Mohegan Sun Raises Stakes In Bid For Massachusetts Casino

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Mohegan Sun has raised the stakes in its bid to build a resort casino in Palmer, Mass., pushing the projected cost to nearly $1 billion by adding a family-oriented water park and a second hotel.

A rendering of Mohegan Sun's proposed casino in Palmer, Mass. Courtesy of Mohegan Sun

A rendering of Mohegan Sun’s proposed casino in Palmer, Mass. Courtesy of Mohegan Sun

The adventure-themed park and resort hotel would include an indoor and outdoor water park that is connected to a 250-room hotel by an entrance that is separate from the main hotel lobby, Mohegan said today.

The outdoor section of the water park will wind through the “hills and valleys of the natural wooded terrain off Route 32″ and offer kayaking and zip lining.

The addition of the 70,000-square-foot water park and hotel will push the cost of the proposal well above the previous $775 million.

Mohegan has partnered with Boston-based Finard Properties in its bid to obtain a casino license for western Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is expected to issue one license for the region, and there are competing proposals for Springfield and West Springfield.

See renderings here of all the proposed casinos for western Massachusetts.

Mitchell Etess, chief executive of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, said the additions will help attract a broader mix of visitors from New England and the Northeast — and boost the economic benefits to the region.

“Part of the thinking was the create that real resort spirit,” Etess said told me this afternoon. “It allows us to create that amenity for family visits.”

Etess said he hopes the water park will also appeal to the younger adult population between the ages of 21 and 29.

The water park and resort hotel will be developed by Finard, which is already heading up planning for the retail component of the proposal. The 300,000 square feet will include restaurants, a movie theater and other entertainment and shopping.

The retail space is twice the size of the 130,000-square-foot¬† Shops at Mohegan Sun at Mohegan’s Connecticut venue.

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4 thoughts on “Mohegan Sun Raises Stakes In Bid For Massachusetts Casino

  1. pete

    Them there indians are getting desparate. I told you folks some time back once NY and MA woke up the indian gaming in CT would be toast. NY has suck away many of the day trippers from westchester county and fairfiled county and once MA builds its one or two casinos you might as well shut down the two casinos in CT. They are toast

  2. John Brady

    I can’t imagine Massachusetts awarding a casino license to either the Mashantuckets or Mohegans. Both parties have been feeding off the citizens of Mass. for years and I don’t recall either tribe making much of a contribution to Mass. Time for them to move on and get jobs although unfortunately they still get federal subsidies. Never could understand that.

  3. mark nati

    Lets face it. The casino’s in Ct are not going to be the money they in the past for the state. But they will do just fine. For you folks that seem to hate our state move to Mass. and you will see that things are pretty much the same there. Or move to Idaho and travel 50 miles to go to the store.

  4. R Lee

    All the casinos are a tax on the poor, the stupid and those without hope. My last visit I saw many elderly who needed shoes and clothing pouring money into slots.
    It would be much better if the casinos closed and they all went away.
    Let the MA folks waste their money.

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