The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation Welcomes You to SCHEMITZUN

SchemitzunSaturday & Sunday, August 27 & 28, 2016, on the Mashantucket Reservation, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation presents it’s annual Green Corn PowWow.  If you haven’t ever visited this or any pow wow, Schemitzun is a wonderful primer.

For a link to this year’s event, scroll down to the link “SCHEMITZUN.”

I had the wonderful experience of witnessing one of the first at the XLCenter in Hartford (then it was the Hartford Civic Center).  So many tribal representives taking part in native dance contests, the parade of nations, and venders with authentic tribal commodities from all over the country.  It was spectacular.download

For many reasons over the years, Schemitzun has changed it format, it’s size and it’s location.  Nancy C. Walker, the wife of a native Pequot tribal member, posted in her blog  “The History of Schemitzun” which we will post here.  It tells of the changes that parallel the growth and troubles of Foxwoods concerning economy and competition.  Here is her post:

Nancy C. Walker writes “Every year the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation hosts a pow wow called Schemitzun. It started years ago in the Hartford Civic Center because the tribe did not have a location to host the event. Later it was moved to “The Bowl” which was a open space next to Foxwoods Resort Casino. That only lasted one year due the rapid development of the casino.

Hartford Civic Center, before it was the XL Center.

Hartford Civic Center, before it was the XL Center.

The next location lasted a bit longer. They purchased a old farm in the neighboring town of North Stonington and the event grew to 4 days, 100 vendors and 1,000’s of dancers. The pow wow to celebrate the Green Corn Harvest had become one of the biggest events in Indian Country. It stayed at that location until 2008. In 2009 the tribe decided to make the event smaller in face of a declining economy.

Schemitzun was renamed the Green Corn Pow Wow and moved to a ballroom at Foxwoods for 2009 and moved to the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center in 2010. These were temporary locations while a new, permanent place on the reservation could be built. In 2011 the annual pow wow was moved to it’s new home at the Mashantucket Pequot Cultural Grounds and the name was changed back to Schemitzun.

Schemitzun

Schemitzun

Every year since there have been tweaks and improvements as the pow wow settles into it’s new home. While the event is done for this year – as it’s always held the weekend before Labor Day Weekend (or in pow wow terms between Mohegan and Shinnecock) – I do hope that you will join us for next year’s celebration of the Green Corn.”

I do hope you take time on labor day to visit the Green Corn Pow Wow.  Education about each other can bring people to understanding where there misunderstanding. From Sat: 10AM – 10PM & Sun: 10AM – 6 PM, on the Mashantucket Reservation, you will fins dance contests, entertainment, the woodland village, food, arts & crafts and more.  There is even Shuttle Service Available from Mashantucket Pequot Museum, Foxwoods Resort Casino, The Fox Tower and Two Trees Inn.DawnSpears

There website for tickets, directions, and more information is below:

SCHEMITZUN

I hope to see you there!

Binbin

Connecticut Casino Proposals Running out of Time

Kevin Brown, left, Chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council and Rodney Butler, right, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council,

Kevin Brown, left, Chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council and Rodney Butler, right, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council,

According to the Kenneth Gosselin of the Hartford Courant, the tribes that operate the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos are seeking to jointly open and operate a gaming venue in the capital region to blunt competition from a megacasino now under construction in nearby Springfield. But to be honest, MGM continues to tweak it’s “megacasino” in a way more like downsizing the project due to the threat of Connecticut’s third casino. Click here for

Foxwoods/ Mohegan Sun Joint Casino, East Hartford, CT

Artist Rendering of renovated Cinemas building for New Mohegan Sun/Foxwoods Casino

For the past month, the Mohegans and Mashantucket Pequots have sought proposals from towns and cities.  The tribes said late last week that they don’t intend to announce the names of the municipalities submitting proposals when the deadline passes Friday at 4 p.m. But at least East Hartford and East Windsor appear locked in.

Bradley International Airport sign

Bradley International Airport & Casino not in the cards.

Previous considerations for Windsor Locks at Bradley International Airport and the Enfield Mall were voted down by town officials and residents.

The Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans envision a casino with 2,000 slot machines and 100 to 150 tables, with an estimated development cost of $200 million to $300 million. The size of the casino and other amenities would range from 150,000 to 350,000 square feet, with the latter half the size of MGM Springfield.

Cinema in East Windsor for proposed casino.

Cinema in East Windsor for proposed casino.

East Windsor is the new entrant into the Satellite Sweepstakes. Denise Menard, East Windsor’s first selectman, said the town will propose a casino at another shuttered Showcase Cinema visible from I-91, about 8 miles from the East Hartford theater and a 12-minute drive away, and an adjoining property where there was once a Wal-Mart.

Both East Hartford and East Windsor have access to main interstate I-91, with East Hartford also having I-84 crossing in front of it.

The deadline passes after Friday, 4:00pm.

A few other posts along the MGM lines included:

Massachusetts More Worried, Not Mohegan Sun,  About New England’s Casino Share

Can Jim Murren; MGM Resorts Be Trusted in Springfield?

Binbin

CT Casino At Bradley Airport is Absurd

Bradley International Airport sign
Bradley International Airport & Casino?

The Associated Press reported that the head of the Connecticut Airport Authority wants to bring a casino to Bradley International Airport.

“The airport represents a very viable location because of its significant levels of passenger traffic, and the CAA believes a casino can be incorporated into improvements that are being advanced for the terminal campus area,” said Kevin Dillon, the airport authority’s executive director.

southern New England

Location, Location, Location

However, Bradley Airport the 55th busiest airport in the country and only have 6 carriers in and out of it’s terminals at this time. ( I am counting American & American Eagle, for example as one company.)  The fact that fares are relatively higher on these carriers compared to New York or Boston. and are similar in status to Greene in Warwick, Rhode Island, have slowed any growth that was hoped for.  It is in the process of tearing down the old Terminal B.

Bradley Airports Terminal B, slated for demolition.

Bradley Airports Terminal B, slated for demolition.

For the latest update on the proposed renovation project at Bradley Airport from the Hartford Courant, click here.

I believe the Connecticut Airport Authority sees easy dollar signs prancing across the airport terminals without realizing what the State of CT is looking for to slot revenue. I also believe they don’t understand the clientele.

As the Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegans working together to pursue a third property to compete to hold expected job and revenue losses going to the MGM casino planned across the state line, in Springfield, Massachusetts, state officials are looking to stave off one thing – loss of slot revenue to Massachusetts. For an earlier post to review, check out “Connecticut Casino Plans Continue to Take Shape.”

The airport is not the best place for the state’s financial needs – but maybe for the Bradley’s financial needs, which is why the CAA is pushing it for the third casino’s home. Why is it a bad idea for CT’s third casino?  Read on…..

  1. Gamblers want to visit casinos with little hassle and plenty of time to eat, drink and play in a comfortable environment. Fighting airport traffic, parking, noise and the general controlled chaos at any airport discourages gamblers that would spend the money that CT is looking for.  
  2. The transient crowd of passengers from the airport will not provide the revenue CT is looking for.
  3. Let’s face it, having a choice between a snazzy, new casino off the highway, or a snazzy new casino sharing space with an Airport away from the highway, (and they are 15 minutes away from each other) most gamblers will decide on the former, not the latter.

downloadWindsor Locks, the town where the airport is located, has been asked to consider working with the airport authority on the proposal.  A month ago, the community of South Windsor voted not to entertain any casino proposal in their town.  Community backing is a must. Will Windsor Locks vote differently?

AP reports “Windsor Locks First Selectman Steven Wawruck Jr. said the potential drawbacks to hosting a casino would have to be discussed but he is interested in exploring the prospects. ‘With shrinking state revenues and jobs on the decline, it’s important to explore all opportunities and keep dollars and jobs in Connecticut,’ he said.”

Explore all opportunities and keep dollars and jobs in Connecticut. That’s the point. If Connecticut wants to keep jobs & revenue, then traffic access, availability to build, community support, and a quick turnaround for operation are the main criteria for the third casino.

An airport and a mall in Enfield just won’t do.  East Hartford is the best offer so far.

But, what do you think? I challenge you to comment on two questions:

Is a third casino good for CT? Why or Why not?

and

Where should it be built – Enfield Mall, East Hartford Showcase Theater, or Bradley International Airport?

Send me a comment on your thoughts.

Binbin