WEST SPRINGFIELD (WGGB) — Hard Rock Casino officials and the West Side Yes campaign are making their final push for “yes” votes, ahead of the referendum vote on Tuesday, September 10th.
Group members have been going door-to-door and making phone calls, hoping to convince their neighbors to vote for Hard Rock’s proposal to build an $800 million resort casino at the fairgrounds of the Big E.
The casino says they will add 5,000 just in the building of the casino. They will also add $35 millino in roadway improvements, which they say will help tackle traffic issues around the Big E, Route 5, and Memorial Ave.
President of Hard Rock New England Tim Maland understands that there will be drawbacks of a casino, but says the benefits will outweigh them.
“There’s certainly issues with having a casino in town,” Maland said, “and we believe our roadway improvements, combined with the services we’re gonna be providing, as well as the funding for additional police, fire, ambulances etc., are going to be sufficient to mitigate the impacts, as well as provide significant benefits.”
He says the additional police and fire will come from roughly $18 million in tax revenue the town will receive.
The referendum vote will be this Tuesday. If passed, Hard Rock will vie for the sole casino license with MGM Springfield and Mohegan Sun in Palmer, whose referendum vote is November 5th.