Steve Wynn is as public a casino entrepreneur as you will find, and he makes no effort to present himself any differently. Back in 2014, when he first proposed the idea of a Boston-area casino to be located on the banks of the Mystic River, he promised those in attendance that this would not be just any casino. No, Wynn made it very clear that this was going to be a top-class casino that was filled with some of the best and biggest retail locations. At the time, the idea of a luxury casino was enough to get a lot of folks on board.
Now, however, it seems as though the casino that is eventually erected will look just a bit different than the one original described by Wynn.
Though Steve Wynn is the public face of the Everett Casino project, Robert DeSalvio is the top executive in charge of the project. Just this month, he made a public announcement outlining the changes that would be taking place.
Perhaps the biggest change came in the form of retail space that is a tiny percentage of what was originally promised. While Steve Wynn outlined a retail space that would account for more than 50,000 square feet and some of the hottest name brands, DeSalvio made it clear that the retail space at the $2.4 billion casino would only be a bit larger than 9,000 square feet. This means that 10 fewer stores than originally anticipated will exist at the casino.
Though a roughly 40,000 square foot reduction represents only a tiny cross-section of the total 3.1 million square foot space the casino will encompass, it represents a major shift in Wynn’s focus. Rather than focusing on selling goods from retailers like Armani and Chanel, the Everett Casino will instead be more focused on the hosting of meetings and conventions; making the casino more of a business destination than originally planned.
Gambling consultant Clyde Barrow commented on this focus shift by saying, “That (the retail space) was a big part of the original presentation, and a selling point.” In so many words, there is a feeling that some of those that supported Wynn’s original plan might not have supported the plan as it exists today. Despite this, most people close to the situation fully expect the state’s gambling commission to approve the changes. A silver lining of sorts is the fact that, according to Wynn, the new plan will mean almost 200 additional jobs will be created. So, while there may be less retail space, the project will still prove to be the job-bearing endeavor that so many had hoped it would be.