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South End Businesses React to MGM Casino Plan

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Are South End businesses impressed with the plan by MGM Resorts International for a casino there? It depends on the business you talk to.

Many have wondered what position would be taken by Red Rose Pizzeria, an icon in the city’s south end for 50 years with 85 employees. Owner Antonio Caputo said his family told MGM they wanted to stay right where they are.

“They were very receptive and respective,” said Caputo. “I think as they said, Springfield has good bones. I think we’re the femur bone, we’re a very strong bone in the south end and they noted that right away.”

Other long-time businesses down here like Dave’s Furniture say this just might be the right time and opportunity to move on.

“This is all still very preliminary,” said store manager, Linda Guidetta. “My dad’s in his 70′s. Probably retire.”

MGM emphasized in its plan pushing business to local businesses. One way is by having existing venues including the MassMutual Center, City Stage and Symphony Hall serve as venues for casino acts. Robby Gossman, manager of McCaffrey’s Public House worries that ripple affect may not happen.

“I like the open layout,” said Gossman. “I think that’s good. I’m a little weary if it’s gonna contain everybody into that square area and leave the rest of main street desolate.”

“Twenty to thirty restaurant, entertainment businesses in that complex?,” asked Gossman. “There’s definitely not enough people around here to support that plus what’s already right here.”

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WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.
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