Northampton Businesses Discuss Possible Casino Impact
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) –La Fiorentina is in a unique position. They have locations in both Northampton and Springfield, right near the proposed spot downtown where MGM is planning on building a casino.
General Manager Mauro Daniele is excited at the prospect. “I do agree that the surrounding community will be affected but what’s going to be interesting to see what happens with the money their asking for? Because is that money going to the businesses? Or is it just going to be absorbed into some fund that disappears?” Daniele asked.
Recently, Northampton formally requested to be designated as a surrounding community by MGM.
It’s unclear exactly how much money Northampton is asking for in order to offset economic impacts.
According to this Camoin Associates study, the city could lose anywhere from $4-$8 million dollars annually, which could translate to the loss of 90-180 jobs. “I think there’s a possibility it will impact us to some extent, I don’t think it will be extensive. A lot of our customers are from within the area,” said Stephan Wurmbrand, COO of Herrell’s Ice Cream.
However, some community members don’t understand why Northampton is even in the discussion in the first place. “We’re 25 minutes away, and we’re far enough away where I don’t even think it will impact. If we need it or not, I don’t think we’re going to get it. I don’t think we should ask for something we’re not going to get because we’re certainly not going to be impacted,” Tony Dastoli stated.
Once the Springfield casino is built, La Fiorentina will have a storefront inside it.
Chicopee, Wilbraham, Ludlow, East Longmeadow, Agawam, and Holyoke have all reached surrounding community agreements with MGM.