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Monday, January 14, 2013
Wynn plans hotel tower for Everett casino site - Metro - The Boston Globe
Las Vegas casino developer Steve Wynn said Thursday that he plans to build a gleaming, $1 billion hotel tower on an old factory site on the Mystic River in Everett as part of his plans for a casino on the property.
“It’s going to be the fanciest hotel in the Boston area,” Wynn said during a phone interview from his home in Sun Valley, Idaho. “It will have superior rooms, first-class services, shows. It will have short hallways and fast elevators . . . It’s going to be a big attraction.”
The hotel, which is still being designed, would have between 300 and 500 rooms, facing the Boston skyline. Upscale shops, restaurants, and a spa would be included, along with a 24-hour casino, and meeting rooms for conferences, he said.
“It’s not the black jack tables and slot machines that is the draw,” Wynn said. “You have to create a place where people will want to go. If they gamble, they’ll find their way to the gaming tables.”
Wynn Resorts is vying with Suffolk Downs and partner Caesars Entertainment, a powerful rival on the Vegas strip, for the sole resort casino license available for Greater Boston. Caesars has proposed a $1 billion resort casino at the track in East Boston that has the backing of Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston.
‘It’s the development that makes the site. I recognize I have to create a place that’s fun, and people will come back to again and again.’
But Wynn is confident his proposal will be a strong contender. “If this license is decided on merits, why wouldn’t I win?” he said. “I would hope they would look at our track record, history of employment. Our financial profile is pretty much flawless.”
Elaine Driscoll, the commission’s spokeswoman, said Thursday night that a rigorous review is planned for the applications.
“The commission is focused on creating an environment that supports a robust competitive process which will ultimately maximize job creation and economic development for the residents of the Commonwealth,” she said in an e-mail to the Globe.
A spokesman for Suffolk Downs could not be reached for comment Thursday night.
Everett is the second Bay State community eyed by Wynn. He and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft withdrew a proposal for Foxborough amid fierce community opposition last year.
Wynn’s Everett casino is planned for a roughly 37-acre property that was formerly the site of the Monsanto chemical plant. He has signed an option to buy the property, he said.
About 6 acres of the site, valued at about $1 million, lies in Boston. But Wynn said the option does not include that portion. “We’re not using that part of the land,” he said.
A long-vacant area on Everett’s industrial waterfront, the site is surrounded by a power plant, an MBTA garage, and a strip mall. Soil on the site is contaminated, after decades of use by the chemical plant.
Wynn is convinced the site could be transformed into a gem. “It’s the development that makes the site,” he said. ‘‘I recognize I have to create a place that’s fun, and people will come back to again and again.”