Anyone who was at the press conference last Wednesday afternoon at the Connolly Center for the presentation of the Wynn Hotel/Casino drawing had to leave truly impressed by what might be for Everett.
The hotel, the grounds and the shops as presented are first class. This development will be a true community resource as the now contaminated waterfront parcel will be cleaned and access to the Mystic River for Everett and area residents will be available.
Gamal Aziz, Chief Operating Officer of Wynn Development, certainly seemed to hit all the right notes that the Gaming Commission might be considering in reaching their decision in awarding the sole casino license in the Boston area.
First, Aziz stressed that this development would be a five-star hotel serving all of Boston with rooms ranging from 700 up to 2,500 square feet. Presently, there are really no luxury hotels like the St. Regis or Peninsula in Boston that Wynn Hotels competes with the world markets.
Secondly, the construction process would be completed in one phase and would cost between $1.2 – $1.5 billion.
Thirdly, a water taxi service to Boston would be incorporated into this development.
And lastly, but perhaps most importantly, the casino would not be the focal point of the development and is not in a residential area.
These points are key differences between the casino proposed at Suffolk Downs and the casino proposed here in Everett.
The whole focus on this development, as has been presented by both Steve Wynn and Aziz, is the hotel. Much of the focus during the public meetings has been about the future employees of this development and the current employees at Wynn Hotels.
With the preliminary phase just about completed, the next and last phase in the decision making process for the Gaming Commission will be in the spring when they release regulations regarding what they will be looking for in Phase II. That Phase II process will likely start in the fall.
A final decision about the awardee could be reached as early as this time in 2014.
There will be another community meeting on this development tonight and residents are urged to ask their questions. This meeting will be informational in preparation for the community referendum to be held in June.