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By Stephanie de la Cruz
The residents of Springfield are ready to vote on the MGM Resorts International proposal of $800 million casino plan.
The voting is set to take place on Tuesday where the deal calls for the company to make more than $25 million in annual payments to city of Springfield if the casino is built.
In order for MGM to apply to the state gaming commission license they will first need a majority vote in favor of their proposal. This is the first company in Western Massachusetts to bid their $400,000 application to the state’s gaming commission.
If the proposal is approved, the residents will see the resort along Interstate 91 between State and Union streets. It would feature 89,000 square feet of gaming, a 250-room hotel, and 70,000 square feet of shops and restaurants.
“If we are able to build this the way we think and the way we hope, we’ll have between 30 and 40 retail and restaurant opportunities throughout the property and throughout the project,” MGM’s Chief Marketing Officer Bill Hornbuckle said.
The company doesn’t want to take away from the city’s existing landmarks or history on the other hand- it wants to enhance Springfield.
“If we do our job correctly, if we are fortunate enough to win the RFP, this will feel and be very uniquely Springfield,” said MGM’s Chairman and CEO Jim Murren to CBS.
This project would bring jobs and economic development to an area of the city that was damaged by a 2011 tornado.This will also include the minimum of 2,000 construction jobs needed to build the resort.
AmeriStar, Penn National Gaming and Hard Rock have all also expressed interest in Springfield.