Penn National Proposes $807 Million Springfield Casino – Ameristar Ups Ante to $910 Million

Penn National Gaming Inc. submitted its proposal today to develop a casino complex on16.4 acres on the northern side of the city’s downtown – including properties now owned by the Springfield Republican newspaper and by Peter Picknelly, CEO of Peter Pan Bus lines, near the Amtrak terminal. An official at Ameristar Casinos says it has submitted its plans for a $910 million facility at the former Westinghouse property off Interstate 291. MGM resorts International spokesperson Carole Brennan says it has submitted its proposal for an $800 million development on downtown property damaged by the June 2011 tornado.

Penn National’s plans include the relocation of the Republican’s headquarters to a more central downtown location, and rehabilitation of the Paramount Theater. Spokesperson Eric Schippers says the destination resort’s name and style will be consistent with its “Hollywood” brand.

“We’re talking about recapturing the golden era of Hollywood, and so you’ll see a lot of Art Deco treatment, very tastefully done architectural flourishes that really is just to capture the glamorous era of Hollywood.”

Schippers  says the company’s plans include finding a large retailer to occupy the former Westinghouse property now owned by Ameristar Casinos – which paid $16 million for the industrial parcel.

Ameristar spokesperson Troy Stremming says it has not been in talks to sell their property. Stremmings says its proposal is for a “world-class” resort casino.

“It has a great location, it has easy access off of the highway, and we think it would be a huge opportunity for the city of Springfield to have something that no one else in western Massachusetts has.”

While all three companies paid the $50,000  city application fee, MGM is so far the only developer to have paid the $400,000 application fee for a state casino license. Under the state’s casino law, only one permit will be awarded in western Massachusetts.