In an attempt to boost Mohegan Sun’s bid for the sole casino license in western Massachusetts, developers in Palmer announced a resort-style development this week on land adjacent to the site of the company’s proposed casino. But the development may not go forward if Mohegan Sun is not awarded the license.
Developers with Northeast Realty envision a $150 million “New England-themed” resort development next to a proposed Mohegan Sun casino in Palmer. That would include “retail, probably a hotel, movies, bowling, we’re planning an amphitheater, restaurants, things of that nature,” says Northeast Realty’s lawyer, Stephen Spelman. He says both the proposed development and casino would cost $900 million, an amount he says makes the proposal more attractive to the state gaming commission. But if Mohegan Sun is not selected, Spelman says the resort development may change.
“If there were no casino, we would not go forward to the extent that we’re planning if the Mohegan Sun casino is selected.”
Mohegan Sun is currently negotiating a host community agreement with Palmer – which it hopes to complete by July, with a referendum possible in September. Meanwhile, other proposed casinos in the region continue to forge host community agreements: Hard Rock Casinos is negotiating with West Springfield, and last week, Springfield’s deal with MGM Resorts was approved by the city council. Now MGM has requested a referendum be held July 16th.