MGM signs property deal for Massachusetts casino proposal
MGM Resorts International has signed an agreement to purchase a 150-acre parcel of land 65 miles west of Boston in Brimfield, Mass., to develop a “world-class resort” that would create 3,000 permanent jobs and several thousand indirect jobs, according to a statement released Thursday by the Las Vegas-based hotel-casino operator.
The proposed Rolling Hills Resort would be built on what is now a wooded site just north of the Massachusetts Turnpike. In launching the project, MGM Resorts enters a crowded field of big-name casino industry players — including Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Resorts — which are seeking gaming licenses in Massachusetts.
MGM Resorts Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Murren appeared Thursday at a morning announcement in Brimfield with David Callahan, a principal in Rollings Hills Realty Trust, which owns the proposed development site. Callahan is the chief executive officer of a paving company in the region.
“When we decided to get actively involved in Massachusetts, we scoured the state for a location that would provide the rural setting that New Englanders want,” Murren said in a company statement. “The remote nature of this property, along with its proximity to the Mass Pike, is exactly what we had in mind.”
In November, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed legislation that permits the creation of three state-licensed gaming properties and a slot parlor in the state. One of the gaming properties is slated for western Massachusetts, where Brimfield is located. A newly created panel of state gaming regulators will determine the winners of each license.
Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Resorts are planning to compete for development rights in the Greater Boston region, while the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, working with Malaysia-based Genting, has been given a head start in winning casino development rights in Southeastern Massachusetts, The
Boston Globe reported.
“A lot of people were questioning if Massachusetts would be able to attract the big players in the industry,’’ Clyde Barrow, a casino specialist from
the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, told The Globe. “If you look at the lineup now . . . Massachusetts has some of the biggest players in the
The Mohegan tribe, which operates the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Mass., has proposed building a casino in Palmer, just west of Brimfield, and has negotiated a 99-year lease on 152 acres in the town, reported the Harford Courant. The Palmer and Brimfield proposals would compete for the western Massachusetts license.
Callahan introduced the idea of a resort casino on his property at the Oct. 24 Brimfield Board of Selectmen’s meeting, the Courant reported. At that time, he told the board members that he wanted to find the best possible world-class development partner for Brimfield.