Three years ago, before MGM Springfield was built, I had some random thoughts and concerns for the future. The following post was written three years ago. Any additions will be in green italics. Otherwise, it’s posted here as it was three years ago. MGM Springfield Three Years Ago.
MGM Springfield Three Years Ago
I really do want MGM Springfield to succeed.It’s being counted on to bring revenue for an economically needy city. MGM Springfield needs to offer jobs and enhance the rundown parts of Springfield.
I want it to be another casino jewel in New England to solidify southern New England as a destination. MGM, EncoreBH, Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun are all resorts people from all over the country would enjoy visiting. How much is MGM Springfield a resort? That’s a topic for a different post. But for now let’s see how it stacks up compared to MGM Springfield Three Years Ago.
Unfortunately, I still have doubts to accompany the excitement of a top-class resort venue and their journey to 2018. So here are random thoughts about the MGM Springfield project and related issues:
Changes in Plans
The original plans were impressive, but now take away the tower, lower the parking garage by two floors, and move the apartments in the opening of the video further away from the casino. Inside, MGM Springfield looks similar to Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas (Sumerlain), with restaurants outlying the casino, and the essential “Center Bar” made so Important by the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas long ago. It has modern looks like MGM’s latest “Aria,” but much brighter. (Today, we now know it’s not even close to looking like Red Rock in Nevada, except for restaurants on the perimeter. It’s much smaller, with fewer hotel rooms. Center Bar is just a walk-up bar, a smaller version of Long Bar at the D in Downtown, Las Vegas.)
Will MGM & Wynn (Encore) be powerful enough to influence a repeal to the “NO Happy Hour” Law in Massachusetts? Imagine no alcohol freebies on a casino floor owned by MGM & Wynn – blasphemy! (Originally, free drinks were to be limited to non-alcoholic. Good for all that it was changed. Encore & MGM did have enough power to get Massachusetts to extend alcohol service. Both casinos are able to serve alcohol to players until 4:00AM)
MGM is a giant in the gambling industry and shouldn’t have any trouble separating their concerns in Macau & Las Vegas. But their project in Atlanta, the first casino in Georgia, might be more of an interest than Springfield. Massachusetts hasn’t been the most welcome state in the country concerning Wynn & MGM’s interests.
National MLife Connections
I’m encouraged about then East-West connection the rewards club will provide. Earning MLife points in Springfield that can be used in Las Vegas & Biloxi (MGM owns Beau Rivage Resort Casino there) is exciting! Let’s face it, MGM owns some incredible properties. Imagine earning offers from MGM Springfield to stay at Bellagio, Aria, and Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas! (In fact, MLife connections providing offers all over the country is a huge reason to play at MGM Springfield. In addition, Borgata is now owned my MGM, another great east coast property)
The Connecticut Threat
MGM dismisses everyone else in New England (except Wynn) as no competition. Eliminating the hotel tower is disappointing. Yet, their “hotel on its side” plan idea is supposed to be the thing that distinguishes them from the Foxwoods & Mohegan Suns of the world.
Changes in designs do occur all the time. Rising costs are usually sighted as the reasons for these changes – whether it’s a Mall, housing project, or a casino. Sorry MGM, we know you are big stuff in the gaming industry, but rationalizing a downgraded hotel as game changing in the casino industry is just insulting. New Englanders just aren’t that naive and stupid.
Correspondingly, if MGM thinks the Nutmeg State’s casinos are not a threat to MGM Springfield’s success, why the law suit? (MGM International threw lots of opposition to disrupt a third casino in CT) Likewise, why does MGM compare itself to CT’s tribal casinos instead of looking out west to New York State. By the same token, MGM says it wants a casino in CT (Bridgeport) but pulled out of Foxwoods in previous years? Hypocrisy I say. Sheer hypocrisy.
Related Post – MGM sues Connecticut officials over casino legislation
(Since then, MGM bought the Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway in New York. That’s only 55 miles away from Bridgeport, CT. Also, their recent interest in buying Encore Boston Harbor showed a lack of wanting to keep MGM Springfield. MGM International continues to look like PacMan – trying to gobble up everything in sight.)
I’m just as concerned with what MGM is going to bring to gamblers. So, MGM, I ask you – what advantage do I have spreading my money in Springfield compared to other New England options?
Will MGM have the same poor to mediocre Video Poker paytables that are in all their other properties? (Yes!) The exception is Borgata in Atlantic City which they share with Boyd Gaming. You’re going to have to make your gambling options better if you seriously want to compete with CT & RI. (Guess we nailed that one!)I wonder what plans MGM Springfield has concerning smoking. The options provided for smokers at Plainridge Park seem almost punitive. Massachusetts Casino Law has the entire casino as non-smoking. (All Massachusetts casinos are smokeless. This is a plus to most.)
I have so many other thoughts, questions and requests concerning MGM Springfield, but they will just have to wait……….my brain hurts, time for a break.
(Thanks for going back in time with us. MGM Springfield is still evolving. I wonder how different it will be three years from today?)