Palmer Moves On After Mohegan Sun Leaves Town

Mohegan Sun officially cut ties with the town of Palmer, Massachusetts this week when it ended its lease on a piece of land, which was the proposed site for a casino.

After Palmer voters rejected the casino plan, Mohegan Sun then proposed a retail development for the property. Mohegan, which is now bidding for a casino in Revere, says those efforts in Palmer came up short. Town Manager Charlie Blanchard says he isn’t surprised, or pessimistic.

“There’s been a feeling out there that sever since the mills closed, there’s no business in Palmer, But that certainly isn’t the case,” Blanchard says. “A good percentage of our tax base is still commercial and industrial. We have many businesses that are doing extremely well and have plans to expand.”

And as for what Blanchard learned during the years-long process to try to bring a casino to Palmer:

“So much of the time seems to have been concentrated on the hopes that a casino would be here, only to find really, the community didn’t overwhelmingly support it. So I guess that certainly is a lesson.”

To that end, Blanchard says the town would like to see the casino site developed, but it has to have community support. Land owner Northeast Realty and Mohegan Sun have competing lawsuits against each other in the wake of the failed casino bid last fall.