By Seth Daniel
Everett United members waited some time to have a personal meeting with Steve Wynn, but after that meeting took place on Wednesday, April 12, the wait was well worth it, they said.
About 14 members of the pro-Wynn casino group were invited to a personal meeting with Steve Wynn and his wife, Andrea, at a downtown Boston office on April 12.
Wynn, who was in Boston to accept an award at a private function in the UMass Club, spoke to the group for more than an hour about how he was inspired when Everett United formed and delivered a vote of 87 percent approval almost four years ago during the referendum vote.
“We had wanted to meet with him, and we were very, very pleased with this,” said Richard Eliseo Sr. “I’ll tell you, it was a day to appreciate. It was a great day and it’s been in the making for a long, long time. He was so natural. I could have listened to him all day.
“It was a great experience for Everett United and for Everett United people,” he continued. “It was well worth the wait.”
Members of Everett United presented Wynn with a plaque showing their appreciation for him coming to Everett, believing in its people and continuing the fight despite numerous legal and bureaucratic hurdles.
That’s where Wynn shared with the tight-knit, grass roots group that it was their organizing of Everett voters that kept him going through all of that.
“He talked to us for a whole hour,” said Eliseo Sr. “He thanked us wholeheartedly and referenced that our group was able to get the 87 percent voter approval in the referendum. He said that’s what kept him going. The people who worked to get that made him proud. He said he realized that we really wanted him to come to Everett, so no matter what, after that he wasn’t going to let it go no matter how difficult it became.”
Robin Brickley, another charter member of the group, said that she was touched by the entire meeting, about how sentimental Wynn was about revitalizing an area of Everett that had been passed over.
“It really touched me because, to him, the resort is more than a resort,” she said. “it’s about transforming a section of the city that had been forgotten. He was so passionate about it and talked about how it would be used as a model for other cities that are trying to redevelop these same kind of forgotten parts of their cities. I thought it was so touching because I have felt the same way since we started this. I always felt it would be a great chance for us because it could bring in revenue and give us respect within the state.”
She said all of Everett United were excited to have been invited.
“It was a great day that I’ll always remember for sure,” she said.
Eliseo Sr. said they told him they were so thankful that he chose Everett because it has initiated an overall momentum for the community.
“We mentioned to him that we’re happy because it’s Everett’s time to shine now,” he said. “We’re finally getting the chance to showcase our city. We haven’t had that opportunity in a long, long time.”