Earth Hotel Opens at Mohegan Sun

mohegansun earthtowerIn 2001, five years after Mohegan Sun opened, Connecticut’s second mega-resort/casino was just starting to bring in it’s world-class amenities like the first hotel, the retail shops and the entertainment venues. Following the process of construction, the rearranging the Winter Parking Garage and long entrance, and seeing the additions of two casinos, the one-of-a-kind arena, and retail options has been fascinating.

Last Friday, the official opening ceremony topped the celebration of 20 years in gaming.

The main reason for The Earth Tower? – COMPETITION. The tribe says it has turned away 1 million room requests in just the last year. The main concern has always been the threat of MGM in Springfield, but the numerous rooms available, newer affiliations with local hotels servicing Twin River Casino in Lincoln, RI. and Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, MA, and an additional Hotel/Casino in Tiverton in a few years also gives patrons options on all sides.

view-from-earth-hotelBut the immediate need for all those rooms were 1) gamblers who occupy a lofty enough spot in the Momentum Rewards Club hierarchy these folks and other VIPs routinely occupy a large percentage of the Sky Tower’s rooms, and the great numbers of attendees at Mohegan Sun’s many large events, such as the Barrett-Jackson Car Auction, which turned away many because the Sky Tower was already maxed out for the weekend.

Mohegan Sun, which draws from the Boston, New York, Providence and Hartford markets. The Earth Tower fits in nicely with the tribe’s plans to continue to add non-gaming amenities. As seen all over the country, gambling revenue is decreasing, and casinos are responding with other things to entice or serve patrons. Even Steve Wynn considers his “Boston Harbor” Casino in the Boston area as a resort with a casino attached.

So, what IS the Earth Hotel?

  •  400-rooms, 242,000 square-foot Earth Tower
  • 39 suites, one of which can accommodate 10 people
  • a lobby, home to various lounging areasbean_and_vine_mohegan-sun
  • the Bean and Vine Café & Wine Bar, which will serve as a grab-and-go breakfast option in the morning and a spot for a cocktail in the afternoon and evening with outdoor seating (The Earth Hotel is expected to help in providing rooms for convention attendees.)
  • an outdoor Earth Tower Terrace has gas fire pits, a satellite bar and food service, and can also be used for private functions
  • a spa, a fitness center and a pool area

    The Deluxe King Room in the Earth Tower.

    The Deluxe King Room in the Earth Tower.

  • slightly smaller rooms than the Sky Tower, but include upholstered chair with ottoman, a large flat-screen TV on the wall with built-in Chromecast, along with the requisite coffeemaker and fridge. (Pricier suites are much larger.)
  • new high tech additions include: push a button near the bed and it signals with a small colored light outside your door that you don’t want to be disturbed (plastic door tags requesting “privacy”), the ability to quickly set the TV to come on at a desired time as your wake-up call (yes, it does include the usual alarm clock as well), state-of-the-art touch wall switches and thermostat, various places to plug in your cellphone

The opening comes at Holiday time, which means it couldn’t come at a better time! From the Christmas show season, to New Year’s Eve, these rooms will be booked.  Mohegan Sun still won’t have enough on site rooms for the month of December, but they will sure help out.

That’s all for now concerning Mohegan Sun’s Earth Hotel until 2017, when NETG will be staying in the Earth Hotel and reviewing the experience.

Binbin

 

 

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

Massachusetts

Massachusetts Casino Industry Worried?

After chatting with friends and colleagues recently in Las Vegas concerning their thoughts on Massachusetts’ Gaming Expansion, it seemed to be unanimous – Massachusetts is doing it their way, but not necessarily the best way.  They are running a little scared lately, but are too stubborn to show it. It includes badgering Steve Wynn, making Rush Gaming Developers wait for a Region C decision, and letting MGM

MGM Springfield

New rendering of MGM Springfield’s cut down proposal.

change this and that without approval. It seems the Bay State’s opinion of Mohegan Sun Resorts follows the same narrow-minded spin.

Bruce Mohl, from Commonwealth Magazine, recently reported in his article “Casino Border Wars” that Mohegan Sun as an underachiever not good enough for Massachusetts.  With the history Mass casinos so far, they would have been so lucky to have Mohegan Sun part of that gambling Plan.

His reasons for such a poor opinion of the Mohegan Tribe’s casinos?  Well, let’s take a look:

  1. A key reason for the casino’s success was the large number of customers pouring over the border from Massachusetts. That’s True. But let’s include Maine, NH, Vermont, Rhode Island, NY, and NJ (which took a bite out of Atlantic City).  It’s because both Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun are “Destinations,” unlike Plainridge Park Casino (a box of slots – MGM’s own description) and the proposal in Brockton which represents a mid-level locals casino in Nevada.
  2. Not welcome in Palmer.
    Mohegan Palmer Casino

    Mohegan Sun’s rendition of Mohegan Palmer Casino

    Palmer Mohegan Sun applied for the Region A (Western) license of 150 acres of land purchased in Palmer – land that was waste-free (Everett) and didn’t entail bulldozing blocks of historical buildings (MGM in Springfield) and was closer to the newest threat to western Massachusetts. The bid was rejected by 94 votes out of over 5200. Why? It would “destroy the rural character of a town.” So, instead, they mirror the state’s poverty level of 11% and added a Motor Speedway.  Go figure.

  3. Not Welcome in Revere. Mohegan Sun joined forces with Suffolk Downs in Revere in a bid to win the eastern Massachusetts casino license, however, Wynn Resorts was chosen to build a casino in Everett. Wynn was great in winning over the Gaming Commission, by criticizing the Revere proposal as Mohegan Sun’s pursuit was “to protect its flagship casino in Connecticut.”
    mohegan-sun-revere-casino-rendering-7414f532fa69586d

    Rendition of Mohegan Sun at Suffolk Downs in Revere

    The MGC believed it, even though the Mohegan Tribe has made Resorts Casino in AC a winner and it’s Mohegan Sun Pocono in Pennsylvania continues to be a success.

  4. Protecting It’s Own Casino Interests. Mr. Mohl and the rest of Massachusetts thinks it’s awful that Mohegan would expand to other areas to protect its assets. But, he just doesn’t get it.  MGM & Wynn expanded outside of Las Vegas, and they did it to expand their brand. MGM is looking at Georgia for an additional site, and both are in China. Expanding their brand.  Penn National expanded to Plainville after already owning Hollywood Hotel Casino in Bangor, Maine.  They now own two New England casinos, yet nothing was said about Plainridge Park protecting it’s Hollywood Casino.  The Mohegan Tribe, much like Penn, MGM, Wynn, Caesars’, etc have the right to expand.  If you’re successful in the casino industry, that’s what you do.

Mohl’s bottom line, and I quote, “What all this maneuvering tells you is that Mohegan Sun — and the state of Connecticut — are very worried about the impact of Massachusetts casinos on the casino businesses in Connecticut and willing to do just about anything to blunt their impact.”

If something doesn’t scare you, or threaten you, ignore it? But if it is a concern, pay a lot of attention to it – and that’s just what Massachusetts is doing.  CT knows that more casinos in New England will impact their two large destination casinos, so they are doing something about it.  But Massachusetts continues to look south to CT and south-east to Rhode Island as both states make plans to battle or New England’s gamblers.

Rendition Wampanoag Casino in Taunton

Rendition Wampanoag Casino in Taunton

Plainridge Park Casino

Plainridge Park Casino in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is the state most worried about it’s share of the pie.  MGM wouldn’t be trying to stall CT’s third casino and the MGC wouldn’t be considering no Region C license due to the Wampanoag’s casino proposal gaining momentum if they weren’t. Plainridge Park has seen two straight months of decline – a sudden concern – and Twin River & the CT casinos have seen positive revenue in recent months.  MGM says it’s not worried, but continues to cut back its approved proposal in Springfield, and both MGM & Wynn won’t be making money for the Bay State until late 2018.

So who’s doing the most maneuvering and who is the most worried?

I say Massachusetts.

That’s all for now.

 

Binbin