New England News
4:29 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Casino Company Announces $910 Million Project In Springfield

Nevada based gaming company Ameristar has unveiled renderings and announced details about the resort casino it hopes to build in Springfield Massachusetts.  It is one of three companies competing for casino development rights in Springfield.   WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

  

   Ameristar is proposing a $910 million  project that features a 150,000 square foot casino, 500 room hotel and a restaurant complex at a former industrial site on the city’s  east side.  It is the most expensive of the three casino proposals in Springfield and the only one not in a downtown location. Ameristar CEO Gordy Kanofsky, on Tuesday, touted his company and its plans during a presentation to 120 people gather inside a large tent on the site.

   Kanofsky claimed Ameristar’s project would produce more jobs, more tax revenue and have a greater economic impact than the casinos proposed in Springfield  by MGM Resorts International and Penn National Gaming.

   Ameristar’s casino would have 3300 slot machines and 110 table games.  The hotel would include 50 suites, a spa and swimming pool.  The parking structures would hold 4300 vehicles.  It would include restaurants ranging from fine dining to a casual buffet.  Ameristar announced partnerships for its Springfield project with celebrity chefs, Wolfgang Puck and Martin Yan, and two long time Springfield restaurants, Frigos and Shermerhorn’s

   Kanofsky said the project would result in 2000 construction jobs and 2300 permanent jobs

   Ameristar purchased the former Westinghouse manufacturing site earlier this year for $16 million and had all but one of the brick factory buildings torn down. The property is in a mixed commercial and residential area and is bordered on one side by interstate 291. 

   The company earlier announced plans to spend over $50 million to build new ramps off the highway to minimize casino traffic on local streets.  Kathy Brown, president of the East Springfield Neighborhood Association said the primary concern about the project is traffic.

   Springfield city officials are reviewing the preliminary proposals submitted by Amerstar, MGM and  Penn.   Each of the three casino operators on November 1st  is expected to be invited to submit detailed plans of their respective projects for an exhaustive review.  City officials have pledged the casino selection process will be completely transparent.

   The state’s gaming law authorizes only one resort casino license in western Massachusetts. Mohegan Sun is expected to compete for the license with a project in the town of Palmer.