I recently wrote a column for Commonwealth Magazine on the impact and benefits the Wynn Development has on both the City of Everett and Massachusetts.
By: Mayor Carlo DeMaria
The Massachusetts Gaming Act was enacted in 2011 specifically to create new jobs, generate new tax revenue and propel local economic growth. Years before the first gaming resort opens its doors, the transformative and positive effect of the Commonwealth’s gaming legislation is already being felt.
In the City of Everett, where I am proud to serve as mayor, construction of the $2.4 billion Wynn Boston Harbor resort is progressing at an amazing pace. Today, nearly two years before the resort is in operation, more than $3 million in salaries have been paid to construction workers who reside in our city. Everett residents are also receiving priority access to the more than 4,500 openings at Wynn Boston Harbor. These are careers, not just jobs, providing exceptional salaries, benefits and opportunity.
More than money, there is a forceful and transformative spirit that has permeated our city. Wynn is revitalizing an industrial and underutilized neighborhood and opening a beautiful urban waterfront that has been fenced off from the public for 100-plus years. More than $30 million was spent by Wynn to clean the former chemical plant site that was highly contaminated and blighting the community.
Since construction of Wynn Boston Harbor started, my office regularly takes calls from developers worldwide looking to invest in our city. Just four months ago, Everett opened its first new hotel in 70 years. The number of new businesses who want to open here and existing companies who want to expand here is skyrocketing. There is an infectious excitement and optimism that can be felt whenever I talk to local business owners. This completely dispels the myth that when casinos arrive, local firms suffer.
There always have been, and always will be, uninformed critics who promulgate fallacies about the gaming industry. Before we welcomed Wynn to our community, we did our own research. What we learned was that a small, vocal minority used the casino issue as a pulpit to advance their own political and personal agendas. Their preconceived notions regarding gaming are outdated and completely unsupported by facts. Unfortunately, bias, myth and anecdote frequently inform views on gaming.
A five-star gaming resort that’s the caliber of Wynn Boston Harbor does not take away from local businesses. Rather, Wynn is bringing in tourists who would never have visited our city while generating $660 million a year in taxes, payroll, goods and services—including $100 million with local vendors.
That’s nearly $2 million a day injected into our local economy. And that’s not counting one dollar of secondary spending in and around Everett by Wynn’s 8 million guests a year or 4,500 employees. This stimulus creates growth and prosperity, which, in turn, improves public safety and overall quality of life. Another myth dispelled.
There will always be those who detract, but their arguments are disproved by reality. The City of Everett is thriving, and will continue to thrive, because Wynn is a catalyst in our economic development and that of the entire Commonwealth.