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MGM Resorts Speeds Up Construction Work on Springfield Casino
- March 28, 2016 By Oliver Young -
After a delay of about a year MGM Resorts can finally speed up the construction work on its $950 million Springfield Casino Resort in Massachusetts.
The large complex was expected to be completed and launched in 2017 and to become the first big scale commercial casino in the US state. However, the construction was delayed due to some setbacks, therefore, the big luxury casino resort is scheduled to open its doors in the fall of 2018. The owner of the casino, MGM Resorts, is currently preparing for a full construction season over a year later than the originally planned starting date.
In June 2014 MGM Resorts got the green light from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to open a large hotel and casino complex in the Springfield area. After the groundbreaking ceremony in March 2015, the project had to go through a comprehensive review by the historic preservation authority because of worries that it might destroy some old buildings in the area.
Later in the same year, the Las Vegas casino operator asked for permission from the state to open the complex in September 2018 after the construction of the Interstate 91 is over. The owners pointed out that if the casino opens in 2017 as planned, it would have a negative impact during the first year of its opening because of the construction work on the highway.
This was also followed by several additional changes MGM Resorts proposed. One significant change was the replacement of the 25 story hotel tower with a six story building. Another change was the reduction in the square footage of the large resort by 10 percent. Despite all this the costs of the project increased from $800 million to $950 million mainly due to the administrative costs and updated material.
Construction Work on the First Major Structure Begins
During the first year after the project was given thumbs up, the president of MGM Springfield, Micheal Mathis, said that workers have been doing underground utility work and partially or complete demolished a number of downtown buildings to make the 14.5-acre site clear for the casino construction.
Mathis also added that construction has started on the first big structure i.e. the parking garage with 3,400 parking spaces. So far about 700 workers have been hired for the construction work. All in all, for the building of the complex a total of 2,000 jobs will be created and when the venue opens its doors, 3,000 permanent jobs will be opened.
Even though the project has been delayed, the owner has so far fulfilled its obligations to the city. It paid Springfield $8 million in pre-opening payments and it will pay another $4.5 million in the second half of 2016. The last payment of $4 million will be made in 2017. Once construction is done and the casino opens its doors, the operator will give $25 million of its revenue to the city on an annual basis. Massachusetts will also get a share of the proceeds made by the casino.