Mohegan Sun is not backing down from its plans to build a Palmer casino despite fierce competition from four interested casino operators looking at a Springfield site.
Business and community leaders from the Quaboag Hills Chamber of Commerce heard from Mohegan Sun during a lunch in Palmer,”The message is that we know our project in Palmer can drive an amazing amount of benefit to the entire regional economy , to small business, and large businesses alike,” says Mitchell Etess, the CEO of Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority.
Local business leaders feel a casino in Palmer will help jump-start a struggling economy,”From the jobs perspective it’s big because it’s not just what Mohegan Sun has to bring to the table it’s what other development is going to spur as a result of that,” says Lenny Weake, President of the Quaboag Hills Chamber of Commerce.
Mohegan Sun still feels it has the best site for a casino,”We know we have the most experience in catering to the New England region, we know we can drive the most revenue for the Commonwealth, we know these communities more than anybody, we are very confident in our ability to pull this off, yes,” says Mitchell Etess, CEO of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority.
What about the stiff competition from Springfield?
Those who favor a Palmer casino says it is unique and that it will go a long way in determining who gets a casino license,”I’d say that despite the publicity that Springfield is getting I think Palmer has a great chance, the fact that we have the only rural destination proposal in the state I think gives us an edge,” says Jennifer Baruffaldi, Spokesperson for Citizens For Jobs and growth in Palmer.
Mohegan Sun also says its philosophy of buying local has resulted in more than 500-million dollars in goods and services spent every year from local vendors near its Connecticut and Pennsylvania casinos.