MGM Resorts International will open its new Springfield, Massachusetts, casino ahead of schedule. The opening date is now set for August 24.
A seven-year-long project is about to come to an end, as MGM Resorts International prepares to open its MGM Springfield venue. The company has set an opening date of August 24, a full month ahead of the previously announced opening. The $960m (£688m) resort casino will be the first integrated luxury resort and entertainment destination in New England.
Bill Hornebuckle, the MGM Resorts president, spoke with The Springfield Republican newspaper this week and said: “It has just come together amazingly well. It’s extremely exciting. Our commitment is to Springfield. Our commitment is to get this open successfully. We are well on track to do that.”
He credited the MGM Springfield team, two back-to-back soft winters, and the fact that the soon-to-be-completed Interstate 91 rehabilitation project stayed on track as factors in the early opening date. The property is well on its way to completion, with furnishings and gaming equipment starting to arrive on site and the final touches ready to come together over the next few months.
Company is hiring locally
As part of its commitment to Springfield and the state of Massachusetts, MGM Springfield will hire a minimum of 3,000 employees, with 2,200 to be employed on a full-time basis with benefits. Full-time positions with MGM will pay salaries ranging from $40,000 to $55,000, which includes the cost of benefits; 80% of the jobs provided will be unionized.
MGM has provided an outreach effort for employees, with training services offered, that will continue toward the opening of the venue. MGM must use its best efforts to ensure that at least 35% of their employees are from the Springfield area and no more than 10% of those employed can be from outside the city limits. MGM must also strive to stay on track with labor participation goals by hiring women, minorities, and veterans.
Nearby competition on horizon
Two other gaming venues that could pose as potential competition are in the works. Wynn Resorts is set to open the Wynn Boston Harbor casino in Everett, but ownership of this venue may change if the company decides to sell. For now, Wynn continues to focus on the project, moving toward a completion date. However, if a sale does take place, it might slow down the opening of the casino, which would be beneficial to the MGM project.
A third tribal casino is scheduled to be created in nearby Connecticut, a joint venture of the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun operators in the state. This venue would be located in East Windsor, a mere 20 miles from the Springfield area. However, this casino is currently under litigation and is not directly impacting the MGM Springfield venue at this time.
With both projects possibly delayed, it seems that MGM Springfield will not be subject to direct competition, at least not for quite some time, after opening. The company plans on opening in August and will announce upcoming entertainment programs in the summer months.