farmers market
  • a resident Halloween party

True Identity

Compared to the many locals casinos around the country, MGM Springfield is rising to the top. It’s a perfect day trip or stay over for residents in the six states bordering Massachusetts. It’s basically in a category of its own. MGM Springfield is not a mega casino resort, not a little locals casino, it’s MGM Springfield.

 

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