A brand new casino hasn’t opened in New England since…… well only a few years ago when Plainridge Park opened as the first Massachusetts casino (slots-parlor) in 2015. But the last full casino (hotel, casino, dining, entertainment) was actually in 2005 when Hollywood Hotel, Casino and Raceway was built as Maine’s first casino in Bangor.
Be sure to also check out: [Details and Pics] MGM Springfield Casino Review and Trip Report
What makes MGM Springfield’s design unusual for the gambling industry is how the development blends into the existing city of Springfield – an “Urban casino.” “It’s a beautiful downtown resort, the first time that our industry has really done it well,” Michael Mathis, MGM Springfield’s president, said, during a tour last week.
“Detroit for us was a good example, but I really think we fine-tuned it on this site…….the interior designs as “industrial chic” recalling the city’s strong industrial roots, in firearms, machine parts and as the birthplace of the motorcycle and monkey wrench.”
Bill Hornbuckle, president of MGM Resorts International, said “[The history of Springfield] was always part of the story line — come in and respect the architecture and history of Springfield, including meetings with the Springfield Historical Commission and other local activists dedicated to historic preservation.”
MGM Springfield has many question marks, but immediate success is not one of them. Here’s a look at Everything You Wanted to Know about MGM Springfield (and weren’t afraid to ask).
If you are planning on attending the opening, bring an extra dose of patience. A parade to usher in the resort’s grand opening is set for 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 24th starting at the corner of State and Main streets and will feature the Budweiser Clydesdales alongside local officials, “other surprise entertainment,” and hundreds of the resort’s employees and construction workers. Doors will officially open once the parade reaches the resort around 11 a.m. after a walk down Main Street. Police hope to have all the streets cleared by 1:00 p.m.
Concerning street closures and parking, I advise you to click on the following City Of Springfield Website – MGM Springfield Grand Opening Traffic Management Plan.
MGM Springfield Hotel
The six-story, 250-room hotel and lobby are located at Main and Howard Streets. No two hotel rooms are identical. Rooms combine a lot of dark colors and neutrals, exposed concrete ceilings, brass lamps and Edison bulbs, leather, and natural woods. According to of the Boston
Mlife and Tier Matches (Status-Match)
If you have gambled at an MGM property before, from Las Vegas to Atlantic City, then you have an Mlife card. If you don’t, they are free at the rewards desk. There are 5 tiers, and with Mlife Rewards, you can earn benefits, comps and rewards.
They are offering Tier matching and Mlife upgrades for at least the next month. I discussed my visit to check out the tier-matching In last week’s post MGM Springfield “Sign-In Party”- A Gallery of the Day. The combination of my Mlife Credit Card and Ocean Resort Casino Atlantic City Black Card (top tier) helped upgrade my status to Platinum in Mlife. A host was then assigned to me. Miguel, of NETG fame, did the same. So, check out the Mlife possibilities when you get there, or contact a host at MGM Springfield, give them your card stats, and they might send the upgrade in the mail.
MGM Springfield Casino
The MGM Springfield Casino includes roughly 2,550 slot machines and 120 gaming tables, along with a poker room and a VIP gaming area. MGM’s gambling floor is surrounded by restaurants, bars, shops, a bowling alley, cinema, and event space. 2250 slot machines is a lot to pack into that space, so expect the space between slots to be similar to MGM National Harbor – tight. Table games listed include Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Mini Baccarat, Midi Baccarat, Pai Gow, Three Card Poker, Four Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em, Criss Cross, Chase the Flush, War and Big 6. Remember, this is the first time patrons can legally wager on table games such as blackjack and craps within Massachusetts. The design of the casino is typical with most casinos. Some design exceptions include exposed brick and other Springfield-historic touches. The success of the casino will be determined by table minimums, rules and video poker pay tables, which, with the single exception of Borgata, is mediocre at best.
Related: [Initial Observations – The Rules] Massachusetts Casino Table Games at MGM Springfield
Fine dining includes an array of great chefs and cuisines, including Chef Michael Mina’s Italian eatery, featuring “the best of coastal Italian cuisine,” with seafood, fresh handmade pasta and brick-oven pizza. The Chandler Steakhouse gets its name from a Springfield landmark. The restaurant will be located in the former Union House Hotel, which was later renamed the Chandler Hotel, and was preserved as part of the casino project.
The Commonwealth Bar, done in dark rich colors, was designed to look like “an old-style haberdashery,” according James Reyes, an MGM regional vice president. With its connection to the casino floor, it has 7 bartop machines at the bar.
Casual dining includes The TAP Sports Bar, with a New England menu, craft beers, pinball machines and a 10-lane bowling alley. It supposedly continues on the success of the same bars that exist at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, MGM Grand Detroit and MGM National Harbor. However, the bowling in the plans was to be candlestick, a New England bowling tradition. MGM changed that to 10-pin which you can find anywhere. Too bad, many of us love candlestick bowling, and it would have been nice for others around the country to try it.
Other casual dining can be found in the South End Market, offering the following casual dining options: Jack’s Lobster Shack, Bill’s Diner, modeled after a traditional diner, Wicked Noodles, a pan-Asian restaurant, and healthier options at the Hearth Grill.
This three-block, 14.5-acre resort can best be appreciated by simply looking around. So much of Springfield and New England’s heritage can be found just about everywhere. In a way, MGM has made a museum dedicated to the blue-collar mill workers who were the back-bone of New England Culture. Some of the amazing artifacts you might miss if you don’t look around could be objects from Brimfield Antique and Collectibles Show, classic Milton Bradley board games, and a restored 19th century antique chandelier in the elevator vestibule. There’s even an art collection with artifacts from Springfield Museums.
The resort is also integrating historic buildings. The 1895 State Armory building that is an anchor to the outside pavilion of the complex, and the First Spiritualist Church was moved by MGM at great cost, preserving the 1887 building, which will be used for retail including Kringle Candle.
FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
Besides the 10 bowling alleys, the resort provides an eight-screen movie theater; an 8,000-square-foot pool; a spa; a 10-lane bowling alley; and a “Topgolf Swing Suite” where you can test out your fairway chops in a three-simulator lounge – smaller than Las Vegas, but similar to the ones at Foxwoods, Foxboro and Boston.
For a picture tour of this resort, click on the title Sneak peek inside MGM Springfield from MassLive.com.
Feel free to review this comparative chart of the two Connecticut tribal casinos (Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods) and MGM Springfield, just in case you like comparisons.