Popeye will be coming to Everett.
That according to the Boston Globe, which published a sneak-peak interview with Steve Wynn concerning his forthcoming redesign of the Everett casino project on the Mystic River. The Popeye revelation was but one of a number of newly revealed details about the project, including an increase in the total investment and a significant increase in the number of hotel rooms.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria said this week that he had seen some of the plans and is very impressed.
“The redesign of Wynn Everett is nothing short of extraordinary,” he said. “I knew from my first discussion with Mr. Wynn that his desire to build a world-class facility in Massachusetts would be unmatched. Once presented to the Gaming Commission, I have every confidence that they will agree. There is no question that the Gaming Commission got it right when they awarded a gaming license to Wynn in September and Mr. Wynn¹s commitment to making this historic development a success will validate the Commission¹s decision. My administration and I have been an active partner in this process for over two years and will continue to work hard until Wynn Everett opens to the public.”
The $28 million Popeye statue that Wynn announced last spring, and which has been in his Las Vegas casino, will find a home in the lobby of the Everett casino – along with other artistic treasures and eye-catching design elements.
That lobby, according to the Globe story and also to Wynn officials, has been the focus of the redesign – which was called for by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) during the licensing process. The MGC – as well as a local consortium of architects – were not impressed with the original Wynn tower that was proposed.
Instead, now, Wynn said the building would have more of a bronze glass look with a curved front that eases back to the top of the building – much like Wynn’s signature hotels in Las Vegas.
Wynn has reportedly been spending a good deal of time in Las Vegas since last October with his architect, DeRuyter Butler, trying to come up with a design for the lobby that will “wow” all those who come in.
As described by the Globe, the entrance will include a 30-foot high ceiling broken up by a mezzanine at the halfway point.
That entrance will empty out into two indoor gardens, both about 2,200 sq. ft. The gardens will have 25-foot flower sculptures that will change intermittently from carousels to Faberge eggs to hot air balloons and just about anything else Wynn can conjure up.
Those will lead to the shops and restaurants, which will be separate from the casino area. The casino area will be located on the mezzanine, and casino patrons can actually access the casino directly from the underneath parking garage. A series of elevators will take casino patrons directly to specific areas of the casino floor.
One thing Wynn stressed in the redesign, apparently, is that the casino be completely separate from the non-casino areas. He went so far as to say he wanted it to be a place to “take the children on Sunday.”
Restaurants that Wynn mentioned in the Globe as coming to Everett would be his SW Steakhouse, the Asian-fusion Andrea’s and a spectacular buffet restaurant.
More important than anything is that the redesign has pushed up the total investment in Everett from $1.6 billion to $1.75 billion. That includes upping the numbers of rooms from 500 to 630 – with 150 luxury suites.
The complete renderings and detailed plans for the Everett casino project will be revealed at an MGC meeting in January – perhaps by Wynn himself.
A closing on the property has yet to happen, but is expected in January, Wynn officials said in November. At some point in January or February, those officials said at the same time, a six-month environmental remediation project will begin.
Michael McLaughlin, who was very active in the ‘No On 3’ campaign in Everett and the region, said it was important to remember the redesign came at the behest of the MGC.
“This was a requirement stipulated by the Mass Gaming Commission in order to receive the Region A Gaming license,” he said. “I applaud Mr. Wynn for moving so quickly to prepare a new design. In addition, I believe his efforts once again reflect his true commitment to this project in our community. We can all look forward to seeing his vision at the end of January and I don’t believe anyone will be disappointed.”