SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – Tonight, the public learns more on the second of two proposed casinos for the City of Homes.
A red carpet gala event is underway at the Paramount Theater on Main Street where Penn National Gaming is releasing further details of their proposed $800 million Hollywood Hotel and Casino project for the north end.
In a video presentation at tonight’s event, Penn National says that their project is “one that reaches across the city to connect the North End to an industrial park inside city limits for The Republican’s production facility, to the waterfront, to the heart of downtown and extending into the south end.”
In addition to the hotel and gaming facility, the existing Paramount Theater will receive renovations and be directly connected to the casino with a skywalk.
“We think we can draw from a market that is 150 miles out of Springfield because we are gonna be such a unique driven attraction for people,” said Tim Wilmott, President Penn National Gaming.
Penn National says that they intend to “expedite” Phase II of their project which includes Union Station. The company says that they will expand the parking deck, establish Hollywood Casino’s offices and employee services there, and connect the facility to the casino with another skywalk.
Some of their retail and restaurant partners include the Student Prince, Yankee Candle, Davio’s, b-good, Sarkis Fine Jewelry, Dunkin Donuts, and a new sports bar from football legend Doug Flutie.
“You know what the first thing that enters my mind is the ability to display the Heisman Trophy,” said Doug Flutie.
The Fort and Student Prince Restaurant is another vender that’s part of the plan.
“I think it’s gonna be a home run for Springfield and all of western Massachusetts I’m thrilled to be a small part of it,” said Rudi Scherff, The Fort.
The proposed project is slated for sites where Peter Pan Bus Lines and The Republican are currently located.
As part of the plan, Penn National says that Peter Pan’s 140 employees and their offices would move to 31 Elm Street in the south end.
An option agreement between Penn National and the owner of The Republican, Advance Publications, has been reached and if the company is granted a casino license, Penn National will help move the paper and its printing operations to another location in the city.
Last week, Penn National submitted the non-refundable application fees to both the City of Springfield and the state’s gaming commission.
A third possible developer, Ameristar, has withdrew their plans for a casino off of Page Boulevard.
ABC40′s Mike LaCrosse is at tonight’s presentation and will have more on the plans tonight starting on ABC40 News First on FOX and ABC40 News at 11:00 p.m.
CLICK ON ANY OF THE PICTURES BELOW TO BEGIN A SLIDESHOW: